Weekly Release #10: U-M Continues Big Ten Action at IU, vs. Wisconsin

Feb. 9, 2010

Friday, Feb. 12 -- at #13 Indiana (Bloomington, Ind.), 7 p.m.
Live Blog
Sunday, Feb. 14 -- vs. #15 Wisconsin (Cliff Keen Arena), 2 p.m.
Live Video | Live Stats

The University of Michigan wrestling team (4-12, 0-5 Big Ten) will continue Big Ten Conference action this weekend, traveling to Bloomington, Ind., to square off against No. 13-ranked Indiana at 7 p.m. on Friday (Feb. 12) at University Gymnasium, before wrapping up its home schedule with a 2 p.m. meeting against No. 15 Wisconsin on Sunday (Feb. 14) at Cliff Keen Arena.

Michigan's Projected Starting Lineup

Wgt. Name Year/Elig. Hometown (High School)
125 Sean Boyle Fr./Fr. Lowell, Mass. (Blair Academy)
133 Zac Stevens So./So. Monroe, Mich. (Monroe)
141 Mark Weber So./So. Goodrich, Mich. (Goodrich)
149 Mark Boyer So./Fr. Battle Creek, Mich. (Pennfield)
157 Dave Johnson Jr./So. Jenison, Mich. (Jenison)
165 Aaron Hynes Sr./Jr. Mt. Morris, Mich. (Flint Kearsley)
174 Justin Zeerip Jr./So. Fremont, Mich. (Hesperia)
184 Hunter Collins So./Fr. Gilroy, Calif. (Gilroy)
197 Anthony Biondo Sr./Jr. Clinton Twp., Mich. (Chippewa Valley)
Hwt Ben Apland So./Fr. Woodridge, Ill. (Downers Grove South)

Complete Statistics: Through Feb. 7

A Career Year -- After suffering just his third loss of the season to Iowa's Luke Lofthouse in the Wolverines' Big Ten opener (Jan. 22), senior/junior captain Anthony Biondo has rebounded in conference dual competition with four consecutive wins. Biondo boasts a 28-3 record on the season, already claiming five more wins than his previous career high -- he tallied a 23-13 record at 197 pounds in his first varsity season. In two years at 197 pounds, Biondo owns an impressive 52-16 record, while registering an 18-15 mark at 184 pounds last season. The Wolverine captain moved up a spot -- to the No. 8 position -- in the latest edition of the InterMat national rankings.

Zac Attack -- Sophomore captain Zac Stevens recorded a pair of wins over the weekend -- his first against Big Ten competition this season -- defeating Ohio State's Ian Paddock, 6-5, and Penn State's Bryan Pearsall, 13-9. Stevens is 20-12 this season and has more than doubled his previous career win total.

This Just-in -- Junior/sophomore Justin Zeerip got back to his winning ways in Michigan's dual at Penn State last Sunday (Feb. 7), defeating Justin Ortega, 7-2, in the 174-pound bout. Zeerip is 23-16 this season and has already matched his career high in the win category. Twelve of his 16 losses this season have come against nationally-ranked competition. He owns a pair of wins over ranked competition this season, using a ride out in the third tiebreaker to beat Bucknell's 17th-ranked Shane Riccio, 2-1, in a 13-minute marathon at the Virginia Duals (Jan. 8-9) and similarly defeating Ohio State's 20th-ranked Dave Rella, 2-1, in the first tiebreaker in the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational (Dec. 4-5) consolation semifinal round.

The Youth of Today -- With a lineup predominantly made up of underclassmen and no seniors, the Wolverines are fielding one of the nation's youngest squads in 2009-10. Michigan's lineup consists of four freshmen, four sophomores and two juniors; it will return its entire rotation next season. U-M's is particularly youthful at the lowerweights, where true freshman Sean Boyle (125) and true sophomores Zac Stevens (133) and Mark Weber (141) have yet to use a redshirt year.

Calling the Shots -- Head coach Joe McFarland is in his 11th 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 136-61-5 record at the helm and has led 18 different student-athletes to three NCAA individual titles, 39 All-America citations and 17 Big Ten individual crowns.

Indiana -- The Wolverines hold a sizable 56-22-2advantage in the all-time series against Indiana, dating back to the 1923-24 season. U-M has dominated the series of late, claiming nine of the last 10 meetings, including a 20-18 comeback victory in last season's meeting in Ann Arbor. Down early after giving pins in two of the opening four matches, Michigan rallied back with three straight wins at the upperweights to steal away the dual. Steve Luke and Anthony Biondo earned major decisions at 174 and 184 pounds, respectively, while Aaron Hynes headlined the U-M effort with a 7-6 upset over 12th-ranked Kurt Kinser at 157 pounds. Indiana is 13-3 on the season and 2-3 in Big Ten competition after dropping a home dual to Minnesota, 18-23, in its latest outing last Saturday (Feb. 6). The Hoosiers boast five nationally-ranked wrestlers, most notably top-ranked Angel Escobedo at 125 pounds and No.2 heavyweight Nate Everhart.

Wisconsin -- The Wolverines narrowly lead the all-time series with Penn Wisconsin by a 25-21-1 margin, dating back to 1924. The Badgers halted a seven-match U-M win streak in the series three seasons ago and have claimed each of the last two meetings, including a 20-18 victory in Madison, Wis., in the latest head-to-head in 2008. The two teams split matches evenly in that contest, and the Wolverines put themselves in the driver's seat with three straight wins at the middleweights, including a pin from Tyrel Todd at 184 pounds. But Wisconsin responded with bonus points in the final two bouts, including a pin of its own at 197 pounds, to reclaim the final advantage. Wisconsin is 6-9 on the season and 2-3 in Big Ten competition after splitting weekend duals against Purdue (27-11, Feb. 5) and Illinois (18-19, Feb. 7). The Badgers boast five nationally-ranked wrestlers, most notably top-ranked Andrew Howe at 165 pounds.

Every Thursday, head coach Joe McFarland will offer insider access to his program in the rapid-fire Thursday Throwdown audio podcast. McFarland will touch on topics ranging from his wrestlers, Michigan's opponents, strategy and the other events of the season in each weekly feature. [ Check out the latest episode on or subscribe to Michigan Athletics on iTunes ]

Michigan wrestling is now on Twitter. Sign up and follow the Wolverines (Michigan_wrestl) 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.

Beginning with the 2009-10 academic year, the University of Michigan athletics department will no longer print media guides. U-M fans and media can still obtain all the information they're used to, only now it's available online. If you're looking for in-depth historical information, statistics, records, archives, etc., the Record Book is what you'll need. For more of a general overview of a team, the staff and student-athletes, check out the Yearbook. [ Check them both out in our new publications section ]

The Wolverines remain just outside of the top 25 in the latest national poll, released Tuesday (Jan. 5) by the National Wrestling Coaches Association. Senior/junior Anthony Biondo lists as Michigan's lone ranked individual wrestler, moving up a spot -- to the No. 8 position -- in the latest InterMat rankings at 197 pounds.

Sunday, Feb. 21 -- at Northwestern (Evanston, Ill.), 6 p.m. CST

Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423

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