March 3, 2012
A.J. Kissel at 197 pounds.
The Boilermakers got off to a fast start in the first session as sophomores Camden Eppert and Cashé Quiroga and freshman Brandon Nelsen strung together three straight wins. Eppert turned in a 12-4 major decision over Wisconsin's Austin Hietpas, Quiroga stuck Michigan State's Brandon Fifield in 5:39 and Nelsen avenged two regular-season losses with a 7-3 decision over seventh-seeded Matt Ortega of Indiana.
The run ended at 165 pounds as sophomore Kyle Mosier suffered a narrow loss to fourth-seeded Ben Jordan of Wisconsin, 3-2, and freshman 174-pounder Drake Stein fell to sixth-seeded Curran Jacobs of Michigan State, 9-5.
Sixth-seeded Purdue freshman Braden Atwood got things back on track at 184 pounds, offering up a 4-0 decision over Northwestern's Robert Kellogg, and eighth-seeded senior Roger Vukobratovich forfeited his opening match to ninth-seeded Peter Capone of Ohio State.
The Boilermakers went 3-4 in the championship quarterfinals, as Kissel, Quiroga and junior Ivan Lopouchanski all advanced to the semifinals and clinched bids to the NCAA Championships. Kissel had the biggest win of the opening session, knocking off top-seeded Sonny Yohn of Minnesota, 9-5. Kissel had takedowns in the first and third periods as well as a pair of reversals in his victory, avoiding a late throw-attempt from Yohn to seal the win. Quiroga avenged a mid-season loss against Minnesota's Chris Dardanes, defeating the fourth-seeded Gopher, 6-3, and Lopouchanski edged fourth-seeded Cam Tessari of Ohio State at 149 pounds for the second time this season, taking a narrow 6-5 win.
Eppert, Nelsen, Atwood and junior Tommy Churchard all fell to the consolation bracket as Eppert was edged, 1-0, by second-seeded Zach Sanders of Minnesota, Nelsen fell to the No. 2 seed Hunter Steiber of Ohio State, 6-3, Atwood dropped a 6-0 decision to third-seeded Josh Ihnen of Nebraska and Churchard was bested, 15-6, by No. 2 seed Dylan Alton of Penn State.
Tonight's session resumes at 5 p.m. (ET), and will consist of the consolation prelims, the championship semifinals and the consolation quarterfinals.