The Hoosier wrestling team moved to 9-7, 2-5 Big Ten, during the weekend by splitting matches against Maryland and No. 13 Rutgers.
On Friday, the Hoosiers defeated the Terrapins in their gym by a score of 22-19 by taking six of 10 matches on the night.
To begin the match, 125-pound sophomore No. 20 Elijah Oliver defeated Michael Beck, 3-2, to move to 2-1 since his return from an injury.
Despite the win, Oliver is still working to get back to full strength for the rest of the season.
“It is a work in progress,” IU Coach Duane Goldman said. “I don’t think he is back to his full capabilities, but it is good to have him back in the lineup. He came away with a big win tonight, without that win we don’t win the dual. I am sure that is a good thing for him. We are just trying to get better everyday.”
Back on the east coast and wrestling for the first time since his Princeton days, 149-pound senior Chris Perez found the win column with some adversity after a disappointing loss the week prior.
Goldman said Perez has been a great leader and addition to the team, and his match win in overtime was huge and helped give the Hoosiers the dual win despite an injury heading into the overtime period.
After the win, the Hoosiers traveled further north to take on the Scarlet Knights, and the Hoosiers dropped the match 25-9.
The Hoosiers were able to pick up three individual wins in the match from Oliver, 165-pound sophomore Bryce Martin and 184-pound senior No. 6 Nate Jackson.
Martin shut out his opponent 4-0 thanks to a takedown, riding time bonus and escape point and moved to 15-5 on the season.
Oliver moved to 3-1 since his return from injury by defeating Brandon Paetzell 7-3, moving him to 12-4 on his sophomore campaign.
Jackson picked up career wins 97 and 98 this weekend, defeating Sam Rowell of Maryland 24-8 and No. 12 Nick Gravina 5-4 from Rutgers.
Defeating Gravina gives Jackson another win against a ranked opponent, and while defeating Rowell may have been something he expected going in, confidence can still be lost.
“He did what he should do,” Goldman said. “He was able to do what he set out to do, and I think that is always a confidence builder. I think it was very positive for him.”
The Hoosiers will now have the week to gain more confidence while preparing for another two Big Ten matches next weekend. IU will take the mat against No. 3 Iowa at 7 p.m. Friday in the University Gym, the Hoosiers’ senior night, before traveling to No. 11 Illinois on Sunday.
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