Wolverines Topple No. 12 Ohio State for Seventh Straight Win
Rossi Bruno

Jan. 31, 2014

Notes & Quotes

Site: Columbus, Ohio (St. John Arena)
Score: #11 Michigan 21, #12 Ohio State 12
Records: U-M (9-2, 5-0 Big Ten), Ohio State (7-4, 2-4 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, Feb. 2 -- vs. Penn State (Cliff Keen Arena), 3:30 p.m.

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The No. 11-ranked University of Michigan wrestling team took seven individual matches, including three separate upset victories, to take down No. 12 Ohio State, 21-12, on Friday evening (Jan. 31) at St. John Arena. The Wolverines claimed nearly all of the dual's key swing matches.

Carrying a narrow two-point advantage at the halftime intermission, Michigan gutted out three straight overtime tiebreaker wins after the break to pull away late in the dual.

Freshman Adam Coon (Fowlerville, Mich./Fowlerville HS), ranked second in the latest InterMat poll, used a reversal in the first tiebreaker to defeat Nick Tavanello, 3-2, in the heavyweight contest. The wrestlers traded escapes during regulation. Coon struggled to keep Tavanello in the circle and drew an early stall warning but not a second and fought out of a deep counter attack in the sudden-victory period. The Wolverine reversed and subsequently rode out the first tiebreaker and kept Tavanello down for most of the second to claim the win.

Sophomore/freshman Conor Youtsey (Parma, Mich./Mason HS) and sophomore Rossi Bruno (Brandon, Fla./Brandon HS) followed with similar 2-1 tiebreaker decisions at the lowerweights. Youtsey knocked off No. 15-ranked Nick Peters at 125 pounds, riding out the first tiebreaker before picking up a quick escape in the second. Bruno avenged an early-season loss to fifth-ranked Johnni DiJulius at 133 pounds. Both wrestlers rode out the 30-second frames in the first tiebreaker, while Bruno secured a late escape in the second before riding out DiJulius for the win.

The Buckeyes' two-time NCAA champion Logan Stieber earned a technical fall at 141 pounds to pull OSU within six points, but the result also sealed the win for Michigan, who also held the tiebreaker advantage.

The tiebreaker wasn't needed, however, as fifth-year senior Eric Grajales (Brandon, Fla./Brandon HS) capped the dual with a 7-2 decision over 18th-ranked Ian Paddock in the final match at 149 pounds. It was Paddock that struck first, scoring on a quick single leg, but Grajales, ranked seventh, battled back, riding out the second period before throwing the Buckeye for four points in the waning seconds of the bout.

Freshman Domenic Abounader (Gates Mills, Ohio/St. Edward HS) picked up the Wolverines' third upset victory at 184 pounds, using a big first period to knock off 10th-ranked Kenny Courts, 9-4. Abounader, ranked 20th, scrambled out of a deep single shot early in the opening frame and caught Courts in a scissors for a takedown and three back points. Courts scored on a low single leg late in the frame, but couldn't do much else as Abounader iced the win with a late takedown in the third.

Michigan opened the dual with back-to-back wins at the middleweights. Starting at 157 pounds, freshman Brian Murphy (Carol Stream, Ill./Glenbard North HS) rallied from an early deficit to defeat Randy Languis, 5-2, scoring a two-point near fall out of a third-period cradle and riding out the period to accumulate 1:49 in time advantage. Fifth-year senior Dan Yates (Hesperia, Mich./Hesperia HS) scored three first-period takedowns -- all on head in the holes -- and similarly rode for 1:49 to beat Joe Grandominico, 8-4, at 165 pounds.

The Wolverines will close out their 2013-14 home schedule on Sunday (Feb. 2), hosting No. 1 Penn State, the three-time defending NCAA champion, at 3:30 p.m. at Cliff Keen Arena. Tickets are sold out for the dual, which will be aired live on the Big Ten Network.

