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Illinois Wrestling: No. 4 Illini tops Purdue, 21-9

Illinois wins third straight Big Ten dual, No. 2 Zane Richards falls

Courtesy of Illinois Athletics

Illinois has turned the page after dropping three consecutive Big Ten losses to three top-15 opponents, the Illini won their third consecutive conference win with a 21-9 victory over Purdue on Sunday.

The No. 4 team in W.I.N. Magazine's Tournament Power Index, moved to 11-4 overall and 5-3 Big Ten action.

The Illini gained control of the dual through the middle to upper part of their lineup with wins from 157 to 184. No. 2 Isaiah Martinez at 157, exhibited his dominance with an 11-4 decision over Purdue's (8-7, 1-5 Big Ten) No. 13 Doug Welch. At 165, No. 8 Jackson Morse opened a 2-1 lead in the first then escaped and a takedown for a 5-1 lead into the third. Morse held on for a 9-6 decision over Pat Robinson, and No. 8 Zac Brunson grabbed a 7-0 first period lead en route to an 8-1 win over Chad Welch at 174.

No. 18 Nikko Reyes at 184, earned a reversal in the third for a 4-2 win over Patrick Kissel and give the Illini their biggest lead of the dual.

Jeff Koepke looked like he was going to duplicate Brooks Black upset over a No. 13-ranked opponent, as he held a 3-1 lead over Braden Atwood, but the Boilermaker grabbed a takedown and near fall to steal a 7-3 decision. Black earned an escape in the second and enough riding time in the third for a 2-0 win at heavyweight.

The teams exchanged wins through the first four bouts. Top-ranked Jesse Delgado at 125 got a takedown in third for a 3-1 decision, but No. 11 Danny Sabatello answered with a 4-2 upset of Illinois' No. 2 Zane Richards at 133. Sabatello got a takedown and rode Richards out in the second to lock in riding time, and tie it 3-3.

No. 13 Steven Rodrigues regained the lead for Illinois with a 6-2 decision over Nick Lawrence at 141 before Purdue's Brandon Nelson took down Kyle Langenderfer in the third period for a 6-5 win and tie the dual 6-6.

The Illini will host Wisconsin (8-2, 6-1) for senior night next Sunday at Huff Hall.

Meet Results

125No. 1 Jesse Delgado (ILL) dec. (PUR) Luke Welch, 3-1, 3-0
133: No. 11 Danny Sabatello (PUR) dec. No. 2 Zane Richards (ILL), 4-2, 3-3
141No. 13 Steven Rodrigues (ILL) dec. Nick Lawrence (PUR) , 6-2, 6-3
149: Brandon Nelson (PUR) dec. Kyle Langenderfer (ILL), 6-5, 6-6
157No. 2 Isaiah Martinez (ILL) dec. No. 13 Doug Welch (PUR), 11-4, 9-6
165No. 8 Jackson Morse (ILL) dec. Pat Robinson (PUR), 9-6, 12-6
174No. 8 Zac Brunson (ILL) dec. Chad Welch (PUR), 8-1, 15-6
184No. 18 Nikko Reyes (ILL) dec. Patrick Kissel (PUR), 4-2, 18-6
197: No. 13 Braden Atwood dec. Jeff Koepke (ILL), 7-3, 18-9
HWTBrooks Black (ILL) dec. Gelen Robinson (PUR), 2-0, 21-9

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