Gavin Curless, 23 Sports

Mizzou wrestling opened their season up against rival Illinois on Saturday up in Champaign, IL. The Tigers were expected to win, but they did more than that. With the Tigers opening up ranked No. 7 in the nation and the Fighting Illini ranked No. 17 this match was seen as a good test for Missouri and a pacemaker for both teams. The Tigers won 30-8, raising expectations even higher for a program that contends nationally every year.

Mizzou’s domination started quickly. Only four matches in the Tigers had a commanding 18 to -1 lead. Illinois would improve their performance as the weight classes got higher, but it was not enough to make the overall contest anywhere close to competitive.

Notable Tigers victories included Colby Smith’s (125) technical fall victory to open up the dual, Jayden Eierman getting an overtime win, and Daniel Lewis landing a pin, the 37th of his career. The Tigers were not done yet, however. True freshman Zach Elam recorded his first victory against Deuce Rachal with a score of 10-4. Of the ten individual matches, the Tigers emerged victorious in seven.

Mizzou will look to take the momentum from this dominating performance Norfolk, Virginia when they go to face off against the Old Dominion Monarchs. Although another victory is expected from this outstanding Tiger Wrestling team, no win is assured. This next matchup on November 11th is a very important one, considering it’s the first conference matchup of the season. Last year the Tigers made easy work of ODU, outscoring the Monarchs 36-3.