#6 Illini Fall to #5 Ohio State, 25-9
Feb. 1, 2013
OAK HARBOR, Ohio -- Three Illini wrestlers won their respective matches on Friday night, but the No. 5 Ohio State Buckeyes were victorious in defeating Illinois 25-9 at Oak Harbor High School. Sophomore Jesse Delgado (125) and senior Conrad Polz (165) stayed undefeated in Big Ten matches while the Illini fall to 6-3 overall and 2-3 in the conference.
"We had a couple of guys not perform to our standards and that was the difference," head coach Jim Heffernan said. "We need to move on as we have the defending NCAA champions coming to Huff Hall on Sunday."
The match started at 125 pounds as Delgado won his 15th match this season and stayed undefeated in his Big Ten play after defeating No. 12 Nikko Triggas, 8-1 to put the Illini up an early three points. The win for Delgado was his third over a ranked opponent this year. However, those would be the only points scored for the Orange and Blue until 165 pounds.
At 133, Ohio State welcomed back their defending NCAA champion Logan Stieber on Friday night. Stieber was dominate in the match against Illini's Daryl Thomas, winning by fall in 2:04 to put the Buckeyes up 6-3. Next, Illini's Steven Rodrigues competed in his second consecutive Big Ten match at 141 pounds, but was ousted by No. 2 Hunter Steiber by a 10-2 major decision. The Buckeyes would again put six more points on the scoreboard after Caleb Ervin (149) and Matt Nora (157) both dropped their matches by decisions to put Ohio State up 16-3 halfway through the dual.
The Illini got back on the winning track at 165, after No. 7 Conrad Polz won his 18th overall match and remained undefeated in conference play as he moved past Mark Martin, 2-0. In what was one of the most exciting matches of the night, No. 7 Nick Heflin defeated No. 8 Jordan Blanton 3-1 in sudden victory to push the team score in favor of the Buckeyes, 19-6.
At 184, No. 16 Tony Dallago won his second conference match of the season after notching a 2-1 victory over Cody Magrum. However, the Buckeyes would go on to win the final two weights, to give them the 25-9 victory.
The Orange and Blue will return to Huff Hall when they welcome the No. 1 Penn State Nittany Lions on Sunday beginning at 1 p.m. CT.
#5 Ohio State 25, #6 Illinois 9