No. 15 Illinois Drops B1G Opener at No. 17 Rutgers – University of Illinois Athletics – Fighting Illini

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – No. 15-ranked Illinois dropped their first Big Ten dual meet of the 2021-22 season at Rutgers on Friday night, 21-13. The Illini won four bouts on the night, including a major decision victory from Lucas Byrd at 133-pounds, his second major decision of the season.

Justin Cardani began the night for the Illini at 125 pounds, earning a riding time point but ultimately losing in a hard-fought decision, 3-1. Lucas Byrd put the Illini back on top with a dominant 13-2 major decision which gave the Orange and Blue a 4-3 edge after the first two matches. Byrd picked up four back points near the end of the match to secure bonus points for the Illini and earn his 11th win of the season.

We Rachal went on to lose by tech fall to the Scarlet Knights’ Sebastian Rivera in the 141-pound bout, giving Rutgers an 8-4 lead through the first three matches. Christian Kanzler and Joe Roberts both dropped their matches by decision as the Illini trailed 14-4 heading into the intermission.

Illinois came out strong following the break, winning back-to-back matches at 165 and 174 pounds as Danny Braunagel and DJ Shannon each picked up decisions, scoring six straight team points. However, the Orange and Blue dropped matches at 184 and 197 as Zac Braunagel lost by decision followed by a major decision loss by Matt Wroblewski.

Luke Luffman finished out the night on a high note for the Fighting Illini, picking up his 11th win of the season with a 5-2 decision victory over Rutgers’ Boone McDermott.


125: Dylan Shawyer (RU) over Justin Cardani (ILL) by decision

133: Lucas Byrd (ILL) over Joseph Shawver (RU) by MD, 13-2

141: Sebastian Rivera (RU) over We Rachal (ILL) by TF, 22-7

149: Michael VanBrill (RU) over Christian Kanzler (ILL) by decision, 3-2

157: Robert Kanniard (RU) over Joe Roberts (ILL) by decision, 7-4

165: Danny Braunagel (ILL) over Andrew Clark (RU) by decision, 9-3

174: DJ Shannon (ILL) over Connor O’Neill (RU) by decision, 7-5

184: John Poznanski (RU) over Zac Braunagel (ILL) by decision, 5-2 

197: Greg Bulsak (RU) over Matt Wroblewski (ILL) by MD, 9-1

HWT: Luke Luffman (ILL) over Boone McDermott (RU) by decision, 7-2

Rutgers 21, Illinois 13

Extra Matches  

157: Al DeSantis (RU) over Jake Reicin (UI) by TF, 19-4


No. 15 Illinois hosts No. 2 Iowa for their home-opener at State Farm Center on Sunday afternoon beginning at 3 p.m. on Big Ten Network.


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