Week #7: U-M to Start Big Ten Season with Nebraska, Wisconsin
MGOBLUE Rossi Bruno
MGOBLUE
Rossi Bruno
MGOBLUE

Jan. 9, 2013

THIS WEEK
Friday, Jan. 11 -- vs. No. 17 Nebraska (Cliff Keen Arena), 7 p.m.
Live Results | TV: Big Ten Network
Sunday, Jan. 13 -- at No. 22 Wisconsin (Madison, Wis.), 1 p.m. CST
Live Results | Live Video (fee)

Social Media: Facebook | Twitter
Game Day Information: Cliff Keen Arena Information | Ticket Information
Promotions: Information | Maize Star Events

The No. 11-ranked University of Michigan wrestling team (6-1, 0-0 Big Ten) will kick off the Big Ten Conference portion of its 2012-13 season with a pair of league dual meets this weekend. On Friday (Jan. 11), the Wolverines will host No. 17 Nebraska (6-3, 0-2 Big Ten) at 7 p.m. at Cliff Keen Arena before traveling to Madison, Wis., to face No. 22 Wisconsin (5-2, 2-0 Big Ten) at 1 p.m. CST on Sunday (Jan. 13) at UW Field House.

Michigan's Projected Starting Lineup

Wgt. Name Year/Elig. Hometown (High School)
125 Sean Boyle Sr./Jr. Lowell, Mass. (Blair Academy)
133 Rossi Bruno Fr./Fr. Brandon, Fla. (Brandon)
141 Camryn Jackson So./Fr. Lansing, Mich. (Eastern)
149 Eric Grajales Sr./Jr. Brandon, Fla. (Brandon)
157 Michael Carpenter Jr./So. Bozeman, Mont. (Bozeman)
or Collin Zeerip Jr./So. Fremont, Mich. (Hesperia)
165 Taylor Massa Fr./Fr. St. Johns, Mich. (St. Johns)
174 Dan Yates Sr./Jr. Hesperia, Mich. (Hesperia)
184 Jordan Thomas Fr./Fr. Gowen, Mich. (Greenville)
or Chris Heald Jr./So. West Bloomfield, Mich. (West Bloomfield)
197 Max Huntley Jr./So. Emerald Isle, N.C. (Blair Academy)
Hwt Ben Apland 5th Sr. Woodridge, Ill. (Downers Grove South)

WOLVERINE BITES

• Michigan owns a 442-186-17 all-time record against Big Ten Conference opposition, including a 65-36-3 mark under head coach Joe McFarland. The Wolverines captured at least a share of three consecutive Big Ten dual-meet titles from 2004-06.

• Michigan is 3-5 all-time against Nebraska and 27-22-1 against Wisconsin in dual-meet competition. The Wolverines faced the Badgers last season, winning, 21-11, in their Big Ten opener at home but have not seen Nebraska since 2008-09, when they fell, 22-13, in Lincoln, Neb.

• With its 6-1 record in non-conference dual competition last semester, Michigan boasts its best start since the 2007-08 season when it shot out to a 12-1 record. Among its early first-semester competition, Michigan is 2-1 against nationally ranked teams.

Nov. 6 -- at No. 17 Central Michigan - L, 21-16
Nov. 11 -- vs. No. 18 Pittsburgh - W, 16-15
Nov. 16 -- at No. 10 Oregon State - W, 21-18

• The Wolverines own a perfect 4-0 record this season at Cliff Keen Arena.

• Sophomore/freshman Camryn Jackson and senior/junior captain Dan Yates remain undefeated in dual-meet competition this season. Jackson owns a 7-0 record at 141 pounds, while Yates is 6-0 at 174 pounds.

• Freshman Taylor Massa leads the Wolverine team with a 15-5 record through first-semester competition. Massa also leads in two bonus categories with four pins and three technical falls. The U-M rookie has earned bonus points in nine of 15 wins this season (60 percent) and, excluding pins, has outscored his opposition, 170-91. Three of his season losses have come by just two points.

• Massa and Yates have placed at both Wolverine tournament appearances this season.

