Iowa men’s wrestling breezes by Illinois, 36-3

The Hawkeyes won nine of the ten matches they wrestled Sunday afternoon.


Ayrton Breckenridge

Iowa’s 285-pound No. 6 Tony Cassioppi wrestles Illinois’ No. 17 Luke Luffman during a wrestling dual between No. 2 Iowa and No. 21 Illinois at State Farm Center in Champaign, IL on Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022. The Hawkeyes defeated the Fighting Illini 36-3.

Chris Werner, Sports Reporter

The Iowa men’s wrestling team continued its domination of Big Ten Conference competition Sunday afternoon, earning a 36-3 win over the Illinois Fighting Illini at State Farm Center in Champaign. Iowa has now won its last 27 Big Ten duals.

Iowa won nine of the 10 matches it wrestled Sunday. 133-pound redshirt freshman Cullan Schriever suffered the Hawkeyes’ only loss of the day. He fell to redshirt Lucas Byrd, who was an All-American last year.

Both senior 174-pounder Michael Kemerer and junior heavyweight Tony Cassioppi earned falls for the Hawkeyes Sunday, a sight Iowa head coach Tom Brands loved to see.

“We love the way this thing ended,” Brands said of Cassioppi’s performance in a release. “Guys are wrestling well. I think the next step is bonus points. When it’s 5-0, make it 8-0. And when it’s 8-0, make it 15-0. When it’s 15-0, get the fall. Keep making progress. There is a lot of wrestling left in the season. We have a lot of work to do. We’re going to Columbus, Ohio.

Big picture

Iowa is now 9-0 on the season. Despite their perfect record, the No. 2 Hawkeyes are ranked behind the second-rated Penn State Nittany Lions in the National Wrestling Coaches Association poll.

Iowa was ranked No. 1 in the poll at the beginning of the season. The Hawkeyes dropped to No. 2 when their starting 125-pounder, Spencer Lee, decided to have season-ending surgery on torn ACLs in his left and right knees.

Iowa has a date with Penn State scheduled for Jan. 28 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Up next:

Iowa will travel to Columbus, Ohio, Friday to take on the Ohio State Buckeyes at the Schottenstein Center. Action is slated to begin at 7 p.m.

The Buckeyes boast nationally ranked wrestlers at six weight classes. Ohio State 149-pounder Sammy Sasso is ranked second in the nation at his weight.

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