By University of Illinois Athletics
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – The Illinois wrestling team scored bonus points in all six of their victories, including a fall from redshirt senior Kyle Langenderfer at 157 pounds, to lead the Illini to a 25-18 victory over Maryland. The win extends the team’s home winning streak to 10 straight, one shy of tying the program record. With the win, the Illini improve to 5-3 overall, 4-2 in the Big Ten, while the Terrapins drop to 5-9, 0-8 in conference.
Using eight sets of back points on the afternoon, 30 points in total, the six victorious Illini won their individual matches in dominating fashion. Redshirt freshman Dylan Duncan led the team in back points on the afternoon with 12 points, while sophomore Travis Piotrowski, redshirt senior Isaiah Martinez and redshirt junior Emery Parker also added at least one each. The three tech falls by the Orange and Blue are the most in a single dual this season.
The Orange and Blue started off back-to-back shutouts at 125- and 133 pounds from Piotrowski and Duncan. Piotrowski used a takedown and four-point near fall combo in both first and third periods, along with a point for ride time, to defeat Brandon Cray, 14-0. Duncan continued the early shutout of Terrapin grapplers with a second-period tech fall. The first tech fall for Duncan this season, the Illini 133-pounder tallied three sets of four-point tilts to finish off Jhared Simmons in four minutes, 16 seconds.
Maryland responded to the 9-0 Illini run to start the match with nine team points of their own from 141 and 149 pounds. Ryan Diehl pinned Illinois’ Dylan Thurston, while Alfred Bannister earned a sudden victory takedown to beat Eric Barone, 5-3.
Tied 9-9 after four matches, Illinois redshirt seniors Kyle Langenderfer and Isaiah Martinez cruised to 11 straight team points to put the Terrapins on their back.
After a scoreless first period at 157 pounds, Langenderfer began the second period on top of Kyle Cochran. The Mokena, Illinois native quickly got Cochran on to his back, needing just 15 seconds to stick Coachran.
Martinez picked up where Langenderfer left off, dominating Brendan Burnham to the tune of nine takedowns and a second-period tilt that netted four back points. In what ended as a 22-7 final score, Martinez picked up his sixth tech fall this season, making it seven of his eight matches this season that have ended before going the full seven minutes.
The 106th win of Martinez’s career, the Illini redshirt senior moves into a tie with Jackson Morse (2010-15) and Jon Llewellyn (1988-91).
After Maryland gained three points back at 174 pounds with a 9-6 decision by Josh Ugalde over Illinois’ David Riojas, redshirt junior Emery Parker added Illinois’ final five points of the day with the team’s third tech fall of the afternoon. After Maryland’s Niko Cappello surprised Parker for an early takedown, Parker reversed Cappello to the match. From there, Parker added seven takedowns and six back points over the course of the next five minutes to finish off Cappello with 53 seconds left in the final period.
With a 13-point lead through eight matches sealing the Illinois win, Maryland earned decision victories at both 197 pounds and heavyweight to conclude the match. David Brian-Whisler’s takedown in the overtime beat Andre Lee, 3-1, while No. 7 Yousif Hemida took Rachal down twice in the final match of the day, winning 5-2.
Wrestling separate from the team on Sunday, redshirt freshman Mike Carr won all four of his matches at the Greyhound Open to take the 141-pound title in Indianapolis, Indiana. With the wins, Carr improves to 11-4 on the season.
Up next, the Illini conclude the road slate of their Big Ten dual schedule next Friday, February 2, against Indiana at 6 p.m. central time. The Orange and Blue return home two days later to host No. 18 Rutgers on Sunday, February 4, at 1 p.m. central time. Both matches will be streamed on BTN Plus and FloWrestling.
For complete coverage of Fighting Illini wrestling, go to FIGHTINILLINI.com and follow @IlliniWrestling on Twitter and Instagram.
With the 25-18 victory, the Illini extend their home winning streak to 10 duals dating back to February 7, 2016. The 10 straight wins at home is one shy of the program’s all-time mark of 11 set twice between 1999 and 2006
Illinois also remains perfect against Maryland, improving to 6-0 against the Terrapins.
The three tech falls by the Illini on Sunday is the most in a single match for Illinois this season
Emery Parker extended his individual winning streak to 11 wins with a 23-8 tech fall over Niko Cappello
Isaiah Martinez’s 22-7 win against Brendan Burnham gives him 106 for his career, tying him for 18th on Illinois’ all-time list with Jackson Morse (2010-15) and Jon Llewellyn (1988-91)
The Martinez tech fall is his sixth in eight matches this season, giving him seven tech falls or pins in his eight wins
Martinez is outscoring his opponents 147-32 this season
Martinez and Parker extended their perfect dual record to 8-0
Dylan Thurston made his first start of his Illini career on Sunday, doing so at 141 pounds
No. 15 Illinois 25 , Maryland 18
125: #18 Travis Piotrowski (ILL) major dec. Brandon Cray (MD), 14-0 4-0
133: Dylan Duncan (ILL) tech fall Jhared Simmons (MD), 16-0 9-0
141: Ryan Diehl (MD) fall Dylan Thurston (ILL), 9-6
149: Alfred Bannister (MD) dec. Eric Barone (ILL), 5-3 (SV-1) 9-9
157: Kyle Langenderfer (ILL) fall Kyle Cochran (MD) 16-9
165: #2 Isaiah Martinez (ILL) tech fall Brendan Burnham (MD), 22-7 20-9
174: Josh Ugalde (MD) dec. David Riojas (ILL), 9-6 20-12
184: #6 Emery Parker (ILL) tech fall Niko Cappello (MD), 23-8 25-12
197: David Brian-Whisler (MD) dec. Andre Lee (ILL), 3-1 (SV-1) 25-15
HWT: #7 Youssif Hemida (MD) dec. Deuce Rachal (ILL), 5-2 25-18