#8 Illinois Drops Dual to #2 Iowa

Jesse Delgado upset No. 1 Matt McDonough by a 9-4 decision to give the Hawkeye his first loss in 42 matches.
Jesse Delgado upset No. 1 Matt McDonough by a 9-4 decision to give the Hawkeye his first loss in 42 matches.

Feb. 8, 2013

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- No. 3 Jesse Delgado upset No. 1 Matt McDonough by a 9-4 decision to give the Hawkeye his first loss in 42 matches, however Illinois' three other wins weren't enough as the Orange and Blue fell to No. 2 Iowa, 25-12 on senior night in front of a season best 1,485 fans at Huff Hall.

"I thought we showed a lot more fight and were more ready to go," head coach Jim Heffernan said. "Jesse's match was a big one in getting the momentum from the start. Caleb also wrestled a very solid match. Iowa's a great program and we will get better from this dual. We will have to beat a lot of those guys in the post season. It was good preparation."

In what was one of the highly anticipated matchups of the season, Jesse Delgado took on two-time NCAA champion Matt McDonough. Delgado scored two takedowns in the first period while McDonough escaped to make the score 2-1 after one. Delgado was on offense the entire second period, notching two more takedowns and an escape by the Hawkeye, 8-2. McDonough escaped and Delgado was given a stalling call to bring the score to 8-4, however it was not enough as Delgado earned the riding time point and winning 9-4. With Delgado's win, the Illini wrestler broke McDonough's 42 match win streak. The last time McDonough had dropped a match was to Delgado back in early December 2012.

The Hawkeyes got on the scoreboard at 133 and 141 as No. 2 Tony Ramos pinned No. 10 Daryl Thomas at the 6:36 mark while Steven Rodrigues dropped a tight 2-0 decision to Iowa's Mark Ballweg to push Iowa up 9-3. At 149, Caleb Ervin wrestled Brody Grothus and won his second conference match of the year, 5-0. After almost getting pinned, Ervin recorded two takedowns and earned the riding time point over the Hawkeye.

Matt Nora wrestled No. 1 Derek St. John at 157 pounds and was defeated by a 20-8 major decision to push the team score to 13-6 leading into intermission. Senior Conrad Polz got the Illini back on track after moving past No. 13 Nick Moore by a 7-3 decision. Polz recorded three takedowns and an escape to win his 19th match of the year.

At 174, No. 6 Mike Evans and No. 8 Jordan Blanton wrestled a tough seven minute match, with a lot of heavy hands between the two. Evans moved past Blanton 2-1 to give the Hawkeyes a 16-9 lead. Iowa won the 184 pound matchup between No. 13 Ethen Lofthouse and No. 16 Tony Dallago by a 9-5 decision. Mario Gonzalez won his fourth conference match of the year as he defeated No. 18 Nathan Burak by a 3-1 decision. Gonzalez scored the early takedown in the first period and started down in the second period, up 3-0. Burak scored the escape but Gonzalez rode out the Hawkeye to win 3-1. Those would be the Illini's final points of the dual, as Chris Lopez was pinned by the 2012 Big Ten runner-up Bobby Telford in 2:32. The Hawkeyes won the match with a final score of 25-12.

The Orange and Blue will wrap up their conference dual matches this Sunday as they travel to Evanston, Ill., to wrestle Northwestern at 1 pm CT.

#2 Iowa 25, #8 Illinois 12
125: #3 Jesse Delgado (ILL) dec. #1 Matt McDonough (IOWA), 9-4 (3-0)
133: #2 Tony Ramos (IOWA) pinned. #10 Daryl Thomas (ILL), 6:36 (3-6)
141: Mark Ballweg (IOWA) dec. Steven Rodrigues (ILL), 2-0 (3-9)
149: Caleb Ervin (ILL) dec. Brody Grothus (IOWA) 5-0 (6-9)
157: #1 Derek St. John (IOWA) maj. dec. Matt Nora (ILL), 20-8 (6-13)
165: #7 Conrad Polz (ILL), dec. #13 Nick Moore (IOWA), 7-3 (9-13)
174: #6 Mike Evans (IOWA) dec. #8 Jordan Blanton (ILL), 2-1 (9-16)
184: #13 Ethen Lofthouse (IOWA) dec. #16 Tony Dallago (ILL), 9-5 (9-19)
197: #14 Mario Gonzalez (ILL) dec. #19 Nathan Burak (IOWA), 3-1 (12-19)
HWT: Bobby Telford (IOWA) pinned Chris Lopez (ILL), 2:32 (12-25)