#15 Illini Finish NWCA National Duals With 2-2 Record
Feb. 17, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Fighting Illini wrestling team went 1-1 on day two of the NWCA National Duals on Monday. The Illini defeated Kent State 24-13, but were defeated by Oregon State 18-17 in the consolation semifinals. #3 Jesse Delgado (125), #10 Jackson Morse (165), Nikko Reyes (184) and Christopher Lopez each recorded two victories on the day, while Zane Richards (133) and John Fahy (149) each notched one.
The Illini started day two with a dual against Kent State in the second consolation round. #3 Jesse Delgado gave the Orange and Blue an early 6-0 lead after pinning Edilberto Vinas, while #11 Zane Richards earned a 7-5 decision over #19 Mack McGuire to increase the lead to 9-0. Illinois dropped the 141-pound bout as #11 Tyler Small defeated #12 Steven Rodrigues, but bounced back at 149 as John Fahy upset #19 Michael DePalma in a 9-0 major decision. Kent State took two of the next three bouts, as #15 Zac Brunson lost a major decision to #11 Ian Miller at 157 and Tony Dallago lost a decision to Caleb Marsh at 174, but Jackson Morse got the major decision victory at 165 to add four points for the Illini. At 184 pounds, Nikko Reyes earned a 9-0 major decision victory over Corey Campbell to give the Orange and Blue a 21-10 lead. Kent State won the 197-bout, as Cole Baxter edged out Jeff Koepke in a 5-4 decision, but heavyweight Chirstopher Lopez won a 3-2 decision in overtime to make the final score 24-13 in favor of the Illini.
Illinois then advanced to the consolation semifinals to take on Oregon State. #3 Jesse Delgado notched his second pin of the day in a win over Pat Rollins to put the Illini up 6-0, but Oregon State took the next four matches to go ahead 6-12. At 149, John Fahy nearly got his second upset of the day, but #9 Scott Sakaguchi managed to come away with the 2-1 victory. #10 Jackson Morse got the next win for the Illini, defeating Toney Chey in a 10-2 major decision, but Oregon State took the 174-pound bout as #20 Joe Latham defeated Tony Dallago 10-3 to put the Beavers ahead 15-10. At 184, Nikko Reyes pulled the Orange and Blue within one point after earning a major decision victory over Austin Morehead, but Oregon State added three more points to its score after #9 Taylor Meeks defeated Jeff Koepke at 197. Heavyweight Christopher Lopez scored his biggest victory of the season, upsetting #15 Amarveer Dhesi in a 7-1 decision, but it wasn't enough as Oregon State claimed the 18-17 victory.
The Illini have the next three weeks off before traveling to Madison, Wis. for the Big Ten Championships on March 8-9.
#15 Illinois 24, Kent State 13
#15 Illinois 17, Oregon State 18