No. 18 Indiana wrestling lost two heart-wrenching duals against No. 24 Michigan State on Friday and No. 12 Michigan on Sunday in its last Big Ten duals of the season, dropping its overall record to 7-5. In both duals, the Hoosiers found a path to five victories, but also gave up a combined five bonus-point victories to the Wolverines and Spartans.
In their 20-16 loss against Michigan State on Friday, the Hoosiers started out strong taking an early 10-3 lead heading into the 157 lbs. match. It was at here where the momentum shifted in favor of the Spartans, as No. 12 junior Chase Saldate took revenge on No. 20 Hoosier junior Derek Gilcher. In a highly anticipated rematch from the Reno Tournament of Champions, Saldate was able to seal the match with a takedown late in the third period.
The Hoosiers would surrender another three matches in the back half of the dual to fall to the Spartans.
The Hoosier highlight of the weekend came at 133 lbs. in East Lansing, Michigan, as No. 29 Indiana freshman Henry Porter upset No. 17 graduate-student Rayvon Foley in his best win of the season. Foley achieved All-American honors at the 2019 NCAA tournament and has been a staple in the Spartan line-up for his entire career. Porter’s convincing 10-5 decision over Foley will give him good momentum and seeding criteria going into the postseason.
Against long odds, the Hoosiers gave No. 12 Michigan a close match on Sunday in Ann Arbor, with the Wolverines taking a narrow 23-18 victory over Indiana. The Hoosiers got off to another strong start with No. 14 redshirt-junior DJ Washington, who pinned No. 28 redshirt senior Max Maylor at the end of the first period.
After Washington, senior Nick Willham made his triumphant return at 197 lbs. snagging a 5-2 decision for the Hoosiers. Following 197 lbs., the Wolverines went on a 4-match winning streak, scoring 17 unanswered points before redshirt-senior Graham Rooks took a 4-1 decision at 149 lbs.
Indiana mounted a small comeback starting with Rooks and ending with redshirt-junior Nick South’s pin at 165 lbs., but it proved to be too little, too late as the Wolverines clung to their lead to finish the dual.
Follow reporter Aidan Pollitt (@pollitt_52) for updates throughout the match and the rest of the Indiana wrestling season.