#11 Michigan 21, #12 Ohio State 12
Individual rankings from InterMat

Match Score
157 -- #14 Brian Murphy (U-M) dec. Randy Languis, 5-2 U-M, 3-0
165 -- #7 Dan Yates (U-M) dec. Joe Grandominico, 8-4 U-M, 6-0
174 -- #14 Mark Martin (OSU) dec. Collin Zeerip, 4-3 U-M, 6-3
184 -- #20 Domenic Abounader (U-M) dec. #10 Kenny Courts, 9-4 U-M, 9-3
197 -- #8 Nick Heflin (MOSU) major dec. Chris Heald, 16-3 U-M, 9-7
Hwt -- #2 Adam Coon (U-M) dec. Nick Tavanello, 3-2 TB U-M, 12-7
125 -- Conor Youtsey (U-M) dec. #15 Nick Roberts, 2-1 TB U-M, 15-7
133 -- Rossi Bruno (U-M) dec. #5 Johnni DiJuilius, 2-1 TB2 U-M, 18-7
141 -- #3 Logan Stieber (OSU) tech. fall #13 Steve Dutton, 16-1 (7:00) U-M, 18-12
149 -- #7 Eric Grajales (U-M) dec. #18 Ian Paddock, 7-2 U-M, 21-12


• With tonight's win, Michigan improved to 69-19-4 in the all-time series against Ohio State. The Wolverines halted a two-match OSU win streak in the series.

• U-M's 5-0 start in Big Ten dual competition is its best since the 2005-06 season when it went 8-0 en route to the conference dual title.

• Michigan's seven-match win streak is the program's longest since posting 11 in a row during the 2007-08 season.

• Freshman Domenic Abounader has beaten ranked opponents in each of his last two matches, defeating Michigan State's then-No. 18 John Rizqallah, 6-0, last weekend before earning the 7-2 win over No. 10 KennyCourts tonight. Abounader made his first appearance in the national rankings this week.

• Fifth-year senior Eric Grajales improved to 2-2 against Ohio State's Ian Paddock. Paddock defeated Grajales, 8-2, in the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational fifth-place match earlier this season.

• Sophomore Rossi Bruno also avenged a loss from the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational, where he fell to OSU's Johni DiJulius, 6-5, in the quarterfinals.

• Fifth-year senior Dan Yates has won each of his last eight matches, while Grajales has won five in a row.


Michigan Head Coach Joe McFarland
On the team victory ... "It was a gritty win. We dug down deep in a lot of matches in their gym. We won all the close matches. It was just tough hard-nosed wrestling. We didn't win enough of the first periods like I would have hoped; it could have made some of those matches easier. But our guys wrestled hard for seven minutes, and in some cases beyond that, to win some close matches. That's a good sign. The guys did a great job."

On winning the rivalry dual ... "It always feels good to beat Ohio State. No question about it. It's a huge rivalry. We're doing our part. I think our young guys are realizing what the rivalry is all about. There was a huge, vocal crowd tonight. That's a great environment to wrestle in, and we performed. That's good for us."

On Domenic Abounader's performance ... "He's just a tough kid. He wrestles hard, trains hard, wants to win, and he's just a great all-around kid. He's got a great attitude and personality. You want to see those kids do well, because they put in the work and deserve it. I think he's really growing his confidence; he's starting to realize how good he can be. He can be on the podium this year."

On winning three straight overtime wins ... "That was great to see. In those overtimes, I thought our guys were the aggressors. I felt like it was just a matter of time before we pulled it out."

U-M Sophomore Rossi Bruno
On U-M winning all the swing matches ... "I think it can be attributed to the mindset that the coaches are really instilling in us. For me, in this match, I was really focused on getting my mind right. I think that's one of my biggest things right now. I need to stay focused, and I think that's what we're all doing better now. That's exactly what the coaches are emphasizing day in and day out."

On avenging a loss to OSU's Johnni DiJulius ... "He's kind of hard to figure out how to wrestle for the first time. But once you figure him out, you can wrestle the way you want to wrestle but be aware of the positions he's good in and try to advantage of scoring opportunities. We've been working the game plan all week, and it really paid off tonight."

On the team's recent success ... "We're definitely moving in the right direction. It's a completely different atmosphere from this year to last year. We're starting to believe more. I certainly believe in myself more. I'm still not where I need to be, but I feel like we're all going in the right direction."

U-M Freshman Domenic Abounader
On his game plan and quick start ... "I knew that he liked to hit a lot of low shots, so the emphasis throughout the week was to stay low and protect my legs. I really wanted to pick up the pace of the match and really push it through the first three minutes. Once I got him on his back, I thought he was pinned but I just didn't get the call. But that was a great way to start the match. It put me in a good position to win. I just had to wrestle hard for the next four minutes."

On wearing out his opponents two matches in row ... "In the beginning of the year, I didn't feel like I was in the best shape coming off my injury. I've been working a lot harder lately, and I felt really good all match. I knew that if I stayed on him, he'd get tired. So, it worked out in my favor."

Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423

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