Michigan Hands Illinois First Loss of Year
The University of Illinois wrestling team suffered its first defeat of the season today, losing to No. 9 Michigan, 20-16, in Ann Arbor. The sixth-ranked Illini fell to 9-1 overall and 3-1 in the Big Ten, while Michigan improved to 7-2, 2-1. The two teams have split a pair of dual meets this season. Illinois defeated Michigan, 22-17, Jan. 8 in the finals of the Virginia Duals.
Although Illinois won only four of 10 matches, two of the wins came by major decision and one came on a technical fall. Freshman Griff Powell earned a major decision at 157 pounds. Junior Bill Zeman won by a technical fall at 165. Sophomore Pat Quirk earned a decision at 197, and senior Karl Roesler earned a major decision at heavyweight.
The Illini never led in the meet, which began at the 174-weight class. UI fell behind 7-0 before wins by Quirk and Roesler tied the meet. Michigan put the meet out of reach with four straight victories at 125, 133, 141 and 149. Powell's major decision and Zeman's technical fall came as Illinois trailed 20-7.
"Every team in the Big Ten is good, and you have to be ready to compete every time you face one," said UI head coach Mark Johnson. "It's a disappointing loss because we proved earlier this season that we can beat them, but at the same time, Michigan is a very good, ranked team who wrestles well at home."
Illinois returns to the road next weekend and will face second-ranked Minnesota in Minneapolis Friday, Feb. 5 and Wisconsin in Madison, Sunday, Feb. 7.
#9 Michigan 20, #6 Illinois 16
Wght -- Result -- Team Score (UM-UI)