By University of Illinois Athletics
BLOOMINGTON, IND – The 14th-ranked Fighting Illini wrestling team won its third straight Big Ten dual, and four of its last five, with a 33-9 rout of Indiana on Friday night inside University Gymnasium. Winning eight of the ten matches, including each of the first six, the Illini tallied two pins as part of four bonus-point victories. With the win the Illini improve to 6-3 overall, 5-2 in the Big Ten, while the Hoosiers drop to 6-8 overall, 0-7 in conference.
“We wrestled pretty well across the board,” said head coach Jim Heffernan. “Good hustle and energy.” Really solid win for Deuce [Rachal]. He continues to get better, and is making good decisions. Great start from Travis [Piotrowski], and very gutsy come-from-behind win by Carr. He picked up the tempo significantly in the third, and his pace is what gave him the opportunity to score.”
Scoring 27 unanswered team points to begin the match, Piotrowski opened the scoring with his second pin of the season to give the Illini an early 6-0 lead in the dual. Leading 3-1 late in the final period with riding time locked in, the Illini sophomore took Oliver to the mat on the far side, sticking Oliver with 34 seconds remaining in the third period.
Redshirt freshman Dylan Duncan added three more points to the Illini total with his sixth win against Big Ten opponents this season, defeating Garrett Pepple by a score of 7-2. After giving up a reversal to tie the match in the first period, 2-2, Duncan earned a second-period takedown, and held riding time above the one-minute threshold, to spur a 5-0 run to finish the match.
The highlighted match of the dual came at 141 pounds where Illini redshirt freshman Mike Carr, ranked as high as No. 12 by FloWrestling, used a dominant third period to defeat No. 13 Cole Weaver, 8-5, after trailing 5-1 after five minutes. After an escape to start the third cut the deficit to 5-2, Carr exploded with a takedown and four near fall points in the closing 40 seconds of the match to steal the decision. With the win, Carr (12-4) has won six straight matches, and eight of his last nine.
149-pounder Eric Barone notched Illinois’ second fall of the evening, pinning Alejandro Raya at the 6:32 mark, to pick up his first Big Ten win of the season. Leading 3-0 entering the third period, Raya cut Barone’s lead to one point, 3-2, with a takedown. After an escape, Barone took Raya to the mat for the second time in the match, this time putting Raya on his back for his first pin of the season.
Leading 18-0, Illini redshirt seniors Kyle Langenderfer (157 pounds) and No. 2 Isaiah Martinez (165 pounds) combined for nine more points to clinch the dual victory for the Orange and Blue. Langenderfer and Martinez both notched a team-high six takedowns on the evening, as Langenderfer defeated Auston Holmes by major decision, 17-5, and Martinez ended Dillon Hoey’s evening in four minutes, 20 seconds to record his seventh tech fall, 21-6, in nine matches this season.
The win for Martinez moves him into a tie for 16th place on Illinois’ all-time list with former Illini Pat Quirck (1998-01) and current volunteer coach Zac Brunson (2012-17) with 107 career wins. B.J. Futrell (2008-13) and Mark Jayne (2002-05) are next on the list, tied for 14th with 108 victories.
After Indiana scored their lone victories of the evening at 174 pounds and 184 pounds, a 9-5 win by No. 18 Devin Skatzka and a forfeit victory for Norman Conley, the Orange and Blue finished off the dual with a pair of decisions from 197-pounder Andre Lee and heavyweight Deuce Rachal.
Lee scored a first-period takedown to grab the early lead over Indiana’s Jake Kleimola, and then used a third-period escape and riding time to win 4-2. Lee (9-9) has won three of his last four matches this season.
Rachal then finished off the victory with a 3-0 run in the second-period, notching a takedown with 35 seconds left in the frame, to defeat Hoosier heavyweight Fletcher Miller, 3-2.
Up next, the Fighting Illini are back home on Sunday, February 4, for a dual against No. 19 Rutgers at 1 p.m. With 10 straight wins at Huff Hall, the Illini will be looking to tie the program record with an 11th straight win in front of the home crowd. The dual can be streamed live on BTN Plus and FloWrestling with subscription.
For complete coverage of Fighting Illini wrestling, go to FIGHTINILLINI.com and follow @IlliniWrestling on Twitter and Instagram.
The 33-9 victory gives Illinois their sixth straight win over Indiana dating back to 2011. Coach Heffernan is 19-3 all-time against the Hoosiers while on Illinois’ coaching staff.
The Illini have won three straight Big Ten duals and five of their last six.
Isaiah Martinez’s 21-6 tech fall of Dillon Hoey marks the seventh this season for the redshirt senior. Martinez has won by tech fall or fall in eight of his nine matches.
With the win, Martinez moves into a tie for 16th place on Illinois’ all-time wins list, joining former Illini Pat Quirck (1998-01) and current volunteer coach Zac Brunson (2012-17) with 107 career wins. B.J. Futrell (2008-13) and Mark Jayne (2002-05) are next on the list, tied for 14th with 108 victories.
Isaiah Martinez is outscoring his opponents 168-53 this season.
Mike Carr notched his sixth straight win with an 8-5 win over No. 13 Cole Weaver. Carr has won eight of his last nine matches.
Andre Lee has won three of his last four matches dating back January 14 at Minnesota.
Eric Barone picked up his second pin of the season, while Travis Piotrowski earned his second.
No. 14 Illinois 33 , Indiana 9
125: #18 Travis Piotrowski (ILL) fall Elijah Oliver (IND), 6:26 6-0
133: Dylan Duncan (ILL) dec. Garrett Pepple (IND), 7-2 9-0
141: Mike Carr (ILL) dec. #13 Cole Weaver (IND), 8-5 12-0
149: Eric Barone (ILL) fall Alejandro Raya (IND), 6:32 18-0
157: Kyle Langenderfer (ILL) major dec. Austin Holmes (IND), 17-5 22-0
165: #2 Isaiah Martinez (ILL) tech fall Dillon Hoey (IND), 21-5 (4:20) 27-0
174: #18 Devin Skatzka (IND) dec. David Riojas (ILL), 9-5 27-3
184: Norman Conley (IND) wins by forfeit 27-9
197: Andre Lee (ILL) dec. Jake Klemola (IND), 4-2 30-9
HWT: Deuce Rachal (ILL) dec. Fletcher Miller (IND), 3-2 33-9