When the Augustana wrestling team left for Christmas break they had a record of 5-2 in dual meets, but since then, the Vikings have dropped to 7-5 with two meets remaining.
According to senior captain Matt Sears, the Vikings’ season has been plagued by injuries that have started a domino effect.
“The recent events haven’t been fun to see, but I think we can pull through and close out the season strong going into the CCIW championships,” said Sears.
Along with many injuries, the wrestling team faces the hurdle of a young team. Currently, they have first-year wrestlers starting in 5 out of the 10 weight classes.
Augustana will be eying match-ups against the University of Wisconsin-Plateville and University of Chicago this Friday and Feb. 3, respectively. They aim to bring their record to 9-5 before the season ends. Assistant coach Alberto Quiros said these will be two key meets.
“I think every dual meet is important from this point on. We have a tough schedule, there is no doubt about it. We only have two duals left and it is crucial that we win them both,” Quiros said.
This time last season, the Vikings held a record of 5-6 before going on to win their last two matches, but fell flat in the CCIW championships, where they placed last in the conference.
This season, Sears sees a big difference between the squad of this year and the squad from last year. .
“There is a lot more team camaraderie,” Sears said. “A lot more people are getting behind the idea that we can compete with the best teams in the nation. If we have people healthy, and we wrestle like we did in the beginning of the year, I feel like we can take it (a CCIW tournament win).”