Tirapelle and Friedl Upset in Vegas

Alex Tirapelle loses a heart-breaking match in the finals at the Las Vegas Invitational.
Alex Tirapelle loses a heart-breaking match in the finals at the Las Vegas Invitational.

Dec. 3, 2005

The Illini wrestling team got a preview of their Big Ten opponents as senior top-seeded All-Americans Alex Tirapelle (157) and Pete Friedl (184) took on #20 No.6-seed Steve Luke of Michigan and #4 No. 2-seed Ben Wissel of Purdue. Tirapelle (Clovis, Calif.) suffered a heart-breaking 4-3 upset at the hands of the reshirt-freshman. Friedl (Orland Park, Ill.) found himself on the losing end of a 6-2 decision.

Tirapelle scored on an escape in the second period and Luke doing the same in the third, sending the match into overtime. With both wrestlers scoring escapes in the third and fourth overtimes, the decision came down to four seconds of riding time. Friedl only managed to score on two escapes as the Boilermaker senior scored two takedowns in the first and second periods. With the two losses, the Illinois team finishes the tournament in sixth place.

Head coach Mark Johnson said, "We didn't have a strong tournament; we didn't wrestle very well. We'll head home and get it done right away so we can fix it."

The Illini return to action on Sunday, December 4 at the University of Northern Iowa Open. The home opener is on Sunday, December 11 as they host Cumberland/Augustana beginning at noon.

Team Standings (out of 52)
1. Michigan - 145
2. Cornell - 116
3. Missouri - 102.5
4. Edinboro - 101
5. Arizona St. - 92

Las Vegas Invitational Placewinners
2nd - Alex Tirapelle (157), Pete Friedl (184)
5th - Mike Poeta (165)
6th - Donny Reynolds (174)
7th - Tyrone Byrd (197)
8th - Matt Weight (Hwt.)

157: #1 Alex Tirapelle (No. 1 Seed), Sr., Clovis, Calif., 5-1
1st Round: Maj. dec. Ryan Williams (Cal Poly), 13-2
2nd Round: Maj. dec. Jake Frerichs (Ohio), 10-2
Quarterfinals: Dec. No. 9-seed Charles Jones (Fresno St.), 4-1
Semifinals: Dec. # 7 No. 4-seed Matt Lebe (West Virginia), 6-1
Finals: Lost #20 No.6-seed Steve Luke (Michigan), 4-3

184: # 3 Pete Friedl (No. 1 Seed), Sr., Orland Park, Ill., 5-1
1st Round: Dec. Richard Escobar (SF State), 3-2
2nd Round: Maj. dec. Matt Moyer (George Mason), 16-6
Quarterfinals: Dec. #13 No. 8-seed Joe Rovelli (Hofstra), 6-4
Semifinals: Dec. No. 12-seed Louis Caputo (Harvard), 6-4
Finals: Lost to #4 No. 2-seed Ben Wissel (Purdue), 6-2