Massa Advances to NCAA Quarterfinals, Five Alive in Wrestlebacks
Taylor Massa

March 21, 2013

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Site: Des Moines, Iowa (Wells Fargo Arena)
Event: NCAA Championships (Day 1 of 3)
U-M Team Standing: T23rd of 72 Teams (6.5 points) after Day 1
Next U-M Event: Friday, March 22 -- at NCAA Championships - Day 2 (Des Moines, Iowa), 10 a.m. CDT

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Freshman Taylor Massa (St. Johns, Mich./St. Johns HS) advanced to the quarterfinal round to headline the University of Michigan wrestling team's first day at the 2013 NCAA Championships on Thursday (March 21) at Wells Fargo Arena. With another five wrestlers still alive in the wrestlebacks, the Wolverines sit in 23rd place (6.5 points) after the first day of competition.

Massa knocked off North Dakota State's fifth-seeded Steven Monk, 7-5, in the 165-pound second round, taking advantage of a big five-point move to gain a significant early advantage. The Wolverine rookie, seeded 12th, used a hip toss to put Monk on his back about a minute into the bout. Monk escaped and earned a late takedown in the frame before Massa padded his lead with a takedown off of a front headlock late in the second. Monk chose top in the third and rode out the period to gain time advantage but could not turn Massa, who held on for the victory.

Massa claimed an 11-7 decision over Army's Paul Hancock in the morning session, scoring four takedowns, including two in the first period, two back points and 1:59 in riding-time advantage.

The Wolverines' other two second-period representatives, senior/juniors Sean Boyle (Lowell, Mass./Blair Academy) and Eric Grajales (Brandon, Fla./Brandon HS) dropped narrow decisions to top-five seeds.

Boyle lost to Missouri's top-seeded Alan Waters, 4-2, at 125 pounds. After a scoreless first period, Boyle was ridden out in the second and gave up a reversal midway through the third period. He reversed Waters back with 22 seconds remaining in the third and, with riding time giving the Tiger wrestler a one-point edge, cut him loose in search of a takedown. He got in on Waters' legs for a moment before they went off the mat and could not find another opening as time expired. Boyle used three takedowns -- two in the opening period -- to defeat Penn's Mark Rappo, 8-3, in the first round.

Grajales held an early advantage against Columbia's fifth-seeded Steve Santos, finishing on a single leg in the opening 30 seconds, but Santos charged back with a takedown late in the second period and added two near fall while riding out the third en route to a 6-3 decisions. Grajales rolled past Iowa State's Max Mayfield, 11-0, in the first round, scoring on a first-period headlock and tilts in the second and third periods.

Freshman Rossi Bruno (Brandon, Fla./Brandon HS), senior/junior Dan Yates (Hesperia, Mich./Hesperia HS) and fifth-year senior Ben Apland (Woodridge, Ill./Downers Grove South HS) are also still alive in the wrestlebacks after all winning their first consolation matches in the evening session.

Bruno controlled his 133-pound wrestleback match against NC State's Sam Speno from start to finish, scoring on three takedowns -- one in each period -- to claim a 10-4 decision. The Wolverine rookie countered a deep Speno single to scramble for his first takedown a minute into the first and rode out the frame, using a half to add a pair of back points. He added a double leg late in the second, a single late in the third and rode for 2:48 in time advantage. He gave up a takedown at the buzzer to lose his major-decision margin. Bruno dropped an 8-0 loss to Edinboro's fourth-seeded A.J. Schopp in the opening round.

Yates, seeded 10th at 174 pounds, bounced back from a first-round loss to claim a 6-2 decision over Wyoming's L.J. Helbig in the evening wrestleback round. He scored on a quick low single in the opening seconds of the match and added a double late in the first frame. Yates sacrificed an early advantage against Iowa State's Tanner Weatherman in the morning, giving up a late double leg in the final 20 seconds of the match -- losing his time advantage -- to fall 6-4.

Apland rallied to defeat Penn State's Jimmy Lawson, 7-4, in his heavyweight consolation match. The Nittany Lion wrestler led by a point and had choice in the third, but Apland dominated the final frame, turning Lawson with a leg turk early and holding it for the bulk of the period. He rode out to add 1:17 in time advantage and advance to tomorrow.

Junior/sophomore Max Huntley (Emerald Isle, N.C./Blair Academy) was eliminated after posting a 0-2 record at 197 pounds. He scored two takedown in the third period against Missouri's 12th-seeded Brent Haynes in the wrestlebacks but could not overcome a significant early deficit, falling 9-4 to drop his second match of the day.

Michigan will return competition for the NCAA Championships' third session on Friday (March 22) at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa. The morning session begins at 10 a.m. CDT and will feature quarterfinal matches and continued wrestleback competition.

Team Standings (After Day 1)

 1. Penn State      32.5
 2. Oklahoma State  29
 3. Minnesota 	    24
 4. Iowa            22
 5. Oregon State    16
 6. Missouri        14.5
    Ohio State      14.5
 8. Nebraska        13.5
 9. Oklahoma        13
10. Boise State     12
    Cornell         12
23. MICHIGAN         6.5

U-M Results (Day 1)
Numbers listed are tournament seedings

125 - Sean Boyle
First Round - dec. Mark Rappo (Penn), 8-3
Second Round - dec. by #1 Alan Waters (Missouri), 4-2
Consolations - vs. Jade Rauser (Utah Valley)

133 - Rossi Bruno
First Round - major dec. #4 A.J. Schopp (Edinboro), 8-0
Consolations - dec. Sam Speno (NC State), 10-4
Consolations - vs. Randy Cruz (Lehigh)

149 - #12 Eric Grajales
First Round - major dec. Max Mayfield (Iowa State), 11-0
Second Round - dec. by #5 Steve Santos (Columbia), 6-3
Consolations - vs. #11 Andrew Alton (Penn State)

165 - #12 Taylor Massa
First Round - dec. Paul Hancock (Army), 11-7
Second Round - dec. #5 Steven Monk (North Dakota State), 7-5
Quarterfinals - vs. #4 Tyler Caldwell (Oklahoma State)

174 - #10 Dan Yates
First Round - dec. by Tanner Weatherman (Iowa State), 6-4
Consolations - dec. L.J. Helbig (Wyoming), 6-2
Consolations - vs. Hunter Gamble (Gardner Webb)

197 - Max Huntley
First Round - pinned by #5 Taylor Meeks (Oregon State), 1:49
Consolations - dec. by #12 Brent Haynes (Missouri), 9-4
Eliminated with a 0-2 record

Hwt - Ben Apland
First Round - pinned by #3 Alan Gelogaev (Oklahoma State), 0:18
Consolations - dec. Jimmy Lawson (Penn State), 7-4
Consolations - vs. Ernest James (Edinboro)

Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423

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