Senior Daryl Thomas and the Fighting Illini host Indiana this Sunday at Huff Hall.
Jan. 24, 2013
6 Illinois vs. Indiana
Jan. 27 // Huff Hall // 1 PM // Champaign, Ill.
#6 Illinois (5-2, 1-2) Probable Starters
125: 5/3, Jesse Delgado, 11-2, r-So.
133: 8/10, Daryl Thomas, 16-3, Sr.
141: -/-, Logan Arlis, 14-10, r-So.
OR -/-, Steven Rodrigues, 22-6, r-Fr.
149: -/-, Caleb Ervin, 16-4, r-Fr.
157: -/-, Matt Nora, 8-4, r-Fr.
165: 8/7, Conrad Polz, 11-3, Sr.
174: 8/8, Jordan Blanton, 14-2, Sr.
184: 17/12, Tony Dallago, 11-4, r-Jr.
197: 13/5, Mario Gonzalez, 6-1, r-Jr.
HWT: -/-, Christopher Lopez, 10-5, r-Fr.
Rankings are listed in Intermat, W.I.N., format
The Fighting Illini are coming off a tough weekend, dropping tight duals to No. 14 Nebraska and No. 4 Minnesota. The squad showed improvements in different weight classes, including huge wins from Daryl Thomas (133) and Caleb Ervin (149). Thomas went 2-0 over the weekend, defeating Shawn Nagel of Nebraska and No. 6 Chris Dardanes of Minnesota while Ervin major decisioned 2012 NCAA runner-up Dylan Ness (No. 7) of Minnesota.
Sophomore Jesse Delgado returns as the starter at 125 after having a standout 2011-12 season. The Gilroy, Calif., native has begun the conference play undefeated, moving past opponents from Nebraska and Minnesota. He also advanced to the finals of the 2012 Midlands Championships and placed second, a career-best finish.
Senior Conrad Polz is off to a great final season, with a overall record of 11-3 and stayed undefeated in Big Ten play. Polz is currently riding his second best start in conference duals, after the junior started the season last year winning his first six matches.
Currently, the Illini are ranked in every weight class but two, including 141 pounder Futrell being ranked the highest at No. 3 in the country. The squad will look to Caleb Ervin to add success at the 149 spot and 157 pounder Matt Nora. Illinois' 133 pounder Daryl Thomas (No. 9) is in the ranks for the first time in his career.
Series Record Against the Hoosiers
Sunday's meeting between the two schools will be the 80th in the all-time series. Illinois holds the three-match advantage, 41-38-1. The Illini defeated the Hoosiers last season 29-10.
Great Escape Set for Sunday
As they have all season, Illinois fans will receive free admission and the first 800 people through the Huff Hall doors will receive free pizza. Fans will also be able to win men's basketball tickets for an upcoming conference game. A pair will be raffled off for students while another to the general public. Sunday will serve as Civil Service night. Members from the Champaign, Urbana and Savoy EMT, Fire and Police departments will attend the dual.
Weekend Matchups to Watch
#6 ILLINOIS vs. Indiana
165: #7 Conrad Polz (ILL) vs. #17 Ryan LeBlanc (IND)
Polz will wrestle LeBlanc for the second time in their careers. The two met in 2011 where Polz won the 7-3 decision over the Hoosier. LeBlanc is currently ranked No. 17 by W.I.N. and currently holds a 16-5 record.
157: Matt Nora (ILL) vs. #12 Taylor Walsh (IND)
Nora will compete against No. 12 Walsh for the first time in his career. The redshirt-freshman is currently 8-4 on the season and 1-2 in the Big Ten. Walsh holds a 23-6 record for the Hoosiers and most recently defeated No. 16 Josh Demas of Ohio State.
#5 Illini Fall Short at #4 Minnesota, 18-14
No. 5 Illinois won four of the first six bouts against No. 4 Minnesota but the Gophers surged late as they took a 18-14 win at the Sports Pavilion on Monday night. The Illini got wins from No. 4 Jesse Delgado (125) and No. 7 Conrad Polz (165) with two huge upsets coming from No. 11 Daryl Thomas (133) and Caleb Ervin (149).
#5 Illini Drop 18-15 Dual to #14 Nebraska
No. 5 Illinois won four of the bouts at No. 14 Nebraska, but the Cornhuskers took six of the 10 total bouts as they took a 18-15 win at NU Coliseum Friday. Jesse Delgado (125) was the only wrestler in the match to score bonus points while the Illini also got wins from No. 5 Mario Gonzalez (197), No. 7Conrad Polz (174) and No. 9 Daryl Thomas (133).