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Illinois Wrestling: Delgado returns, No. 4 Illini vs Maryland dual preview

Delgado returns after missing two months with injury, Martinez chasing history

Courtesy of Illinois Athletics

Two-time defending NCAA and Big Ten champion Jesse Delgado will return to the mat Friday against conference newcomer Maryland at Huff Hall after missing two months due to injury.

Delgado is 2-0 on the season and holds the top rank at 125 by W.I.N. Magazine and InterMat.

Redshirt freshman Isaiah Martinez will be chasing history Friday as he is currently tied with Mike Poeta's 22-0 start to the 2007-08 season. He leads the nation with seven technical falls.

The fourth-ranked Illini (9-4, 3-3 Big Ten) are coming off Sunday's 31-9 road win over No. 10 Northwestern. The victory snapped a three-meet skid. Illinois won seven of 10 matches, including four of its first five. Kyle Langenderfer, Jackson Morse and Jeff Koepke all fell to ranked opponents.

Maryland (5-11, 0-5), on the other hand, is coming off a 31-9 loss to top 5 Penn State. Lou Mascola (157), Josh Snook (174) and Spencer Myers (285) were the lone victors for the Terps.

Maryland boast two ranked wrestlers: Geoffrey Alexander is No. 16/17 at 133 and Myers is No. 13/8 at 285. Myers missed the opening part of the season while playing football for the Terps. He notched 18 tackles at defensive end in all 13 games.

In the last dual between the two teams, Illinois won 31-6 over the Terps in 2012.

Illinois Probable Starters

125: 1/1 Jesse Delgado, 2-0, Sr.

OR -/- Dominic Olivieri, 8-9, R-Jr.

133: 2/4 Zane Richards, 18-2, R-So.

141: 13/12 Steven Rodrigues, 9-6, R-Jr.

OR -/- Logan Arlis, 8-6, R-Sr.

149: -/- Kyle Langenderfer, 14-7, R-Jr.

157: 3/4 Isaiah Martinez, 21-0, R-Fr.

165: 8/8 Jackson Morse, 21-2, R-Sr.

174: 8/9 Zac Brunson, 18-3, R-So.

184: 15/20 Nikko Reyes, 17-7, R-So.

197: -/- Jeff Koepke, 14-8, R-Jr.

HWT: -/- Brooks Black, 11-9, R-Fr.

OR -/- Christopher Lopez, 11-4, R-Jr.

*Rankings are listed in W.I.N./InterMat

Maryland Probable Starters

125: -/- Josh Polack, 6-9

133: 16/17 Geoffrey Alexander, 12-5

141: -/- Shyheim Brown, 16-8

149: -/- Ben Dorsay, 2-6

157: -/- Lou Mascola, 12-9

165: -/- Tyler Manion, 3-12

174: -/- Josh Snook, 11-10

184: -/- Tony Gardner, 1-10

197: -/- Rob Fitzgerald, 9-11

HWT: 13/8 Spencer Myers, 4-0

*Rankings are listed in W.I.N./InterMat

Key Match-ups

125: No. 1 Jesse Delgado (2-0) vs. Josh Polack (6-9)

- Delgado makes his return against unranked Polack. It will be the first time fans will have seen Delgado wrestle since the Illini quad back in November.

133: No. 2 Zane Richards (20-2) vs. No. 13 Geoffrey Alexander (12-5)

- Richards soundly defeated Alexander, 12-1, at Midlands in December and this is also the only match featuring two ranked opponents.

157: No. 2 Isaiah Martinez (22-0) vs. Lou Mascola (12-9)

- Martinez is one win away from surpassing Mike Poeta's record 22-0 start to the 2007-08 season. It's not really a question of if he will get it, but how.

Meet Information

Where: Huff Hall

Time: 7 p.m. CT

StreamBTN Plus ($$$)

Live ResultsTrack Wrestling

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Twitter@IlliniWrestling@UMDWrestling

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