Week #10: Michigan to Go to No. 3 Minnesota Friday, Host MSU Sunday

Jan. 24, 2012

Zac Stevens Interview | Wolverine Wrestling Wrap with Joe McFarland

Friday, Jan. 27 -- at No. 3 Minnesota (Minneapolis, Minn.), 7:30 p.m. CST
Live Video (fee)
Sunday, Jan. 29 -- vs. Michigan State (Cliff Keen Arena), 2 p.m.
Live Scoring | Live Video (fee) | Tickets | Promotions: Maize Out, Faculty and Staff Appreciation Day

The No. 11-ranked University of Michigan wrestling team (5-2, 3-1 Big ten) returns to Big Ten Conference competition this weekend with dual slates against Minnesota and Michigan State. U-M will travel to Minneapolis, Minn., on Friday (Jan. 27) for a 7:30 p.m. CST match against the third-ranked Golden Gophers at the Sports Pavilion before returning home to face intrastate rival Michigan State on Sunday (Jan. 29) in a 2 p.m. contest at Cliff Keen Arena.

Michigan's Projected Starting Lineup

Wgt. Name Year/Elig. Hometown (High School)
125 Grant Pizzo Jr./So. Brighton, Mich. (Brighton)
133 Zac Stevens Sr./Sr. Monroe, Mich. (Monroe)
141 Kellen Russell 5th/Sr. High Bridge, N.J. (Blair Academy)
149 Eric Grajales Jr./So. Brandon, Fla. (Brandon)
157 Brandon Zeerip Jr./So. Fremont, Mich. (Hesperia)
165 Dan Yates Jr./So. Hesperia, Mich. (Hesperia)
174 Justin Zeerip 5th/Sr. Fremont, Mich. (Hesperia)
184 Hunter Collins Sr./Jr. Gilroy, Calif. (Gilroy)
197 Max Huntley So./Fr. Emerald Isle, N.C. (Blair Academy)
Hwt Ben Apland Sr./Jr. Woodridge, Ill. (Downers Grove South)

Complete Statistics: Through Jan. 22

LAST TIME OUT: vs. Central Michigan
The Wolverines claimed six individual matches, earning bonus in three, to pull away from intrastate rival Central Michigan, 23-14, on Sunday (Jan. 22) at Cliff Keen Arena. CMU twice evened the score in the second half of the dual, but Michigan sealed its second straight win over the Chippewas with back-to-back victories in the final two bouts, including a second-period pin from senior/junior heavyweight Ben Apland against No. 14-ranked Peter Sturgeon. Junior/sophomore Eric Grajales and fifth-year senior Justin Zeerip also secured bonus points with major decisions at 149 and 174 pounds, respectively. [ Full Recap ]


Ironman -- Senior Zac Stevens has remained a consistent fixture in the Wolverine lineup over the last four seasons, appearing in every tournament and starting every dual meet -- a stretch of 61 consecutive duals -- at 133 pounds since his arrival on campus.

Dual Dominance -- Fifth-year senior Kellen Russell has not lost a dual match three seasons, winning 37 consecutive dual matches. The Wolverine captain started 1-1 in 2008-09 dual meets before claiming 16 straight dual appearances to close out the season. After sitting out the 2009-10 with injury, he went undefeated last year, posting a 16-0 record in dual meets. Russell boasts an impressive 57-6 dual record over his collegiate career.

Climbing the Charts -- With his weekend win, fifth-year senior Kellen Russell moved to 16th among Michigan's all-time wins leaders with a career record of 121-12. He shares the spot with three-time All-American Tyrel Todd (2006-09). He needs just three more wins to reach the 15th spot, currently held by Josh Churella (124, 2005-08). Russell's current career win percentage of .910 ranks second among the Wolverines leaders in the category, trailing only Dave Porter (.944, 1966-68) and tied with Mark Churella (.910, 1975-79).

Nearing the Century Club -- Fifth-year senior Justin Zeerip improved to 93-61 over the weekend, inching closer to joining Russell in Michigan's prestigious 100-Win Club. With seven more wins, he will become the 35th Wolverine wrestle to tally 100 career victories.

Boyle to Redshirt -- Junior Sean Boyle (Lowell, Mass./Blair Academy), the Wolverines' two-year starting 125-pounder, had surgery in December to mend a nagging pre-season injury and will now redshirt the 2011-12 season. Boyle, who went 28-15 last season, took fourth place at the 2011 Big Ten Championships and advanced to the NCAA Championships Round of 12, finishing just one match shy of All-America honors.

Calling the Shots -- Head coach Joe McFarland is in his 13th season as head coach of the Michigan wrestling team. Since taking over the reins in 1999, McFarland has helped mold Michigan into a highly-touted national contender, guiding the U-M wrestling squad to three Big Ten dual-meet championships (2004, '05, '06) and eight consecutive top-10 finishes at the NCAA Championships (2001-08), including an NCAA runner-up performance in 2005. He is the third winningest coach in program history with a 152-71-5 record at the helm and has led 18 different student-athletes to four NCAA individual titles, 40 All-America citations and 18 Big Ten individual crowns.

Welcome Aboard -- Michigan added three new coaches to its staff this offseason -- assistants Sean Bormet and Donny Pritzlaff and volunteer coach Kyle Massey. Bormet rejoined the Wolverine program after molding the Overtime School of Wrestling into the nation's premiere wrestling club over the last 10 years. Bormet, a two-time All-American and Big Ten champion as a Wolverine wrestler (1991-94), previously spent one season as a Wolverine assistant coach (1999-2000). Pritzlaff served five seasons as an assistant coach at Wisconsin (2007-11) -- the last two as associate head coach -- where he guided the Badgers to three straight top-10 finishes at the NCAA Championships, including a fourth-place finish in 2010. Massey spent the two seasons on the coaching staff at Wisconsin, serving one year as volunteer assistant coach (2009-10) and another as the Badgers' volunteer strength coach (2010-11).

Every week, members of the Michigan coaching staff will offer insider access to his program in the rapid-fire Wolverine Wrestling Wrap audio podcast. The Wolverine coaches will touch on topics ranging from his wrestlers, Michigan's opponents, strategy and the other events of the season in each weekly feature. [ Wolverine Wrestling Wrap - Episode 8 (1/24/2012) ]

Facebook: Connect with the program, alumni and fans by clicking the "Like" button at facebook.com/michiganwrestling. Facebook is a social network service and website with more than 500 million active users.

Twitter: Sign up and follow the Wolverines (umichwrestling) with up-to-the-minute news and information throughout the season and beyond. Twitter is a free casual, online social network that is designed to connect businesses, organizations and individuals. Each Twitter post (or "tweet") can be received on a user's cell phone via text or on the web.

Michigan climbed to the No. 10 position in the latest NWCA/USA Today Coaches Poll, released Tuesday (Jan. 17). [ Full Rankings ]

The Wolverines also boast seven individuals ranked among the top 20 wrestlers in their respective weight classes in the InterMat, Amateur Wrestling News, WIN Magazine or D1 College Wrestling polls:

133 Zac Stevens 18 15 14 18
141 Kellen Russell 1 1 1 1
149 Eric Grajales 7 7 7 6
165 Dan Yates 17 17 NR 23
174 Justin Zeerip 5 6 5 5
197 Max Huntley 15 14 14 15
Hwt Ben Apland 11 11 8 8

Friday, Feb. 3 -- at Ohio State (Columbus, Ohio), 6 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 5 -- at Penn State (State College, Pa.), 2 p.m.

Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423

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