Seniors Shine in Final Home Dual

PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM Alex White
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM
Alex White
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM

Feb. 7, 2014

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Wrestling in their final home dual, Purdue seniors Cashé Quiroga and Alex White went out in grand fashion with victories at 133 and 285 pounds, respectively, but it was a pair of bonus point wins that lifted No. 18 Illinois past the 24th-ranked Boilermakers, 18-16, Friday in Holloway Gymnasium. The difference makers for the Fighting Illini were a technical fall by third-ranked Jesse Delgado at 125 and a major decision by No. 13 Jackson Morse at 165. Purdue closes out its Big Ten dual schedule at 1-7 and moves to 6-7 overall with one dual remaining. The win pushes Illinois’ record to 8-6, 2-5 Big Ten.

“The positives tonight are that both of our seniors went out with a win,” head wrestling coach Scott Hinkel said. “I told the guys that tonight is dedicated to them, the seniors. Cashé [Quiroga] wrestled a really tough guy [Zane Richards]. That’s a great win for him. Our first five guys are finding ways to win, they’re wrestling aggressive. We need to have that momentum carry over to the other five guys. We’ve got one last dual against a tough Northern Iowa team. We’re peaking at the right time; these guys just have to believe.”

Quiroga, ranked No. 15/13, held a 5-4 lead on No. 13/11 Zane Richards heading into the final period. That’s when he turned the burners on. The Indianapolis, Ind., native blitzed Richards with a trio of takedowns and earned back-to-back three-point nearfalls en route to a 19-6 major decision. Quiroga’s five takedowns lifted him into fourth on the career takedowns list with 365. The major decision is his fourth of the season as he improves to 13-4 while upsetting his fourth top-25 opponent of his final campaign.

White (8-15) took Illinois’ Chris Lopez down while keeping one foot in bounds with four seconds left in sudden victory for a 3-1 decision to close out the dual. The Boilermaker and Lopez exchanged escapes in the start of the second and third periods to send the match into the 60-second winner-take-all session. The sudden victory win is the third extended match that the Mount Vernon, Ind., native has won in his final season.

At 141 pounds, Purdue’s Danny Sabatello shocked eighth-ranked Steven Rodrigues with a 10-6 decision. The Fighting Illini, who had been out of the lineup since Midlands, was blasted by a pair of Sabatello first period takedowns to trail 4-2. Sabatello kept the pressure on in the second stanza, adding an early escape, followed by a four-point move, to jump out to a 9-2 lead. Rodrigues responded with a reversal and received a locked hands call on Sabatello in the third. An escape by Rodrigues made it 9-6 with 36 seconds left, however the Long Grove, Ill., Boilermaker denied his opponent’s late attempt to score. Sabatello added 1:34 worth of riding time to pick up the 19th win of his redshirt sophomore season.

Purdue also got decisions from Brandon Nelsen at 149 and No. 12/14 Braden Atwood at 197. Nelsen’s escape and takedown in the second period earned him a 3-1 win over John Fahy to improve his redshirt junior record to 14-11. Atwood (22-7) picked up his 22nd win courtesy of an unnecessary roughness call in the second, an escape in the third and 1:58 worth of riding time to defeat Jeff Koepke, 3-1.

The final dual of the season sends the Boilermakers to Cedar Falls, Iowa, to take on fifth-ranked Northern Iowa at 2 p.m. CT on Feb. 16.

No. 18 Illinois 18, No. 24 Purdue 16
125: No. 3 Jesse Delgado (Illinois) tech fall Luke Schroeder (Purdue), 19-4 (4:19)
133: No. 15/13 Cashé Quiroga (Purdue) maj. dec. No. 13/11 Zane Richards (Illinois), 19-6
141: Danny Sabatello (Purdue) dec. No. 8 Steven Rodrigues (Illinois), 10-6
149: Brandon Nelsen (Purdue) dec. John Fahy (Illinois), 3-1
157: No. 13 Zac Brunson (Illinois) dec. Alex Griffin (Purdue), 6-2
165: No. 13 Jackson Morse (Illinois) maj. dec. Chad Welch (Purdue), 18-5
174: Tony Dallago (Illinois) dec. Patrick Kissel (Purdue), 13-7
184: Nikko Reyes (Illinois) dec. Tanner Lynde (Purdue), 9-5
197: No. 12/14 Braden Atwood (Purdue) dec. Jeff Koepke (Illinois), 3-1
285: Alex White (Purdue) dec. Chris Lopez (Illinois), 3-1 (SV1)