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sports wrestling

IU wrestling defeats Maryland 27-13 on senior day in Bloomington


IU wrestling took down Maryland 27-13 on its senior day Sunday in Wilkinson Hall. The Hoosiers scored their most points in a dual meet since their 32-0 victory on senior day against the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga on Feb. 24, 2019. 

Six individual Hoosiers won Sunday, and three — 125-pound freshman Jacob Moran, 133-pound redshirt junior Kyle Luigs and 174-pound sophomore DJ Washington — won by pin, all of which came in the first period. 

“It was my last match here, I knew I had to put it on the line and ended up getting the win, and it means a lot to me being able to do that,” Luigs said.

Luigs was one of two graduating Hoosier wrestlers honored before the meet, and he was able to pick up his first win of this season in his last match at Wilkinson Hall. He followed up Moran’s pin in the first match of the day with one of his own, putting IU up 12-0 early in the dual. 

“When you’re out there warming up and you see your teammate get a pin it really fires you up, gets you going, and it definitely leads into my match as well,” Luigs said. “When I see them get the pin I’m like ‘alright, let’s get the ball rolling.’”

Moran now has a 5-3 record between dual and exhibition matches this season, and Luigs improved to 1-5 with the win. 

Related: [IU’s DJ Washington named Big Ten Wrestler of the Week]

“I could just feel the energy from the bench after those two pins,” IU head coach Angel Escobedo said after the match. “It was like they knew we were going to win this dual.”

Two Hoosiers had matches go into overtime. Junior heavyweight Rudy Streck, whose birthday was Sunday, and 165-pound sophomore Nick South needed extra time, but they both came away with wins. 

South’s match went to three overtimes after no points were scored in the first. South, who is No. 25 in his weight class, was able to score a reversal on redshirt freshman Jonathan Spadafora in the second overtime period. South held control the entire third overtime period and picked up the win. He’s now 3-4 on the season.

“I thought in the overtime, that’s when he got aggressive and he scored,” Escobedo said. “So for him it’s just going to be trying to get aggressive in the beginning.”

Streck only needed one overtime in his match. With the score tied 1-1, he was able to gain control and score a takedown on freshman Garrett Kappes with five seconds left in the overtime period to secure his first victory of the season. He’s now 1-3 this season. 

“He was just sticking through the process of hand fighting and looking for openings, and he just took a shot, took a chance and took a risk,” Escobedo said. “That’s what we talk about, taking that risk, you have to be the first guy to take the risk, especially in overtime.”

No. 8 sophomore DJ Washington dominated in the 174-pound weight class for the Hoosiers, pinning redshirt junior Philip Spadafora in 16 seconds to give them another 6 team points. He’s now 5-2 this season.

Redshirt sophomore Graham Rooks, who is No. 14 in the 149-pound weight class, returned to the lineup after missing IU’s last two meets. Rooks was able to pick up a 6-2 win in his return to the lineup, improving to 2-1 this season. 

“The more matches he gets the better he becomes, so for him it’s great to get this extra match,” Escobedo said. “He gutted it through. It was gritty, it was a gritty win and he’s going to be fine.” 

IU will take on in-state rival Purdue in its last regular season dual meet at 8 p.m. on Feb. 22 in West Lafayette, Indiana. The No. 17 Boilermakers are 3-5 on the season and have only faced ranked teams up to this point. Purdue won its last match 21-12 against No. 22 Michigan State on Friday.

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