The Northern Illinois University wrestling team fell in all three duals Sunday at the Illini Quad, suffering losses to No. 13 Illinois, Rider and SIU Edwardsville.
“We needed more grit in crucial situations,” said NIU head coach Ryan Ludwig. “We let some controversial situations beyond our control dictate some outcomes (against SIUE). We will get back in the room and get to work.”
Round One: Huskies Fall to Broncs, 28-9
Despite taking an early lead against one of the East Coast’s top teams, NIU dropped a 28-9 decision to the Rider Broncs in the first dual of the day.
Derek Elmore (Loves Park, Ill./Harlem) got the Huskies off to a good start, building up a 5-2 lead on J.R. Wert before scoring a pin in the second period.
With the Huskies leading 6-0, the Broncs stormed back, cutting the NIU lead in half with Robert Deutsch’s 8-2 win over Jordan Northrup (Machesney Park, Ill./Harlem). Rider tied the dual when Chuck Zeisloft topped Tyler Argue (Matteson, Ill./Mt. Carmel), 11-8, at 141.
The Broncs claimed a 12-6 lead when Sal Annoreno (Hanover Park, Ill./Bartlett) was pinned by B.J. Clagon at 149. Yet, the Huskies countered with a 7-5 victory by Andrew Morse (Alto, Mich./Lowell) over Chad Walsh at 157. That’s all the closer NIU got, though, as Rider got wins in each of the final four bouts.
Making his first collegiate start, Dylan Dobzanski (Franklinville, N.J./Delsea Regional) lost via a 7-3 decision to Ryan Wolfe at 174. True freshman Quinton Rosser (Cincinnati, Ohio/Archbishop Moeller) also made his first college start, but lost a tough 6-4 double-overtime match to Clint Morrison. Donald McNeil defeated Shawn Scott (Holly, Mich./Holly) with a 10-2 major decision, while Greg Velasco topped Arthur Bunce (Munith, Mich./Dansville), 5-2, to close the dual.
Round Two: Cougars Rally Past Huskies, 20-18
Despite building up an early lead, the Huskies suffered a tough 20-18 loss to downstate rival SIU Edwardsville.
Elmore got NIU off to a good start by pinning Kenny Baldridge less than two minutes into the 125 pound match, giving the Huskies a quick 6-0 lead. Northrup added to that lead with a 7-0 decision over Patrick Myers, while Argue’s 9-7 win over Angelo Silvestro pushed the Huskie advantage to 12-0 after three matches.
Yet, the Cougars turned the tide at 149 pounds when Karsten Val Velsor scored a controversial pin of Annoreno late in the first period to trim the NIU lead to 12-6. At 157, Erik Travers topped Andrew Morse with a 7-3 decision, then Connor McMahon defeated Shaun’Qae McMurtry (Lockport, Ill./Lockport Twp./Nebraska) with a 5-4 decision to knot the dual at 12-12.
SIUE moved ahead with a pair of major decisions, as Jake Residori topped Dobzanski, 16-2, and Derek Nagel defeated Rosser, 11-2. Down 20-12, Scott tried to start a rally by earning a 3-2 win over Cole Rodgers at 197. However, Bunce’s 3-1 victory over Chris Johnson was not enough to push the Huskies over the top.
Round Three: #13 Fighting Illini Defeats Huskies, 37-10
In the first meeting between NIU and Illinois since 1997, the Huskies ended the day with a 37-10 loss to the nationally ranked Fighting Illini.
NIU took the early lead when Elmore was awarded a forfeit at 125 pounds. Northrup followed that up with an 8-0 major decision over Dominic Olivieri to push the Huskie lead to 10-0.
Illinois cut the deficit in half when Steven Rodrigues scored a 23-7 technical fall over Argue at 141. The Fighting Illini moved ahead for good at 149, when Annoreno was pinned by Kyle Lagenderfer. Illinois pushed its lead to 17-10 when Morse was pinned by Isaiah Martinez.
McMurtry suffered a 12-3 loss to Jackson Morse. Zac Brunson took a forfeit at 174 and Nikko Reyes earned a 15-5 win over Rosser. Scott took a 5-3 loss to Jeff Koepke at 197, while Bunce dropped a 5-1 decision against Brooks Black.
The Huskies return to the mats Saturday to compete at the EMU Duals, where they face Olivet, Edinboro, Chattanooga and Clarion.
For more information on NIU wrestling and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.