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Top-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes continue longest active dual streak with win over Illinois
Iowa wins last 8 matches; Assad, Warner, Cassioppi go unbeaten in weekend road trip to home state
Iowa’s road trip was a happy homecoming of sorts for a trio of Hawkeye wrestlers.
Former Illinois preps Abe Assad, Jacob Warner and Tony Cassioppi returned to their home state over the weekend.
The trio finished with a 6-0 record and helped the top-ranked Hawkeyes cap their sweep through the state with a 36-3 throttling of No. 15 Illinois Sunday in a Big Ten Conference dual at State Farm Center in Champaign, Ill. The Hawkeyes won nine of 10 bouts for their 28th straight dual victory and 27th consecutive in the conference.
Assad, Warner and Cassioppi were not gracious guests, outscoring their Northwestern foes Friday by a combined 34-5. They added the exclamation point to the end of Sunday’s rout, tallying a 20-2 edge in match points. Cassioppi built a 9-0 lead before his pin over Luke Luffman in 6:47 at heavyweight.
The Hawkeyes (10-0, 4-0 Big Ten) dominated on their feet and on top. They held an 18-2 advantage in takedowns and didn’t allow a single takedown in the final eight matches. Iowa also grinded the Illini with long rides, accumulating six riding-time points in their nine victories and recording falls in two others.
Drake Ayala won his third straight match since stepping into the lineup. He scored takedowns in the first and third for a 7-4 decision over Justin Cardani at 125 pounds.
Ayala’s former Fort Dodge teammate Drew Bennett earned his first dual win for Iowa. The transfer from Northern Iowa replaced NCAA 141-pound finalist Jaydin Eierman this weekend, racking up two takedowns and a four-point nearfall in the second for a 10-1 major over Josh Contreras. Iowa took a 7-3 lead and didn’t look back.
Max Murin (149) followed with a decision and 157-pounder Kaleb Young manhandled Joe Roberts for a 16-1 technical fall thanks to three takedowns and eight back points on two turns, giving the Hawkeyes a 15-3 lead at the midway point.
After an Alex Marinelli decision at 165, Michael Kemerer (174) pinned Baan Rachal in just 2:35. Then, the former Illinois preps took the mat.
Assad (184) used a takedown in the waning moments of the second period to take control in his 5-2 decision over Zac Braunagel, adding a third-period reversal and a point for locked hands. Warner had takedowns in the first in third and used a riding-time point to blank Matt Wroblewski, 6-0, at 197.
Iowa is scheduled to wrestle at Ohio State at Columbus, Ohio, on Friday.
AT CHAMPAIGN, ILL.
Iowa 36, Illinois 3
(Individual takedowns in parentheses)
125 pounds – Drake Ayala (Iowa) dec. Justin Cardani, 7-4 (2,1); 133 – Lucas Byrd (Ill) dec. Cullan Schriever, 5-0 (1,0); 141 – Drew Bennett (Iowa) major dec. Josh Contreras, 10-1 (2,0); 149 – Max Murin (Iowa) dec. Christian Kanzler, 9-3 (3,0); 157 – Kaleb Young (Iowa) tech. fall Joe Roberts, 16-1 (3,0); 165 – Alex Marinelli (Iowa) dec. Danny Braunagel, 4-1 (1,0); 174 – Michael Kemerer (Iowa) pinned Baan Rachal, 2:35; 184 – Abe Assad (Iowa) dec. Zac Braunagel, 5-2 (1,0); 197 – Jacob Warner (Iowa) dec. Matt Wroblewski, 6-0 (2,0); Hwt. – Tony Cassioppi (Iowa) pinned Luke Luffman, 6:47 (3,0).
Takedowns – Iowa 18, Illinois 2. Reversals – Iowa 1, Illinois 1. Escapes – Iowa 8, Illinois 10. Nearfall points – Iowa 12, Illinois 0. Penalty points (awarded) – Iowa 4, Illinois 0. Riding-time points – Iowa 6, Illinois 1. Total match points – Iowa 68, Illinois 17.