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Sunday, June 16
The Indiana Daily Student

sports wrestling

Indiana wrestling completes the comeback with upset victory against Michigan State


PHOTOS: Indiana wrestling defeats Michigan State in comeback win

Indiana wrestling’s hopes of victory looked bleak heading into match No. 5 of the night. Through four matches Saturday, No. 21 Michigan State racked up 18 points against the Hoosiers, scoring one fall, one forfeit and two decisions including scoring a top 15 upset at 174 lbs. The Hoosiers had a small margin for error while trying to claw their way back into the match.  

Indiana scored six wins in a row to complete the comeback, defeating Michigan State for the first time since 2015 and giving head coach Angel Escobedo his first win over the Spartans.  

Kicking off Indiana’s comeback was redshirt freshman Gabe Sollars at 197 lbs. Sollars, who leads the nation in falls, faced the task of defeating No. 29 redshirt freshman Kael Wisler from Michigan State. Sollars rose to the occasion, tactically picking apart Wisler and securing an 8-5 decision.  

Next in the Hoosiers’ path to victory, heavyweight graduate student Nick Willham defeated redshirt freshman Josh Terrill. Willham won the match via a 4-3 decision in tiebreakers, tightening the team score to 18-6 in favor of the Spartans.  

Following the heavyweights, action returned to the mat for the lightweights, starting with redshirt senior Michael Spangler at 125 lbs. Spangler defeated the Spartans’ seasoned veteran senior Tristan Lujan after jumping to an early 7-0 lead and eventually hanging on for a 10-8 victory.  

Redshirt senior Cayden Rooks secured a 19-3 technical fall at 133 lbs after firing a hail of attacks on Spartan redshirt sophomore Andy Hampton. Rooks’ victory marked the Hoosiers’ fourth consecutive victory in the dual, bringing the team score to 18-14 in favor of the Spartans with two matches to go. 

Graduate students Dan Fongaro and Graham Rooks were the heroes of the night for Indiana: both securing the final victories to put the nail in the coffin en route to the comeback victory.  

Fongaro wrestled Michigan State redshirt senior No. 30 Jordan Hamdan in a nail-biting 6-4 victory. Down 4-3, Fongaro scored a takedown with one second left on the clock to snag the victory from the jaws of defeat. Initially, the mat official ruled there was no takedown and time had expired before Fongaro scored. However, after review, the official overturned the call and sent Wilkinson Hall into a frenzy. 

With Indiana still trailing by one point, Graham Rooks secured a dramatic walk off pin late in the second period. He was controlling the match 6-2 when freshman Spartan freshman Clayton Jones got in on a deep shot, but in a twist, Rooks cranked over Jones and iced him in front of the home crowd.  

The Hoosiers will be back in action for a road dual meet against Ohio State at noon, Feb. 11 in Columbus, Ohio.

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