Jesse Delgado has a pair of tough matches this weekend as Illini face two top-five teams.
Jan. 30, 2013
#6 Illinois at #5 Ohio State
Feb. 1 // Oak Harbor HS // 6 PM // Oak Harbor, Ohio
#6 Illinois vs #1 Penn State
Feb. 3 // Huff Hall // 1 PM // Champaign, Ill.
The Illinois/Penn State dual will be streamed live through Illinois' All-Access platform here.
Follow the action from Sunday's dual against the Nittany Lions on Illinois' Wrestling Twitter here.
#6 Illinois (6-2, 2-2 Big Ten) Probable Starters
125: 5/3, Jesse Delgado, 14-2, r-So.
133: 8/7, Daryl Thomas, 19-3, Sr.
141: -/-, Logan Arlis, 14-10, r-So.
OR -/-, Steven Rodrigues, 30-7, r-Fr.
149: -/-, Caleb Ervin, 19-6, r-Fr.
157: -/-, Matt Nora, 12-7, r-Fr.
165: 8/7, Conrad Polz, 17-3, Sr.
174: 8/8, Jordan Blanton, 18-4, Sr.
184: 20/16, Tony Dallago, 15-7, r-Jr.
197: 13/10, Mario Gonzalez, 9-3, r-Jr.
HWT: -/-, Chris Lopez, 11-9, r-Fr.
Rankings are listed in Intermat, W.I.N., format
The Fighting Illini got back on track Sunday when they defeated Indiana, 30-9 at Huff Hall. Seven Illini won their respective bouts with six scoring bonus points. The squad will travel to Oak Harbor, Ohio on Friday to wrestle No. 5 Ohio State at Oak Harbor High School then will return home Sunday to take on No. 1 Penn State at Huff Hall at 1 p.m.
Currently, the Illini have four active wrestlers which are undefeated in conference play. Senior Conrad Polz leads the group, holding a 4-0 record while Jesse Delgado and senior Daryl Thomas are 3-0 against Big Ten opponents. Redshirt-freshman Steven Rodrigues wrestled for the injuried B.J. Futrell last weekend and won his first conference match against Indiana.
Sophomore 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, Minnesota and Purdue. He also advanced to the finals of the 2012 Midlands Championships and placed second, a career-best finish.
Polz is off to a great final season, with a overall record of 17-3 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.
Series History Against the Buckeyes
Illinois holds a 33-29-1 lead in the all-time and is 11-3 in its last 14 meetings with Ohio State. The Burckeyes took last year's dual by a 21-12 score, taking its third-straight win in the series.
Series History Against the Nittany Lions
Illinois holds a 9-4 all-time record against the Nittany Lions and has won nine of its last 11 duals against Penn State after dropping a 23-13 dual at Huff Hall last year. The Illini are 8-2 against Penn State since the Lions joined the Big Ten, but have wrestled PSU only 10 times since it joined the league for 1992-93 season.
Matchups to Watch
A number of weights in this weekend's duals will likely feature close bouts that will be important to the final outcome. Here's a look at a few of those intriguing matchups:
#6 Illinois at #5 Ohio State
133: #7 Daryl Thomas (ILL) vs. #1 Logan Stieber (OSU)
Thomas will meet Stieber across the mat for the first time on Friday. Thomas has currently wrestled five ranked opponents so far this season and is 1-1 against those in the top-10. Stieber is the defending NCAA champion at the weight.
#6 Illinois vs. #1 Penn State
125: #3 Jesse Delgado (ILL) vs. #2 Nico Megaludis (PSU)
Delgado and Megaludis will meet for the first time on Sunday in the battle of undefeated wrestlers. Delgado is 3-0 in conference and has currently scored the third highest dual points on team with 22. Megaludis is currently 16-1 on the year and is undefeated in Big Ten play, owning a 5-0 record. The Nittany Lion has given up one takedown all season.
Buy Big Ten Championship Tickets
All-Session reserved school block tickets for the 2013 Big Ten Wrestling Championships are on sale now. The Illini will host the championships in Assembly Hall on March 9-10. Fans have until Friday, Feb. 8 to place their reserved All-Session tickets within their school block. For more information on tickets, contact the Illinois Ticket Office at 1-866-Illini-1.
Complete set of notes can be found in the link above.