Illini Wrestler Tabbed Co-Big Ten Player Of The Week


Feb. 9, 2000

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Sharing the award with Michigan State's Pat McNamara, Tirapelle becomes the first Illini grappler to receive the conference accolade this season. Improving to 29-1 with 12 falls, Tirapelle started his spotless week by pinning Wisconsin's P.J. Dowling, which moved the junior into sole possession of fifth place on the Illinois' career pins list. In a 17-6 major decision, the 149-pounder collected his second win against Karl Nadolsky of Michigan State. On Monday, Tirapelle downed No. 3-ranked David Esposito of Lehigh in a 7-3 decision at the National Wrestling Coaches Association All-Star Wrestling Classic in East Lansing, Mich.

Tirapelle, of Clovis, Calif., has helped the sixth-ranked Fighting Illini to an overall record of 12-0 and a Big Ten mark of 5-0. Illinois kept its conference record perfect with a pair of home victories this past weekend , defeating Wisconsin 32-7 on Friday and Michigan State 25-6 on Sunday.

With his next pin, Tirapelle will tie assistant coach Karl Roesler for fourth place on the UI career list. Roesler totaled 21 career pins. Last year, Tirapelle garnered All-America honors with a third-place finish at the NCAA Championships. He became a member of the Illini's single-season 30-win club after compiling a record of 34-8, which ties Kevin Puebla and Steve Marianetti for fifth on the UI's single-season all-time wins list.

Illinois is back in action Feb. 11 when it takes on the Iowa Hawkeyes in Iowa City, Iowa at 7 p.m.