Terps Take on #12 Illinois, Navy Sunday

Maryland Athletics
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MARYLAND (2-5, 0-1 B1G)
Maryland vs. Navy
ILLINOIS (1-0, 0-0 B1G)
Jan. 6, 2017 || XFINITY Center || 11:00 am
MARYLAND (2-5, 1-0 B1G)
Michigan vs. Navy
NAVY (5-0)
Jan. 6, 2017 || XFINITY Center || 1:00 pm

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Maryland (2-5, 0-1 B1G) will return to dual match competition this Sunday, January 8 in its first matches of the New Year. The Terps will face Big Ten counterpart #12 Illinois (1-0, 0-0 B1G) at 11 a.m. before taking on local rival Navy (5-0, 1-0 EIWA) at 1 p.m. for its annual Beauty and the Beast match with gymnastics.

The Terps will be looking their first-ever win against the 12th-ranked Illini, who own a 4-0 advantage in the all-time series. This will be the first trip to College Park for Illinois since Maryland joined the Big Ten. Maryland and Navy will reignite its storied head-to-head history on Sunday, meeting for the 67th time. Navy edged the Terps 24-18 last season in Annapolis.

This will be the third annual Beauty and the Beast event for wrestling and gymnastics programs, with over 2,000 fans attending each season. Both matches will be streamed live on BTN Plus.

Beauty and the beast

  • The Maryland gymnastics and wrestling teams will host their third annual Beauty and the Beast event on Sunday, competing simultaneously on the XFINITY Center main floor.
  • Maryland hosted 2,192 fans at last year’s Beauty and the Beast event, creating an incredible environment for the competing athletes.
  • “This event has been a big success for us over the past two seasons, and we’re excited to be partnered with gymnastics once again,” said head wrestling coach Kerry McCoy. “It’s a great opportunity to showcase our sport to a new audience. We’re looking forward to it.”
  • Admission is free to Beauty and the Beast. Prior to the event, fans are encouraged to arrive early and enjoy in fan fest in Heritage Hall. Activities include face painting with the Maryland Cheerleaders, a photobooth, poster making station, games, and more.
  • The first 250 fans in attendance will receive a commemorative Beauty and The Beast poster. After the event, fans can participate in an autograph session with the wrestlers and gymnasts.


A Look at the Illini

  • Illinois enters the weekend having wrestled just one dual match on the year, but is coming off a fifth place finish at the Midlands Championships December 29-30. The Illini were tabbed 12th in the nation in the latest NWCA poll, and currently have five wrestlers ranked in the top-20 in their weight class via the  InterMat Wrestling individual rankings.
  • Illinois notched a 30-10 win its lone dual match of 2016-17 against SIU-Edwardsville on December 7.
  • 165-pounder Isaiah Martinez headlines the Illinois lineup as one of the most talented wrestlers in the collegiate landscape at the moment. Martinez is a two-time NCAA champion and ranked No. 1 in the country at 165, fresh off a Midlands title a week ago.
  • Fourth-ranked 133-pounder Zane Richards is also a returning All-American, dropping his first match of the season in the Midlands Championship 133-pound final. Illinois will first wrestle at Rutgers on Friday before heading to College Park. 
  • Illinois Probables
    • 125: Fr. Travis Piotrowski (8-6, 0-1)
    • 133: R-Sr. #4 Zane Richards (12-1, 1-0)
    • 141: So. Mousa Jodeh (8-8, 1-0)
    • 149: R-Fr. Eric Barone (2-2, 0-0)
    • 157: R-Jr. Kyle Langenderfer (12-3, 1-0)
    • 165: R-Jr. #1 Isaiah Martinez (12-0,1-0)\
    • 174: R-Sr. #12 Zac Brunson (17-3, 1-0)
    • 184: R-So. #14 Emery Parker (16-3, 1-0)
    • 197: R-So. Andre Lee (7-5, 0-1)
    • 285: R-Jr. #17 Brooks Black (5-3, 0-1)


A LOOK AT THE midshipmen

  • Navy is undefeated heading into Sunday’s matchup, winning all five of its dual matches on the year.
  • The Midshipmen had one placer at the Southern Scuffle Jan. 2 in their last outing on the mat, as junior Jadaen Bernstein took eighth at 174 pounds. Bernstein is currently the only Navy wrestler ranked via the InterMat Wrestling polls, coming in at #18 at 174.
  • Navy and Maryland may have some other wrestlers tangle at the F&M Open on Saturday, where both schools are expected to have entries. 
  • Navy Probables
    • 125 Jr. Brant Leadbeter (2-8, 0-1)
    • 133 So. Cody Lambert (2-6, 1-0) or Fr. Ricky Bryant (0-2, 0-2)
    • 141 Fr. Jared Prince (13-6, 2-0) or So. Nicholas Gil (17-5, 3-0) or Jr. Zack Davis (7-5, 0-0)
    • 149 Jr. Corey Wilding (13-7, 2-1)
    • 157 Fr. Zack Elvin (15-8, 3-0)
    • 165 Jr. Drew Daniels (7-6, 2-0)
    • 174 Jr. #18 Jadaen Bernstein (16-6, 3-0)
    • 184 Sr. Ryan Harman (8-9, 1-1) or Fr. Alex Benoit (1-2, 1-0)
    • 197 Jr. Steban Cervantes (13-6, 3-0)
    • 285 Sr. Ethan Stanley (5-10, 1-2)


midlands rewind

  • Redshirt sophomore Alfred Bannister (149) led the Terps at the 54th Annual Ken Kraft Midlands Championships December 29-30 with an eighth place finish in the 149-pound bracket.
  • Bannister totaled five wins at Midlands, which included a two bonus point victories and a pair of wins in tiebreaker.
  • Maryland was 17th overall in the team standings, with the team accounting for nine bonus point victories during the two-day tourney. 
  • Redshirt senior Billy Rappo surprised some folks in the early rounds of the Midlands Championships, knocking off two seeded opponents in his season debut at 133 pounds.
  • Rappo’s opening bout was one of the most exciting of the day in front of a large crowd at Welsh-Ryan Arena, coming back to defeat sixth-seeded Tyson Dippery (Rutgers). After going down 4-2, Rappo scrambled from the top position in the second period to put Dippery in a cradle and eventually on his back for an upset pin (4:17).
  • The Holland, Pa. native then went to work on 11th-seeded Scott Delvecchio, clinching an 8-3 decision. Rappo finished the tournament 2-2 overall. 


next up

  • The Terps will head west to the Great Lakes state for a pair of Big Ten duals vs. Michigan (Jan. 13) and Michigan State (Jan.15).