Sanders Sparks Gophers to 25-9 Victory over Illinois
Nick Dardanes, Dylan Ness and Alec Oritz pick up key wins
Champaign, IL — Senior Zach Sanders gave the No. 2/4 Golden Gopher Wrestling team a spark early on in the evening to lead Minnesota to a 25-9 victory, of Big Ten Conference foe Illinois. Sanders was down 9-2 after the first period during the third match of the night, but fought his way back to top Illinois Jesse Delgaldo 14-13. Sanders showed why he is the No. 1 ranked wrestler in the country at 125 by not giving up during his match. Both Sanders and Delgado traded a few takedowns and escapes late in the match, but Sanders was able to score the last points to pick up his 18th win of the season and stay undefeated.
With the victory tonight Minnesota improves to 6-2 overall and 3-0 in Big Ten action, while the Illini fall to 10-2 overall and 2-2 in the conference.
The evening started out at 197 lbs. with Sonny Yohn taking on Mario Gonzalez. Yohn came up just short in the end and fell 5-4. Tony Nelson would jump onto the mat for the second match and pick up a 3-1 decision over Patrick Walker, which would tie the score at three.
Minnesota would pick up three straight wins from Nick Dardanes, Dylan Ness and Alec Oritz after Chris Dardanes fell to Bernard Furtell (9-6), after Sanders victory.
Nick Dardanes had a late rally over Daryl Thomas and was able to hold onto a 7-6 decision.
Ness, who was coming off a tough loss to Ohio State on Sunday, went to overtime with Eric Terrazas. Terrazas went for a quick takedown in the opening seconds of the extra period, but Ness was able to counter it and turn Terrazas on his back just outside the inner circle and scored the fall.
Ortiz would pick up an 8-4 decision following Ness.
The Gophers last two wins came from freshman Logan Storley and redshirt sophomore Kevin Steinhaus. Storley went down to wire and controlled the final period to pull out a 2-1 decision, while Steinhaus capped off the evening with a 12-4 major decision.
Minnesota will now rest for a day before taking on Purdue on Sunday. The dual is set to begin at 1 p.m. and fans can access the match through Gopher All-Access.
Minnesota 25, Illinois 9
125: #1 Zach Sanders (MINN) dec. #5 Jesse Delgado (ILL) 14-13
133: #5 B.J. Futrell (ILL) dec. Chris Dardanes (MINN) 9-6
141: #16 Nick Dardanes (MINN) dec. Daryl Thomas (ILL) 7-6
149: 16 Dylan Ness (MINN) fall #10 Eric Terrazas (ILL) 7:08 OT
157: Alec Ortiz (MINN) dec. Jackson Morse (ILL) 8-4
165: #16 Conrad Polz (ILL) dec. #6 Cody Yohn (MINN) 4-2
174: #7 Logan Storley (MINN) dec. Dan Stelter (ILL) 2-1
184: #8 Kevin Steinhaus (MINN) maj. dec. Tony Dallago (ILL) 12-4
197: Mario Gonzalez (ILL) dec. #3 Sonny Yohn (MINN) 5-4
Hwt: #4 Tony Nelson (MINN) dec.Pat Walker (ILL) 3-1