Purdue wrestling will host Mackey Mayhem at 7 p.m. Friday, taking on No. 6 Nebraska in its final home dual meet of the season.
“You got a quality opponent and some of the other quality events going on,” head coach Tony Ersland said. “We have our senior night, and we’ve got three outstanding seniors to honor. Plus we have alumni back as well.”
The Cornhuskers (7-3, 2-3 Big Ten) tout eight ranked wrestlers and are coming off of a huge dual upset over No. 3 Ohio State. Purdue (11-4, 4-3), on the other hand, had a gritty weekend with two hard-fought losses to Minnesota and Wisconsin.
“I think that it’s all good stuff. We’re not going to sit there and dwell over this loss,” redshirt freshman Kendall Coleman said after Sunday’s loss to Wisconsin. “I believe that we’ll go back in the room and get back to work. And I think we’ll come back even stronger for Nebraska.”
Ersland said there’s room for improvement.
“We made some bad decisions in scoring situations,” Ersland said. “I want to see guys improve in their decision-making while they’re out there. If we can do that, we’re going to be better.”
One clash to look out for is senior Dylan Lydy versus Nebraska sophomore Michael Labriola. The two have faced-off several times in the past and had a pair of overtime matches last season, one of which knocked Lydy out of the NCAA tournament. This season, Lydy got his revenge on Labriola in the Cliff Keen Las Vegas tournament and has performed strongly ever since. Lydy’s only loss comes from Iowa’s Michael Kemerer, who is currently ranked No. 1.
The bout will occur during Lydy’s final home match as a Boilermaker, which might add fuel to the fire.
Two other Purdue seniors will also be honored during the event and have both seen success at the Division I level. Christian Brunner and Nate Limmex are each NCAA qualifiers and have started for Purdue at different times this season. Brunner has been ranked as high as No. 2, but a recent injury likely brought his college career to an early close.
Limmex has been vying for the 149-pound starting spot, and while it has been back and forth, it appears junior Griffin Parriott might get the nod for the rest of this season.
Another match to keep an eye on is No. 6 Coleman versus No. 16 Peyton Robb. Coleman put on an absolute takedown-fest last weekend, scoring 14 unanswered takedowns against Wisconsin. He’s looking to finish a strong freshman-year run, and this opponent could put him to the test.