Wolverines Blast Rival Michigan State on Senior Day
Eric Grajales

Jan. 29, 2012

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Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Cliff Keen Arena)
Score: #11 Michigan 26, Michigan State 9
Records: U-M (6-3, 4-2 Big Ten), MSU (4-7, 1-6 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Friday, Feb. 3 -- at Ohio State (Columbus, Ohio), 6 p.m.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The No. 11-ranked University of Michigan wrestling team closed out the home portion of its 2011-12 schedule in dominant fashion, claiming seven matches en route to a 26-9 win over intrastate rival Michigan State on Sunday afternoon (Jan. 29) in front of 1,351 fans at Cliff Keen Arena. The Wolverines' three seniors were all victorious in their final appearance at Keen Arena, while U-M wrapped its home slate with a 4-1 record.

MSU won two of the opening three bouts to keep the score close early, but the Wolverines surged ahead with three straight bonus wins after the intermission break.

Fifth-year senior Justin Zeerip (Fremont, Mich./Hesperia HS) kicked off the dual meet with his second win over the Spartans' 11th-ranked Curran Jacobs this season, using takedowns in the first and third periods to secure a 7-1 decision at 174 pounds. Zeerip, ranked fifth, struck quickly on a snap-down and head in the hole and elicited a pair of stalling calls on bottom while riding out the remainder of the first period. He escaped in the second and tacked on a late takedown on another hard snap-down. Zeerip improved to 18-2 on the season.

After the Spartans took their temporary and short-lived advantage with back-to-back wins at 184 and 197 pounds, Michigan won at the top and bottom of the lineup to carry a three-point lead into the intermission.

Senior/junior heavyweight Ben Apland (Woodridge, Ill./Downers Grove South HS) used a pair of takedowns and 2:44 in riding-time advantage to cruise past No. 18-ranked Mike McClure. Apland, ranked 11th, fought off an extended single-leg attack early in the first and eventually scored off it, converting on a front headlock, to gain the initial lead. He rode out the period, escaped quickly in the second, and added an explosive double leg midway through the third.

Junior/sophomore Grant Pizzo (Brighton, Mich./Brighton HS) reclaimed the Wolverines' advantage with a 7-4 decision over Eric Olanowski in a swing match at 125 pounds. Pizzo countered an early MSU shot to score on a first-period single leg and extended his advantage with another in the second. Olanowski used a Peterson to reverse the Wolverine late in the middle frame, but Pizzo managed to stay off his back until the buzzer. He rode a majority of the third period to seal the match and claim his third Big Ten win.

Michigan picked up back-to-back major decisions out of the intermission from senior Zac Stevens (Monroe, Mich./Monroe HS) and fifth-year senior Kellen Russell (High Bridge, N.J./Blair Academy) at 133 and 141 pounds, respectively. Stevens converted six takedowns, including four in the first period, and added two back points and 3:17 in riding time to cruise past Terry Turner, 17-7.

Top-ranked Russell extended his win streak to 15 straight matches with a 10-0 shutout against Brian Gibbs at 141 pounds. Russell scored the bulk of his points in the first period, finishing on a quick duck-under before using a pair of power halves to tack on six back points. He escaped early in the second and rode out the third to accumulate 4:16 in riding time and improve to 22-1 this season.

Junior/sophomore Eric Grajales (Brandon, Fla./Brandon HS) claimed Michigan's third straight bonus win with a quick first-period pin against Dan Osterman at 149 pounds. Grajales, ranked seventh, fought off an early and deep single-leg shot, scrambling for the takedown and immediately locking up a cradle to stick the Spartan wrestler at the 1:50 mark. It was Grajales' second pin and 10th bonus win of the season, and he improved to 14-3.

The teams splits the final two matches as Michigan State's 12th-ranked Anthony Jones Jr. benefited from a stalling call in the tiebreaker to claim the 157-pound contest, 3-2, before junior/sophomore Dan Yates (Hesperia, Mich./Hesperia HS) closed out the dual with a 6-0 decision David Cheza at 165 pounds. Yates scored on takedowns in the first and third periods and accumulated 1:19 in riding time to claim his second win of the weekend.

Michigan will close out its Big Ten dual schedule next weekend with a pair of road contests. The Wolverines will travel to Columbus, Ohio, to face rival Ohio State at 6 p.m. on Friday (Feb. 3) before wrapping up the weekend on Sunday (Feb. 5) with a 2 p.m. slate against Penn State in State College, Pa.

#11 Michigan 26, Michigan State 9
Individual rankings from InterMat

Match Score
174 -- #5 Justin Zeerip (U-M) dec. #11 Curran Jacobs, 7-1 U-M, 3-0
184 -- Ian Hinton (MSU) dec. Hunter Collins, 8-5 Tie, 3-3
197 -- Nick McDiarmid (MSU) dec. Chris Heald, 8-3 MSU, 6-3
Hwt -- #11 Ben Apland (U-M) dec. #18 Mike McClure, 6-0 Tie, 6-6
125 -- Grant Pizzo (U-M) dec. Eric Olanowski, 7-4 U-M, 9-6
133 -- #18 Zac Stevens (U-M) major dec. Terry Turner, 17-7 U-M, 13-6
141 -- #1 Kellen Russell (U-M) major dec. Brian Gibbs, 10-0 U-M, 17-6
149 -- #7 Eric Grajales (U-M) pinned Dan Osterman, 1:50 U-M, 23-6
157 -- #12 Anthony Jones Jr. (MSU) dec. Brandon Zeerip, 3-2 TB U-M, 23-9
165 -- #17 Dan Yates (U-M) dec. David Cheza, 6-0 U-M, 26-9

Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423

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