#15 Illini Defeat Bloomsburg, Fall to CMU on Day One of NWCA Duals
Feb. 16, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Fighting Illini wrestling team went 1-1 on day one of the NWCA National Duals on Sunday. The Illini were defeated by Central Michigan 13-19 in the first round before bouncing back to beat Bloomsburg 23-8 in the first consolation round. Jesse Delgado (125) and Jackson Morse (165) won both of their matchups, while Zane Richards (133), Steven Rodrigues (141), John Fahy (149), Tony Dallago (174), Nikko Reyes (184), Jeff Koepke (197) and Christopher Lopez (HWT) each notched one victory on the day.
"We let three swing matches get away against Central Michigan," said head coach Jim Heffernan. "Two by one point and another in overtime. That's really what decided the dual. We rebounded and wrestled well enough to win against Bloomsburg."
The Illini started the day with a dual against Central Michigan in the preliminary round. #3 Jesse Delgado gave the Orange and Blue an early lead with an 11-4 decision over Corey Keener, but Illinois dropped the next four bouts to fall behind 3-13. At 133, #11 Zane Richards battled with #12 Joe Roth but dropped the 6-5 decision, while #12 Steven Rodrigues fell to #8 Zach Horan in overtime in the 141-pound bout. #10 Jackson Morse picked up the next win for Illinois in the 165-pound bout, defeating Nick Becker in a 14-2 major decision to add four points for the Illini. Central Michigan took the next two, as #9 Mike Ottinger decisioned Tony Dallago and Nikko Reyes lost a 3-4 decision to Craig Kelliher. Jeff Koepke and Christopher Lopez each won decisions in their matchups, but it wasn't enough as Central Michigan defeated Illinois 13-19. With the loss, the Illini moved into the consolation bracket.
In the first consolation round, Illinois took on Bloomsburg for the second time this season. #3 Jesse Delgado started the dual with a 20-6 major decision over Sean Boylan, while #11 Zane Richards decisioned Nick Wilcox 8-5 to give the Orange and Blue an early 7-0 lead. #12 Steven Rodrigues picked up a 17-7 major decision over Matthew Hicks at 141, while John Fahy upset #18 Bryce Busler at 149 to put the Illini ahead 14-0. Kevin Hartnett scored Bloomsburg's first points of the dual at 157 in a decision over #15 Zac Brunson, but the Huskies were deducted one team point due to unsportsmanlike conduct on the coach, making the score overall 14-2. #10 Jackson Morse squared off against #15 Josh Veltre at 165 and came away with the 6-4 decision, while Tony Dallago and Nikko Reyes each earned decisions to put the Illini up 23-2. Bloomsburg won the final two matchups at 197 and heavyweight, but Illinois came out on top with the 23-8 victory.
The Illini advance to the second consolation round, and will take on Kent State at 10 a.m. CT tomorrow.
15 Illinois 13, Central Michigan 19
#15 Illinois 23, Bloomsburg 8
*Bloomsburg deducted one team point for unsportsmanlike conduct