Michigan Surrenders Late Lead in Loss at No. 11 Pittsburgh
Zac Stevens

Nov. 19, 2011

Notes & Quotes

Site: Pittsburgh, Pa. (Fitzgerald Field House)
Score: #11 Pittsburgh 19, #6 Michigan 13
Records: U-M (1-1), Pittsburgh (2-0)
Next U-M Event: Fri-Sat., Dec. 2-3 -- at Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational (Las Vegas, Nev.), 9 a.m. PST

PITTSBURGH, Pa. -- The No. 6-ranked University of Michigan wrestling team rallied at the middleweights but could not hang on to its lead, falling 19-13 to No. 11 Pittsburgh on Saturday evening (Nov. 19) at the Panthers' Fitzgerald Field House.

Pitt claimed the dual's final three matches to surge past the Wolverines, who had the chance to at least even the team score with a decision win at heavyweight, although Pitt held the criteria advantage. The Panthers' Zac Thomusseit won a late scramble in the sudden-victory frame, however, scoring on the edge to defeat senior/junior Ben Apland (Woodridge, Ill./Downers Grove South HS), 3-1.

U-M had rallied to claim its first lead of the dual, 13-10, after three consecutive wins from its Hesperia (Mich.) High School trio at the middleweights.

Junior/sophomore Brandon Zeerip (Fremont, Mich./Hesperia HS) and junior/sophomore Dan Yates (Hesperia, Mich./Hesperia HS) used strong third periods to claim decision victories at 157 and 165 pounds, respectively. Zeerip countered a deep single-leg shot to edge Donnie Tasser, 3-2, while Yates used a second-period escape and a third-period rideout to knock off Tyler Wilps, 2-0.

Fifth-year senior Justin Zeerip (Fremont, Mich./Hesperia HS) earned a pair of reversals to beat Ethan Headlee, 4-2, at 174 pounds. After a scoreless first period, Zeerip wrapped up Headlee's leg, nearly getting into a Peterson position before coming around for the reversal. Headlee reversed the Wolverine early in the third, but Zeerip quickly regained control with another reversal and a subsequent rideout.

Senior Zac Stevens (Monroe, Mich./Monroe HS) cruised past the Panthers' Shelton Mack, 10-2, to claim his second major decision of the weekend at 133 pounds. Stevens converted on three takedowns, including two in the second period, drew a couple of stall points, and used his 1:33 in riding-time advantage to earn the bonus win.

Despite gaining early leads in both matches, the Wolverines lost a pair of close decisions to top-10 opposition at 149 and 197 pounds. Third-ranked Tyler Nauman scrambled for a takedown in the closing seconds of the first period and earned a second-period rideout to defeat junior/sophomore Eric Grajales (Brandon, Fla./Brandon HS), 4-2, at 149. Sophomore/freshman Max Huntley (Emerald Isle, N.C./Blair Academy) carried a one-point lead into the third period against seventh-ranked Matt Wilps, but the Panther 197-pounder rode out the frame, earning a three-point near fall to seal a 6-2 decision.

Michigan was missing several projected starters, including fifth-year senior Kellen Russell (High Bridge, N.J./Blair Academy), for the second straight dual. All are expected to return to competition soon. Russell will not compete in the NWCA All-Star Classic on Monday (Nov. 21). He will be replaced by Penn's Zach Kemmerer.

The Wolverines will take a two-week break before returning to competition on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 2-3, at the annual Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational in Las Vegas, Nev. The first session is slated for a 9 a.m. PST start at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

#11 Pittsburgh 19, #6 Michigan 13
Individual rankings from InterMat

Match Score
125 -- #19 Anthony Zanetta (Pitt) major dec. Grant Pizzo, 16-5 Pitt, 4-0
133 -- #13 Zac Stevens (U-M) major dec. Shelton Mack, 10-2 Tie, 4-4
141 -- Travis Shaffer (Pitt) dec. Donnie Watkins, 3-1 Pitt, 7-4
149 -- #3 Tyler Nauman (Pitt) dec. Eric Grajales, 4-2 Pitt, 10-4
157 -- Brandon Zeerip (U-M) dec. Donnie Tasser, 3-2 Pitt, 10-7
165 -- Dan Yates (U-M) dec. Tyler Wilps, 2-0 Tie, 10-10
174 -- #11 Justin Zeerip (U-M) dec. Ethan Headlee, 4-2 U-M, 13-10
184 -- Max Thomusseit (Pitt) dec. Chris Heald, 6-2 Tie, 13-13
197 -- #7 Matt Wilps (Pitt) dec. Max Huntley, 6-2 Pitt, 16-13
Hwt -- Zac Thomusseit (Pitt) dec. #13 Ben Apland, 3-1 SV Pitt, 19-13

Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423

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