PITTSBURGH, PA.-No. 7 Illinois wrestling team defeated No. 25 Pittsburgh Saturday at Firzgerald Field House 26-10 to move to 7-0 this season and pick up a key victory over a ranked opponent.
Illinois won the first two matches when B.J. Futrell (125) pinned Chris Albright in 4:43 and No. 3 Jimmy Kennedy (133) recorded a major decision over the Panthers' No. 14 Jimmy Conroy 13-5. The Fighting Illini led 10-7, but Pittsburgh answered with back-to-back wins by No. 11 Tyler Nauman (141) and Mark Powell (149).
However, that was as close as the Panthers would get.
The Illini won five of the last six matches, including sweeping the final four. No. 15 Jordan Blanton (184) picked up a decision win over Zac Thomusseit 6-2, and No. 10 John Wise (285) upset No. 4 Zach Sheaffer on another 6-2 decision.
Mike Poeta (157) defeated Pittsburgh's Phil Sorrentino on a 17-5 major decision. Also recording wins for Illinois were John Dergo (174) and Patrick Bond (197).
Illinois travels to Iowa on Jan. 25 and Purdue on Jan. 30. The wrestling team returns home to Huff Hall on Feb. 6 to play rival Northwestern at 7:00 p.m. CT.
Adam Musto is a journalism student at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana