#2 Illini Grapplers Top Penn State, 26-13

STATE COLLEGE, Penn. – The second-ranked University of Illinois wrestling team earned their first Big Ten victory of the season against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Rec Hall. The Illini improve to 7-0 overall, 1-0 in the Big Ten as conference competition begins. Michael Martin got the single Illinois pin of the match, while No. 1-ranked Alex Tirapelle remains undefeated on the season.

The match began at 141 pounds where redshirt-freshman Michael Martin (Norfolk, Va.) pinned 19th-ranked DeWitt Driscoll. Driscoll led 6-3 going into the third period of the match, where he chose down. In the third period, Martin scored three near-fall points and cut Driscoll, letting him escape, before taking him back down to the mat. Because of Driscoll's accumulated riding time, the score at the end of the third period was tied, 8-8, forcing the match into overtime. In overtime, Martin took Driscoll down to his back for the fall in 7:23.

Penn State got their first win at 149 pounds, where sophomore Cal Ferry (Machesney, Ill.) fell to 11th ranked Matt Storniolo by an 8-2 decision. At 157 pounds, top-ranked Alex Tirapelle (So., Clovis, Calif.) won a close match in overtime, against PSU's James Woodall. Tirapelle scored a takedown with 39 seconds left in the first overtime period to win the match, 12-10.

In the 165-pound match, redshirt-freshman Donny Reynolds (Frankfort,Ill.) beat Jeremy Hart by decision, 7-6. Reynolds was down by two at the end of the third period when he reversed Hart to secure the win with riding time. Eighth-ranked Pete Friedl (So., Orland Park, Ill.) dominated the 174-pound match with a major decision over James Yonushonis, 14-4. Friedl took down Yonushonis in the first minute of the first period, and kept the lead the entire match. This major decision kept Illinois in the lead, 16-3.

The next two matches showcased two ranked Illini beating two ranked Lions. In the 184-pound match, No. 4 Brian Glynn (Orland Park, IL) beat No. 9 Eric Bradley by a decision of 4-2. At 197 pounds, No. 7 Jason Potter (Sr., St. Charlse, Ill.) beat No. 17 Joel Edwards by a decision of 8-2.

At heavyweight, redshirt-freshman Mike Behnke (Villa Park, Ill.) was pinned by No. 2 Pat Cummins in 5:54. Then at 125 pounds, fourth-ranked Kyle Ott (So., Huber Heights, Ohio) pounded Matt Smith with a series of takedowns to win by major decision, 11-3.

In the anticipated 133-pound match, fourth-ranked Mark Jayne (Jr., Elyria, Ohio) fell to sixth-ranked Josh Moore by a major decision of 9-1.

The Illini continue Big Ten competition on Jan. 25, 1 p.m. CT at Michigan State.
Story courtesy the University of Illinois


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