Upperweights lift Minnesota over Illinois

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No. 2 Logan Storley came back to defeat No. 8 Jordan Blanton at 174 (Photo/Mark Beshey, The Guillotine)

MINNEAPOLIS -- With the help of its heavyweight wrestlers, the Minnesota wrestling team bounced back from a deficit to defeat Illinois, 18-14, tonight at the Sports Pavilion. The Gophers remain undefeated in conference competition (5-0) and improve to 11-1 overall on the season. The loss drops the Illini to 1-2 in league play and 5-2 overall.

Illinois jumped to a 7-0 lead after winning the first two bouts on the night. At 125 pounds, Jesse Delgado defeated David Thorn, 5-2, while Daryl Thomas upset Chris Dardanes with a 17-8 major at 133 pounds.

Nick Dardanes was the first Gopher to get on the board with a 10-3 victory over Illinois' Logan Arlis. Fans saw the second major decision upset of the night in the 149-pound bout. Dylan Ness was caught off guard and fell to Caleb Ervin.

At 157 pounds, Danny Zilverberg notched his first dual win of the season with a 7-2 decision over Matt Nora. Conrad Polz was the last wrestler to tally points for the opposing Illini with a 7-4 decision over Cody Yohn.

Minnesota's final four wrestlers won out the remainder of the match. Logan Storley got his revenge on Jordan Blanton in the 174-pound matchup with a 6-5 decision. Blanton previously defeated Storley in last year's NCAA tournament to knock him out of championship contention. Kevin Steinhaus brought the crowd to its feet in his match-up against Tony Dallago. Attempting to go for bonus points with a major decision, Steinhaus served up takedown after takedown, but ultimately settled for a still commanding 10-3 victory.

No. 13 Scott Schiller scored a mild upset over No. 11 Mario Gonzalez at 197 (Photo/Mark Beshey, The Guillotine)
Scott Schiller was the real energizer of the match. Facing a higher-ranked opponent, the Gophers needed a win to stay alive in the dual. Schiller delivered with an exciting 4-2 victory that put his team ahead 15-14 with one match to go. Nelson closed out the night at heavyweight where he easily handled Illinois' Chris Lopez for a 10-3 decision, collecting over three full minutes of riding time.

The Gophers will have a short week before jumping back onto the mat on this Saturday, Jan. 26. The squad will host Big Ten rival Iowa at Williams Arena for a 3 p.m. dual. The match will also be featured on Big Ten Network.

125: No. 5 Jesse Delgado (Illinois) dec. No. 12 David Thorn (Minnesota), 6-3 (3-0)
133: No. 11 Daryl Thomas (Illinois) maj. dec. No. 6 Chris Dardanes (Minnesota), 17-8 (7-0)
141: No. 11 Nick Dardanes (Minnesota) dec. Logan Arlis (Illinois), 10-3 (7-3)
149: Caleb Ervin (Illinois) maj. dec. No. 5 Dylan Ness (Minnesota), 11-3 (11-3)
157: Danny Zilverberg (Minnesota) dec. Matt Nora (Illinois), 7-2 (11-6)
165: No. 8 Conrad Polz (Illinois) dec. No. 11 Cody Yohn (Illinois), 7-4 (14-6)
174: No. 2 Logan Storley (Minnesota) dec. No. 8 Jordan Blanton (Illinois), 6-5 (14-9)
184: No. 5 Kevin Steinhaus (Minnesota) dec. No. 18 Tony Dallago (Illinois), 10-3 (14-12)
197: No. 13 Scott Schiller (Minnesota) dec. No. 11 Mario Gonzalez (Illinois), 4-2 (14-15)
285: No. 2 Tony Nelson (Minnesota) dec. Chris Lopez (Illinois), 10-3 (14-18)


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