Jan. 10, 2001
CHAMPAIGN-The fifth-ranked University of Illinois wrestling team will travel to the Tar Heel state to take on UNC-Greensboro on Thursday, Jan. 11 at 6 p.m., then will travel to Raleigh on Saturday, Jan. 13 for the NC State Duals . The Illini will face Ohio University at noon, Princeton at 2 p.m., V.M.I. at 6 p.m. and host North Carolina State at 8 p.m. on Saturday.
The fight should be back in the Illini as the team had been banged up, placing sixth at the Midlands 2000, wrestling without the services of Adam Tirapelle (flu) and Ben King (two sprained ankles), then lost Ryan Berger (157) and Dave Stoltz (133) in opening-round matches. Stoltz reaggravated his ankle in his first match back from nursing the same injury and Ryan Berger strained his knee. Two-year starter and two-time NCAA qualifier Griff Powell will start at 157 while Kelly Madden and Chad Hay will see time at 133. The team should be back to full health by the start of the Big Ten dual season which starts Jan. 19 against Northwestern.
If the Illini fare well on its five-dual road swing, Illini head coach Mark Johnson could be one dual win shy of tying B.R. Patterson as the all-time winningest coach in Illinois history. Johnson's Illinois mark is currently 94-24-1.
The Illini Sports Network will air the Feb. 4 Big Ten dual between No. 5 Illinois and No. 3 Minnesota live over the internet at www.fightingillini.com. Nationally-recognized wrestling commentator Tim Johnson will call the action and 2000 141-pound NCAA champion Carl Perry will provide expert analysis. The dual will then be tape-delayed broadcast locally on WDWS AM 1400 beginning at 4:30 p.m. that evening. The dual is set to start at 1 p.m. at Huff Hall in Champaign. Any questions regarding the broadcast should be directed to Dave Johnson, director of the Illini Sports Network, at 217/333-8221.