#8 Illini Victorious at Chicago Quad
Nov. 17, 2013
CHICAGO, Ill. -- The Fighting Illini wrestling team began their dual season on Saturday, competing in three duals in the suburbs of Chicago, Ill. The Orange and Blue were victorious in all three duals, giving the Illini a 3-0 overall record this season. Illinois started the day against Arizona State, who is currently ranked 43rd in the country by W.I.N. Magazine, followed by a match against Ouachita Baptist, currently ranked No. 9 in the Division II W.I.N. Magazine rankings. The Illini then faced SIU Edwardsville in the final match of the day.
"It was a good day of wrestling for us, and we saw a lot of positive things," said head coach Jim Heffernan. "It's always good to get the dual season started off in a positive manner."
The Orange and Blue started the day at Lincoln-Way East High School in Frankfort, Ill., with a match against Arizona State. Jesse Delgado opened his season with a 23-8 tech. fall victory over Ares Carpio, while Zane Richards earned his fourth tech. fall victory of the season. The Sun Devils scored points in the next two matches, as Matt Kraus defeated John Fahy in a 6-3 decision while Nathan Hoffer earned a 24-9 tech. fall victory over Guy Kirby. Zac Brunson won an 8-7 decision over Joel Smith, while Jackson Morse won a 20-5 tech. fall victory over Ray Waters. Tony Dallago, Nikko Reyes and Jeff Koepke each won by decisions, while the Sun Devils won the final match of the day as Kyle Colling defeated Christopher Lopez in a 6-2 decision.
The Illini then moved to Glenbard East High School in Lombard, Ill., for the next two matches. Delgado began the match by pinning Ouachita Baptist's Garret Evans, the No. 5 125-pounder in Division II according to W.I.N. Magazine. Richards earned a 13-5 major decision victory and Fahy won a 5-0 decision before Sawyer Smith scored the Cougars' only points of the match in a decision over Guy Kirby. Zac Brunson defeated Bobby Williams in a 9-5 decision, while Jackson Morse won his sixth straight match by tech. fall. Dallago pinned Elyjah Cumpler, and Nikko Reyes won a 9-8 decision over Dallas Smith, the No. 1 wrestler at 184 pounds in the Division II W.I.N. Magazine rankings. Koepke earned a tech. fall victory over Troy Mercer and Lopez pinned Nathan Jackson to give the Illini a 41-3 victory.
Dominic Olivieri started the Illini's final dual of the day with a 9-4 decision over SIUE's Dakota Leach, while Richards earned an 18-6 major decision over Patrick Myers. Fahy won a 19-7 major decision over Drew Vrbenec, while SIUE's Karsten Van Velsor came away with the 6-4 decision over Kirby to put the Cougars on the board. Jake Gingerich won a 5-1 decision over Jake Vitale, while Morse pinned Logun Taylor in 36 seconds, the fastest pin of the season so far. Tony Dallago then pinned Jake Residori, giving him his 34th pin of his career, the second-most in school history behind B.J. Futrell. Nikko Reyes defeated Deshoun White in a 9-3 decision before the Cougars forfeited at 197 pounds, and Christopher Lopez earned a 4-3 overtime victory over David Devine to give the Illini the overall win 38-3.
"Jesse Delgado, Zane Richards and Jackson Morse really stood out and dominated their opponents throughout the day," said Heffernan. "Tony Dallago had a very good win against Arizona State in our opening match, as did Nikko Reyes against Ouachita Baptist, defeating the top ranked 184-pounder in Division II. We were also especially proud of the effort from Guy Kirby, who filled in for Caleb Ervin at 149 pounds. Jeff Koepke had a very solid day as well, moving up to 197 and earning two wins. We will get back to work, continue to get healthy and prepare for our duals in New York in two weeks."
The Illini have two weeks off before they travel Northeast for two events. The Orange and Blue will compete at the NWCA Journeyman Duals in Troy, N.Y. on Nov. 30, then travel to New York, N.Y. to face Cornell and Bloomburg at the 'Grapple at the Garden' on Dec. 1 at the Madison Square Garden.
#8 Illinois 27, Arizona State 11
#8 Illinois 41, Ouachita Baptist 3
#8 Illinois 38, SIU Edwardsville 3