Cassioppi sisters win quarterfinal matches in first-ever state girls wrestling championships


(L-R) Angelina and Rose Cassioppi are winning at the first-ever girls wrestling state championships. Photo: Hononegah Community High School

At the end of the first day of matches in the IHSA girls wrestling state finals, both Angelina Cassioppi (21-6) and Rose Cassioppi (13-7) had  won their quarterfinal matches and had "guaranteed places" in the final rankings. Technically, along with the other three top scorers in their respective weight classes, each sister was tied for 6th place at that point.  The Hononegah wrestlers will continue with semifinals on Saturday at Grossinger Motors Arena in Bloomington.

On Friday, in the 100 lb. weight category, Angelina Cassioppi won in Round 1 by tech fall over Sammy Lehr (Normal (Community West)) 9-5 (TF-1.5 2:00 (18-2)). She won the Quarterfinal match by fall over Ava Anderson (Flossmoor (Homewood-F.)) 16-9 (Fall 1:43)

    In the 170 lb. weight category, Rose Cassioppi (Rockton (Hononegah)) 13-7 won in Round 1 by fall over Katie Marvel (Canton) 7-8 (Fall 2:50). She won the Quarterfinal match by fall over Naomi Miles (Lake Forest (H.S.)) 8-3 (Fall 1:11)

    In Saturday's semifinals, Rose will grapple with August Rottmann of Highland. Angelina will face Brianna Richey from Lawrenceville, who is a previous Illinois Freestyle Girls state champ. 

    Rose told WIFR, "It's cool now to have a whole tournament just for girls." She said that wrestling girls helps her get more used to freestyle wrestling. "If I'm wrestling boys, I can only do folkstyle." NCAA womens wrestling follows freestyle rules, though folkstyle is typical in American high schools and colleges. The international Olympic Games use freestyle or Greco-Roman.

    Cassioppi is a well-known wrestling name in Roscoe and Rockton. Besides Rose and Angelina, lists Tony, Giovanni, Bruno, and Rocco. Tony, a University of Iowa wrestler who won a gold medal at the 2021 U23 World Championships in Serbia, outweighs his little sister Angelina by 185 pounds. Giovanni, in his second year at Western Colorado University, only weighs 149 pounds, but won four conference championships while at Hononegah, where he also played football and tennis, and graduated with a 3.6 grade point average.

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