• Fifth-year senior Ben Apland made his season dual debut in the Michigan tri-meet, pinning both his heavyweight opponents in the first period. Apland, who missed the first five duals returning from injury, went 6-2 en route to fourth place at the Midlands Championships (Dec. 29-30). He already owns three pins on the season and six bonus wins.

• Michigan has had nine different wrestlers make their varsity debuts this season, including five freshmen who have started nearly every dual competition. Among the first-time starters, freshmen Rossi Bruno (133 pounds), Taylor Massa (165) and Jordan Thomas (184), sophomore/freshmen Camryn Jackson (141) and Justin Dozier (Hwt), junior/sophomores Jake Salazar (157) Michael Carpenter (157) and Chris Heald (184) all claimed their first varsity win in first-semester action.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Rossi Bruno
Freshman
133 pounds
Brandon, Fla.

Q: What have been some of the biggest adjustments for you so far this year as you transition to college?
A: Academics, obviously, is a big thing. In high school, it didn't seem like I had to work as hard; I got good grades no matter what I did. I've really had to focus on it this year. From an athletics standpoint, it's a lot more intense and demanding than it was in high school. So, combining those things, it's been a big change.

Q: How about on the mat?
A: Practices are obviously a lot harder. Drilling has to be intense; the coaches are always on you about drilling it hard, drilling it fast and drilling it right. In high school, everything felt like it was more at your own pace, and you warm up to prepare to go live. In college, you are live wrestling, while you're drilling. Those practices are tough. I'll go with Zac [Stevens], who just beats up on me, or Jimmy [Kennedy], who is one of the best overall wrestlers in the country at my weight, and he obviously beats the living daylights out of me too. But that's making me tougher and beater, and if I want to win nationals, those are the kind of kids I'll need to beat.

Q: Between current guys on the team and several incoming guys, you're part of a really young and talented group of lowerweights. Is it exciting to be a part of that and come up with that group?
A: It is exciting. At the same time, if I'm not doing what I'm supposed to be doing, all those other guys around my weight are going to pass me up. It definitely keeps you motivated.

Q: How has it been having your high school teammate, Eric Grajales, here with you?
A: It was probably one of the big reasons I was initially interested in Michigan and wanted to come here. He's like an older brother to me and showed me the ropes when I was in high school. It's cool to have him around. I get homesick sometimes being so far away, so he kind of feels like I have a piece of Brandon with me wherever I go.

Q: How much do you feel yourself improving and progressing with each week?
A: I don't know about day to day or week to week, but I know I've gotten 10 times better than I was before I got here -- even just through that training before the season. I've definitely gotten stronger and faster and have a different mindset going into matches. There's not much you can do technique-wise so having that mental edge and being able to push is huge. That's something our coaches are great at, making us mentally tough and getting the right thoughts ingrained in your head, so you'll remember them during matches. There's always room for more improvement, but I definitely think I've come a long way in a short time.

U-M Individual Rankings

Wt. Wrestler InterMat AWN W.I.N. Flo D1CW
125 Sean Boyle NR 16 19 17 19
141 Camryn Jackson 18 NR NR 17 22
149 Eric Grajales 12 13 18 13 13
165 Taylor Massa 13 9 11 10 11
174 Dan Yates 11 10 11 11 11
197 Max Huntley 18 17 16 16 17
Hwt Ben Apland 19 20 NR NR 18

LAST TIME OUT
The Wolverines took eighth place (56.5 points) behind four individual placewinners at the 50th annual Midlands Championships -- U-M's first Midlands appearance in 10 years -- Dec. 29-30. Fifth-year senior Ben Apland headlined the Michigan contingent with a fourth-place finish at heavyweight, while senior/juniors Eric Grajales and Dan Yates took sixth at 149 and 174 pounds, respectively, and freshman Taylor Massa placed seventh at 165 pounds. Thirteen Wolverines competed in the two-day tournament, and U-M drew scoring performances from 10 -- at nine different weights.
[ Recaps: Day 1 | Day 2 ]

UP NEXT
Friday, Jan. 18 -- vs. Iowa (Cliff Keen Arena), 7 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 27 -- vs. Northwestern (Cliff Keen Arena), 2 p.m.


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