Wolverines Take Control Early, Roll Past Indiana

Jan. 30, 2011

Site: Bloomington, Ind. (University Gymnasium)
Score: #13 Michigan 23, Indiana 9
Records: U-M (9-2, 4-0 Big Ten), Indiana (10-5, 0-4 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Friday, Feb. 4 -- at Wisconsin (Madison, Wis.), 7 p.m. CST

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The No. 13-ranked University of Michigan wrestling team dominated the lowerweights and won seven of the opening eight matches to roll past Indiana, 23-9, on Sunday afternoon (Jan. 30) at University Gymnasium. With the win, the Wolverines improve to 4-0 in Big Ten Conference dual action.

Michigan won the opening three bouts, earning major decisions in two, to build an early and sizable advantage through the lowerweight division. Sophomore Sean Boyle (Lowell, Mass./Blair Academy) used a balanced attack -- takedowns and subsequent ride-outs in each period -- to cruise past Justin Brooks, 9-1, at 125 pounds. Boyle spent the bulk of the match on top, building nearly five minutes of riding-time advantage, and drew a pair of stalling calls on Brooks from the position. After the second call, which earned Boyle an extra point midway through the third period, he released the Hoosier wrestler with the major in mind and quickly converted on a low single and rode out the remaining 30 seconds to earn the necessary bonus margin.

Junior Zac Stevens (Monroe, Mich./Monroe HS) overcame an early deficit against familiar foe Matt Ortega in the 133-pound contest, taking advantage of a contentious second-period flurry to score big points and claim an 8-5 decision. Ortega struck first on an early single leg, but the remainder match was all Stevens, who went ahead for good with successive takedowns midway through the middle frame. He converted the first off a front headlock, coming around to score with the head in the hole. The controversy came when the official subsequently awarded Ortega an escape without breaking contact and immediately awarded Stevens another takedown when he returned him to the mat just seconds later. The Wolverine wrestler rode out the period and iced the match with another single leg in the third.

Senior/junior captain Kellen Russell (High Bridge, N.J./Blair Academy) secured his second bonus win of the weekend with a 10-1 victory over Mitchell Richey at 141 pounds. Russell, ranked No. 1 nationally, converted on four takedowns -- two in the first period -- and accumulated more than five minutes in riding-time advantage. He nearly earned back points with a tilt in the waning seconds of the middle period but ran out of time and had to settle for the major decision. Russell remains perfect on the season, improving to 25-0.

Michigan earned decision victories from its Hesperia crew as sophomore/freshman Brandon Zeerip (Fremont, Mich./Hesperia HS) cruised at 157 pounds before sophomore/freshman Dan Yates (Hesperia, Mich./Hesperia HS) and senior/junior Justin Zeerip (Fremont, Mich./Hesperia HS) earned back-to-back shutouts at 165 and 174 pounds, respectively, to keep their momentum rolling after the intermission break.

Brandon Zeerip scored on three takedowns -- one in each period -- to roll past Alex Warren, 8-2, en route to his second win of the weekend and third in Big Ten competition. The Wolverine rookie, ranked 19th nationally, finished on a double leg, a front headlock and a high crotch and built up more than two minutes in riding-time advantage.

Despite setting an aggressive early tone with several missed first-period shots, Yates needed only an escape and riding time to win a low-scoring 2-0 affair against Ryan LeBlanc. He rode out the second period before scoring on a quick escape in the third to improve to 3-0 in Big Ten dual action.

Justin Zeerip controlled the 174-pound match from start to finish en route to a 4-0 decision over Nick Avery. The Wolverine captain converted on a first-period takedown, readjusting on a single leg along the edge to score midway through the frame, before adding a second-period escape and third-period ride out.

For the second time in as many weeks, junior/sophomore Hunter Collins (Gilroy, Calif./Gilroy HS) used a late five-point move to prevail at 184 pounds, defeating Indiana's Eric Cameron, 6-1, for Michigan's final win of the afternoon. After the two wrestlers traded little more than a couple early flurries and escape points, the match appeared headed to overtime when Collins won a late scramble along the edge of the mat, pulling an underhook into a single leg to get Cameron onto the mat and when the Hoosier wrestler tried to sit the corner, Collins hopped across and hooked the leg turk to bring Cameron right to his back. The Wolverine wrestler nearly pulled Cameron in bounds to earn the pin but ran out of time at the final buzzer.

Indiana's three wins came from its ranked wrestlers in the marquee matchups. Sophomore/freshman Eric Grajales (Brandon, Fla./Brandon HS) could not quite finish the necessary reversal in the closing seconds against No. 15 Kurt Kinser at 149 pounds, falling, 6-4. The match had already featured three reversals, including one from Kinser midway through the third period that netted the Hoosier the final advantage.

Fifth-year senior captain Anthony Biondo (Clinton Twp., Mich./Chippewa Valley HS) was doomed by three late-period counter takedowns in a 9-4 loss to No. 6 Matt Powless at 197 pounds. Biondo, ranked 11th nationally, took the first lead on a quick single leg and rode long enough for time advantage, but Powless controlled the remainder of the match, scoring off of Biondo's offense in the waning moments of all periods and riding out the frame on each occasion.

Junior/sophomore heavyweight Ben Apland (Woodbridge, Ill./Downers Grove South HS) claimed the previous two matchups against the Hoosiers' No. 14 Ricky Alcala but couldn't overcome a deficit in the third meeting, falling 9-4 on four Alcala takedowns.

The Wolverines (9-2, 4-0 Big Ten) will continue Big Ten competition next weekend with dual slates against Wisconsin and Penn State. U-M will travel to Madison, Wis., on Friday (Feb. 4) for a 7 p.m. match against the Badgers at UW Field House before returning home to face top-ranked Penn State on Sunday (Feb. 6) in a 2 p.m. contest at Cliff Keen Arena.


#13 Michigan 23, Indiana 9
Individual rankings from InterMat

Match Score
125 -- Sean Boyle (U-M) major dec. Justin Brooks, 9-1 U-M, 4-0
133 -- Zac Stevens (U-M) dec. Matt Ortega, 8-5 U-M, 7-0
141 -- #1 Kellen Russell (U-M) major dec. Mitchell Richey, 10-1 U-M, 11-0
149 -- #15 Kurt Kinser (IU) dec. Eric Grajales, 6-4 U-M, 11-3
157 -- #19 Brandon Zeerip (U-M) dec. Alex Warren, 8-2 U-M, 14-3
165 --#19 Dan Yates (U-M) dec. Ryan LeBlanc, 2-0 U-M, 17-3
174 -- Justin Zeerip (U-M) dec. Nick Avery, 4-0 U-M, 20-3
184 -- Hunter Collins (U-M) dec. Eric Cameron, 6-1 U-M, 23-3
197 -- #6 Matt Powless (IU) dec. #11 Anthony Biondo, 9-4 U-M, 23-6
Hwt -- #14 Ricky Alcala (IU) dec. #8 Ben Apland, 9-4 U-M, 23-9

Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423

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