LASALLE — Injuries and missing wrestlers made an already difficult conference dual meet against LaSalle-Peru even tougher for the Rochelle varsity wrestling team on Tuesday. The Cavaliers started strong at the lighter weights, and LaSalle-Peru handily defeated Rochelle 57-24 to drop the Hubs to 1-5 overall.
Ayden Sines began the match by pinning Rochelle sophomore Grant Thompson at 126 pounds. Seth Antle won by fall over Hub freshman Ethan Tooley at 132, and Ashton Kellett took down Rochelle junior Keegan Davis by technical fall at 138. Andy Wertz pinned Hub sophomore Osiris Lenker at 145 to give the Cavaliers a 23-0 lead to start the match.
“I thought we did well with who we had,” head coach Alphonso Vruno said. “We have a few wrestlers injured and we have some wrestlers who are missing. We have a very young team right now and the older kids in the lineup are trying to gain some momentum in our lineup. LaSalle-Peru is a really good team and I thought we did some good things, but we have much more to work on.”
The Hubs avoided the shutout when senior Jake Fore won by fall over Gage Noonan at 152 to score Rochelle’s first six points of the match. LaSalle-Peru bounced back when Parker Swiskow topped Hub junior Zeke Horn by 13-2 major decision and Tyler Elliott pinned Rochelle sophomore Noah Messer at 170.
“Jake’s in an interesting position because his knee has been pretty banged up,” Vruno said. “It’s been tough for Jake to get full practices in, but the coaches and I have talked to him and we’re working on having him do different things in practice so he can get good workouts in. We really need him to be a contributor when we take the floor.”
Rochelle scored back-to-back wins when junior Bryan Garza pinned Nick Krolak at 182 and sophomore Ben Harvey won by fall against Drew Verway at 195. Senior Pedro Lopez collected a forfeit at 220 for the Hubs before Peyton Piraino won by fall over Hub junior Zach Capes at 285.
Greg Williams pinned Rochelle sophomore Ivan Pineda at 106 before the Cavaliers earned forfeits at 113 and 120 to close out the match. The Hubs will host Sterling and Marengo for a triangular meet on Thursday.
“I thought our effort was good,” Vruno said. “I’ve slowly seen us progress in the bottom position and I think we’re doing a good job of moving around on the bottom. LaSalle-Peru threw in some leg work and we haven’t gone over that as much as a team… We also need to work on our turning our opponents so we can get some more pins.”