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Sunday, June 16
The Indiana Daily Student

sports wrestling

Indiana wrestling breaks the Rider University Broncos in Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall

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Indiana wrestling defeated Rider University in Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall on Friday in their home opener.  

Rider University got out to a quick lead, picking up a victory by forfeit in the first bout of the evening at heavyweight. Momentum swung in the Bronco’s favor as they secured pivotal wins at 133 and 149 lbs, including redshirt senior Quinn Kinner's stunning upset over Indiana’s No. 6 graduate student Graham Rooks with a score of 8-2. The Broncos further solidified their lead, establishing a commanding 15-7 advantage heading into the final four weights. 

However, the Hoosiers staged a remarkable comeback, clinching four consecutive wins starting with senior Derek Gilcher at 165 lbs. The decisive victories not only allowed them to regain the lead but also sealed the 27-15 comeback triumph over Rider. Bonus points were crucial in this turnaround, with two falls and one victory by technical superiority in the final four matches. 

Key moments included redshirt sophomore Roman Rogotzke's comeback in the 184 lbs bout. Trailing 8-11 with a minute and thirty seconds left in the third period, Rogotzke secured a victory by fall over Rider junior Isaac Dean, igniting the crowd and reinvigorating the Hoosier lineup. Following Rogotzke’s heroics, redshirt freshman Gabe Sollars delivered another pinfall in the second period to put the nail in the coffin for the Broncos. The victory extends Sollars' winnings streak to five, each victory marked by bonus points.  

Noteworthy Hoosier performances extended to graduate student Dan Fongaro, who clinched a decisive 14-2 major decision over the No. 30 Rider senior Mackenzie Bell. Fongaro maintained his flawless record this season, showcasing his skills in front of a home crowd in Bloomington. Additionally, redshirt-senior Michael Spangler made a notable contribution, putting the Hoosiers on the board at 125 lbs in his dual meet debut with a hard-fought 13-9 decision. 

“[Fongaro and Rogotzke] came up big,” said Indiana head coach Angel Escobedo “Dan got a major and Roman got the pin that sparked us to win the dual meet.”  

Fongaro and Rogotzke transferred at the end of last season from Columbia University and South Dakota State University respectively. The two new faces in the lineup are already making waves with their wrestling prowess and their attitude.  

“It's good to see that type of leadership from a transfer because usually it takes time,” Escobedo said. “I think they felt the environment, they feel comfortable, they know where we are going, and they are a part of the vision.” 

No. 10 redshirt senior Donnell Washington began his campaign with a commanding 18-3 victory by technical superiority over Rider graduate student Michael Wilson in the 174 lbs bout. Washington has been a staple in the Hoosiers’ lineup since the 2019-2020 season and looks as dominant as ever as this season’s home opener.  

Looking ahead, Indiana will return to action Nov. 19 for the Keystone Classic in Philadelphia. Escobedo anticipates his squad building on this victory, expressing optimism for the challenges that lie ahead.  

“We have young guys that are hungry, we got young guys that want to win, and when our backs are up against the wall we can compete,” Escobedo said. "That's what you want to see out of a team.” 

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