Jan. 6, 2012
Site: Evanston, Ill. (Welsh-Ryan Arena)
Score: #8 Michigan 28, #17 Northwestern 9
Records: U-M (3-1, 2-0 Big Ten), Northwestern (4-1, 0-1 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, Jan. 8 -- vs. Illinois (Cliff Keen Arena), 2 p.m.
EVANSTON, Ill. -- The No. 8-ranked University of Michigan wrestling team won the final five matches en route to a dominant 28-9 road win at Northwestern on Friday evening (Jan. 6) at Welsh-Ryan Arena. The Wolverines won eight individual matches overall, earning bonus points in four, to improve to 2-0 in Big Ten Conference dual action.
Michigan battled to five straight decision wins after the intermission break to pull away from the Wildcats, who were riding a runner-up finish at last week's Midlands Championships. Junior/sophomore Dan Yates (Hesperia, Mich./Hesperia HS) and fifth-year senior Justin Zeerip (Fremont, Mich./Hesperia HS) battled to decision wins at 165 and 174 pounds, respectively, both earning wins over Wildcat opponents for the second time this season. Yates rallied to defeat Pierce Harger, 5-2, in the former match, scoring on a quick first-period escape and takedown after giving up an early takedown. Yates, ranked 18th, added another escape early in the second and accumulated 2:08 in riding-time advantage.
Zeerip battled to a 3-2 decision over eighth-ranked Lee Munster at 174 pounds, using an early first-period single leg to earn the bout's deciding points. The wrestlers traded escapes in the second and third, but neither could finish on late shot attempts. Zeerip improved to 15-1 on the season.
Senior/junior Hunter Collins (Gilroy, Calif./Gilroy HS) sealed the Wolverines' victory with a 13-2 major decision against Robert Kellogg at 184 pounds. Collins took a significant early advantage, scoring on a quick takedown before adding a pair of three-point near falls on a leg turk and subsequent tilt. The wrestlers traded takedowns in the final two periods, but Collins added two escapes and 1:31 in time advantage to maintain his bonus margin.
Sophomore/freshman Max Huntley (Emerald Isle, N.C./Blair Academy) earned his second win over Northwestern's John Schoen this season with a 5-2 decision in the 197-pound match. Huntley converted on an early single leg and after Schoen scored a quick reversal on an ensuing restart, the Wolverine rookie escaped off the next restart. Huntley rode out the second and escaped again quickly in the third to finish with 1:47 in time advantage.
Junior/sophomore heavyweight Ben Apland (Woodridge, Ill./Downers Grove South HS) capped the Wolverines' victory with a 6-4 decision against 19th-ranked Mike McMullan in the final bout. Apland finished on takedowns in the second and third periods and missed on three additional single-leg opportunities when he struggled to keep the Wildcat on the mat. He scrambled out of a McMullan shot at the buzzer to claim his sixth straight win.
The Wolverines won three of the opening five bouts, earning three consecutive major decisions at the lowerweights to neutralize Northwestern's pin at 125 pounds.
Senior Zac Stevens (Monroe, Mich./Monroe HS) struck quickly in the 133-pound match, immediately taking down Jameson Oster to his back for a quick four points. Stevens, ranked 17th, added two more takedowns, a second-period reversal and a two-point leg turk to secure a 13-2 win.
Fifth-year senior Kellen Russell (High Bridge, N.J./Blair Academy) converted on four takedowns en route to a 14-2 major decision against Colin Shober at 141 pounds. The Wolverine captain, ranked second, used a variety of attacks, capping the bout with a third-period high crotch before adding a late three-point turn at the buzzer to claim his seventh consecutive bonus win. Russell is 17-1 on the season.
After missing the Wolverines' last two events, junior/sophomore Eric Grajales (Brandon, Fla./Brandon HS) was victorious in his return to the lineup, claiming a 13-5 major decision against Pat Greco at 149 pounds. Grajales gave up the first takedown out of an early flurry before taking control with an escape, two takedowns and a three-point near fall to close out the opening frame. The Wolverine wrestler, ranked fourth, converted on two more takedowns in the third and accumulated 4:42 in time advantage to earn the bonus point.
Michigan will wrap up its weekend slate on Sunday (Jan. 8), squaring off against No. 7 Illinois at 2 p.m. at Cliff Keen Arena. Before the dual, the Wolverines will host a free wrestling clinic from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Cliff Keen Arena. Fans can purchase tickets for the meet in advance via the U-M Ticket Office.
#8 Michigan 29, #17 Northwestern 9
Individual rankings from InterMat
|125 -- #7 Levi Mele (NW) pinned Grant Pizzo, 3:36||NW, 6-0|
|133 -- #17 Zac Stevens (U-M) major dec. Jameson Oster, 13-2||NW, 6-4|
|141 -- #2 Kellen Russell (U-M) major dec. Colin Shober, 14-2||U-M, 8-6|
|149 -- #4 Eric Grajales (U-M) major dec. Pat Greco, 13-5||U-M, 12-6|
|157 -- #3 Jason Welch (NW) dec. Brandon Zeerip, 2-0||U-M, 12-9|
|165 -- #18 Dan Yates (U-M) dec. Pierce Harger, 5-2||U-M, 15-9|
|174 -- #6 Justin Zeerip (U-M) dec. #8 Lee Munster, 3-2||U-M, 18-9|
|184 -- Hunter Collins (U-M) major dec. Robert Kellogg, 13-2||U-M, 22-9|
|197 -- #18 Max Huntley (U-M) dec. #20 John Schoen, 5-2||U-M, 25-9|
|Hwt -- #15 Ben Apland (U-M) dec. #19 Mike McMullan, 6-4||U-M, 28-9|
Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423