It's been a long, long time, but we finally have multiple Olympic sports in action in the same weekend again, which means the return of This Weekend In Bull.
It's going to get a lot busier very quickly faster: Track and Field and Men's Tennis get going next week, and Women's Tennis, Baseball, and Softball are all in action by mid-February. March is going to be a doozy.
But for now, we're still at two.
Swimming and Diving hosts Niagara at 1:00 PM
Wrestling is at Northern Iowa at 3:00 PM
Wrestling has two duals in South Dakota: Dakota Wesleyan at 1:00 PM and South Dakota State at 2:30 PM
In swimming and diving, Niagara and UB have faced off once already this season, way back on the very first competition of the year when UB hosted the WNY Invite. I'm not sure how much import I should assign to those results, but in last year's MAAC Championship meet both Niagara squads finished behind the Canisius team that UB completely dominated in their last competition.
NU did set ten new program records at the Zippy Invitational, but looking over the results of that day, nearly all the meet records belong to UB, who has completely overhauled their record books in the last three years. Point being, NU didn't approach the UB times of the past that day, and Buffalo is faster now. Expect another big win over a Big 4 opponent.
Wrestling's first dual meet of 2015 will come against MAC foe Northern Iowa, and the Panthers have a solid squad across the board with a few All-Americans and plenty of quality grapplers. If the Bulls are going to be in contention for John Stutzman's first MAC dual win, there will be three key matches for the Bulls at 125, 165, and 285 pounds.
At 125 senior Max Soria will look to improve his 16-3 record on the season, and keep his MAC undefeated streak alive as well against #6 Dylan Peters of the Panthers. Peters is a sophomore, but he is a former All-American, placing 6th at 125 pounds at last year's national championships, so Soria will need to dominate from whistle to whistle as Peters is well seasoned and will be a tough matchup. An upset win for Soria will swing all momentum in favor of the Bulls heading into the middleweights.
At 165 pounds Rrok Ndokaj will also put up his undeafeated MAC dual record against #12 Cooper Moore, who is the current #1 wrestler at 165 in the MAC and a defending MAC champion. Ndokaj is patient in setting up his shots and will have to take advantage of any looks Moore gives him to score takedowns while neutral so he can get the advantage early in riding time. If Ndokaj can beat Moore it could be another swing in favor of the Bulls that could help to a team victory.
Finally, at 285 pounds Mike Silvis will likely get the start and be going against one of the best in the MAC in #15 Blaize Cabell. Cabell, a former NCAA qualifier will prove a tough test against Silvis, and if the Bulls are able to keep the match close throughout, this may decide the team winner.
After the trip to Cedar Falls, the Bulls will stay in the Plains and head to Brookings, SD for two duals against Dakota Wesleyan and South Dakota State, both of which are very winnable duals for the Bulls. Wesleyan is a smaller program like Campbell that UB faced earlier in the year and should be a win. South Dakota State wrestled Kent State, and by comparison had a similar result (31-6 loss) to UB (30-10 loss) so the teams should be evenly matched and make for a good dual that the Bulls can definitely win.
And of course, check back tomorrow evening for our writeups of both Swimming and Wrestling, in addition to the two basketball games.