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Monday, March 4
The Indiana Daily Student

sports wrestling

Hoosiers notch first Big Ten win on Senior Night vs. MSU

Favored for the first time this season in conference action, the IU wrestlers lived up to
expectations.

On Friday, the Hoosiers took seven of 10 matches and never trailed, defeating Michigan State 22-9 on Senior Night at University Gym.

“It was good to get a Big Ten win,” IU coach Duane Goldman said. “We’ve wrestled some pretty tough competition. Michigan State does have a pretty good team this year. The dual meet was a lot like I foresaw. There were a lot of close matches, and we were fortunate to win a majority of those.”

IU got off to a quick start as freshman Justin Brooks used a series of reversals to notch an 8-3 victory in the opening match.

“We needed our lighter weights to come through,” Goldman said. “Even at 125 (pounds), that was sort of a toss-up. For Justin to come through and win that, sort of break the ice, was good for everybody.”

A major decision by junior Matt Ortega at 133 pounds and a decision by true freshman Mitchell Richey at 141 pounds — the first conference wins of the year for each wrestler — put the team up 10-0. Ortega’s major decision produced the only bonus points for either team in the match.

For the first time this season, senior Kurt Kinser did not take the mat for the Hoosiers at 149 pounds as he was forced to sit with an injury. Sophomore Geno Capezio, normally a 141 pound wrestler, filled in against No. 20 Dan Osterman. Capezio lost, but the 7-4 margin was close enough to not allow bonus points.

“With Geno filling in for Kurt Kinser, he took that match right down to the wire against a ranked kid,” Goldman said. “He did a nice job of keeping it a competitive match and keeping us in the game.”

Wins at 157 and 165 pounds gave IU a commanding 16-3 lead, though the Spartans pulled to within seven points with wins at 174 and 184 pounds. In the 174 pound match, IU senior Nick Avery sent the back-and-forth match to overtime with a takedown of Curran Jacobs seconds before the buzzer, though he eventually lost after allowing an escape in the third overtime period.

Matt Powless’ 31st win of the year at 197 pounds clinched the match for IU.
In the most anticipated match of the evening, featuring two ranked grapplers at heavyweight, graduate student Ricky Alcala scored a takedown in the second period to make the score 2-1. Alcala then defended against Michigan State’s No. 20 Joe Rizqallah in neutral for the entire third period to win the match 2-1.

The dual was the final match at home this season for the Hoosiers, and a Senior Night ceremony took place before the meet.

“We’re proud of (the seniors) and the effort they put in,” Goldman said. “Wrestling is a very tough sport. To put in five years in the room and to get to this point, I tip my hat off to them. We had a great crowd tonight. For Paul and Ricky to win was obviously a really neat thing. Even Nick Avery, Eric Cameron, they lost, they didn’t win their matches but they wrestled well.”

The Hoosiers will look to build off of the win with back-to-back road matches Thursday and Friday against Illinois and Purdue, respectively, to close out the regular season.

“We’re still trying get back where we want to be and where we think we can be,” Goldman said. “It’s not going to change the difficulty of what we have (left).”

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