Aggressive Illini wrestle victory away from Badgers

first_imgThe Wisconsin wrestling team hosted the Fighting Illini Sunday in a battle for second place in the Big Ten. Unfortunately, Illinois took the match and control of second place, defeating the Badgers 21-16 in front of 2,220 at the Field House. “We didn’t do some things that are key,” coach Barry Davis said after the match. “We didn’t use the edge of the mat to our advantage when we should have. We didn’t fight as hard as we should have in some matches.”The match started off at heavyweight, where UW’s Kyle Massey pinned John Wise at 2:42 in the first period to give the cardinal and white a 6-0 advantage. Massey has now won three straight Big Ten duals. “I knew being the first up that I needed to come out early and hard right away,” Massey said. “I figured if I could get the ball rolling right away that it would be a good start for the team and it would carry on. But, unfortunately, it didn’t turn out that way.”After losing the next three matches, it was Tyler Turner’s turn to take the mat with the Badgers in a 12-6 hole. Turner led throughout the match, scoring eight points on four takedowns en route to a 13-7 decision, pulling UW within three points at 12-9.”I really didn’t wrestle the smartest,” Turner said. “I was facing a back-up and should have taken advantage of that. In a close match like this everyone needs to try to take advantage when they get it, and I did at moments but let him back in when I shouldn’t have.”The spotlight match was supposed to be at the 157 lbs., with No. 3 Craig Henning facing No. 1 Mike Poeta. However, Poeta did not make the trip to Madison due to an injury, so Henning faced off against Clint Arlis. Henning took advantage of the backup and scored a major decision while giving the Badgers a 13-12 lead.Jake Donar then faced off with No. 13 Roger Smith-Bergsrud. After a scoreless first and second period, Smith-Bergsrud scored two points on a takedown with 40 seconds left in the match. Donar managed an escape to get within 2-1 with 30 seconds left. As time ran out, Donar was given a penalty point for stalling and the match went into overtime. Wrestling in front of the Badgers’ bench, Smith-Bergsrud scored a takedown to win the match 4-2 and give the Illini a 15-13 lead. “Donar wrestled a heck of a match,” Davis said. “He could have easily won that match, we just need to work on what to do when we’ve got our guys on the edge of the mat.”After a win at 174 lbs. and a loss at 184 lbs., the final match of the afternoon featured UW’s No. 11 Dallas Herbst facing No. 20 Patrick Bond.With the Badgers down two, 18-16, hopes were high that Herbst would be able to give the cardinal and white the victory. However Bond came out the aggressor and held Herbst scoreless through the first two periods. Down 3-0 going into the third period, Herbst was able to score an escape and a takedown, but so was Bond. Bond came out with a 7-3 decision, giving the Illini a 21-16 dual meet victory. “We have to learn from this match,” Davis said. “We’ve got two big matches next weekend here at home against Minnesota and Indiana. We’ll look at a lot of film this week. But it comes down to the fact that we need to be more aggressive. We didn’t work as hard as I know these guys can, and we’ve got to pick that up to do well next weekend.”last_img