Jan. 27, 2013
N O T E S
With today's victory, Michigan improved to 72-8-3 in the all-time series against Northwestern. U-M has claimed each of the last two meetings.
Senior/junior Eric Grajales improved to 4-0 in Big Ten duals. Freshman Taylor Massa is also undefeated in conference competition with a 3-0 mark.
Massa has scored bonus points in each of his last four matches, stretching back to his seventh-match at the Midlands Championships Dec. 29-30.
Junior/sophomore Max Huntley previously lost to Northwestern's Alex Polizzi, 4-3, in the wrestlebacks at the Midlands Championships. Huntley owns a 2-1 advantage in collegiate meetings against the Wildcat wrestler, adding a decision at last season's MSU Open.
Nearly 200 wrestlers participated in the Wolverines' pre-meet clinic, hosted by NCAA champion Steve Luke (2006-09) and All-American Zac Stevens (2009-12).
Q U O T E S
Michigan Assistant Coach Donny Pritzlaff
On the Wolverines' first Big Ten win ... "It was a great win for us. Sometimes it's a lot easier for these guys to learn when coming off a team win. Even for the guys who got beat, it takes some of the sting away. Everything just feels more upbeat. It was hard to start 0-3 in the Big Ten, especially when we thought we felt like we should have won two of those. This is definitely a step in the right direction."
On Chris Heald's win at 184 pounds ... "I think Chris knew that was a pivotal match for us. It really put us in the driver's seat to win the dual. There was a lot of pressure on him, and he handled it well. He just kept attacking; he was in on probably 6-7 really good leg attacks before scoring on the last one to get the win. That was a huge step forward for him to finish that match."
On Taylor Massa establishing momentum after the break ... "We were down a bonus point, and he got us two there, so it really put us in the driver's seat. We just needed two more wins to put us in great shape. We felt really good after he got that first turn right away. I think that took (Pierce) Harger out of the match."
On Sean Boyle ... "Sean is kind of easy to forget about, because he just goes out there and does his job. He wrestled a guy that was ranked higher than him most of the year, so it was a pretty even match on paper. I thought Sean controlled the whole thing. He did a great job. He really gets us started well. We'd like to follow that up with some better individual performances. That's something we need to work on. But Sean is getting better every day, and he's moving closer to being a real threat to reach the podium."
U-M Junior/Sophomore Chris Heald
On his win at 184 pounds ... "It was my first Big Ten win ever. I really wanted this one bad. I was getting in really deep on those shots; I just couldn't finish them. I knew that if I kept attacking, I would eventually be able to get one. It always feels good to win for the team. We've been training really hard; finally it's starting to pay off. This helps with the confidence. We have some good competition ahead of us, so I'm just looking to get some more wins and qualify for NCAAs."
U-M Freshman Taylor Massa
On kickstarting the Wolverines' comeback ... "It was really important for us to get this win. We had a pretty good crowd, but after the half, they were kind of out of it. I really wanted to spike that crowd up and get the fans involved -- that's a huge boost for our team. If I can go out there, score a lot of points and get them into it, I'm going to do that. When I took him down and flipped him over, as soon as I felt him go, I knew I had a good chance to get the tech. I knew I could score a lot of points off that move."
On the team win ... "This is a good feeling. But this is where we should be. We want to be at the top, and we know we've worked hard enough to get to the top. We just weren't showing it. Finally, we're starting to come together, and it's starting to show."