Week #5: Wolverines to Host Duke, EMU in Tri-Meet Saturday
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MGOBLUE Taylor Massa
MGOBLUE
Taylor Massa
MGOBLUE

Dec. 5, 2012

THIS WEEK
Saturday, Dec. 8 -- vs. Duke (Cliff Keen Arena), 2 p.m.
Tickets | Live Results
Saturday, Dec. 8 -- vs. Eastern Michigan (Cliff Keen Arena), 4 p.m.
Tickets | Live Results

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

The No. 14-ranked University of Michigan wrestling team (4-1) returns to dual-meet competition this Saturday (Dec. 8), hosting Duke and Eastern Michigan at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., respectively, at Cliff Keen Arena. The two visiting teams will face each other at noon.

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)
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

• Senior/junior captain Dan Yates remains the Wolverines' lone undefeated wrestler, boasting a perfect 9-0 record through U-M's first month of competition. Yates has earned bonus points in seven matches, including all five dual competitions this season, with two pins and five major decisions. He took 174-pound runner-up honors at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational (Nov. 30-Dec. 1), forfeiting out of the championship match with injury.

• Freshman Taylor Massa claimed fifth place at 165 pounds at the Cliff Keen Invitational (Nov. 30-Dec. 1), posting a 5-2 record with four bonus wins. Massa owns six bonus wins on the season -- two pins, three technical falls and a major decision -- and, excluding pins, has outscored his opposition, 124-56. His three season losses have all been by just two points.

• Fifth-year senior Ben Apland made his season debut at heavyweight at last weekend's Cliff Keen Invitational (Nov. 30-Dec. 1), posting a 2-2 record with a first-round pin. Apland, who is a three-year starter and two-time NCAA qualifier, missed the first five duals while coming back from injury. He owns a 73-50 career record while at Michigan.

• Three of the Wolverines' five duals this season have come down to bonus points, with U-M claiming wins over Pittsburgh (16-15, Nov. 11) and Oregon State (21-18, Nov. 16) after falling to Central Michigan (21-16, Nov. 6). Michigan has earned bonus points in 16 individual matches this season -- four pins, two technical falls and 10 major decisions -- while only giving up bonus points in three matches.

• Michigan has started five freshmen in every dual meet this season -- freshmen Rossi Bruno (133 pounds), Taylor Massa (165) and Jordan Thomas (184) and sophomore/freshmen Camryn Jackson (141) and Justin Dozier (Hwt). Additionally, junior/sophomores Jake Salazar and Michael Carpenter have each made their collegiate dual debut at 157 pounds.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Taylor Massa
Freshman
165 Pounds
St. Johns, Mich.

Q: What have been some of the biggest changes for you transitioning from high school to college?
A: Some of the biggest transitions have been top and bottom wrestling. I find that it's a lot harder to ride people; everyone is a lot better on bottom, so you've got to have solid technique on top. Riding time is also a big factor. You have to learn to get out quick, and on top, you've got to learn to hold on for that last five seconds longer. The hour weigh-in is also a big change. In Michigan, we had a day-before weigh-in in high school, so that definitely creates a disadvantage for us in our true freshman year in college.

Q: How pleased were you with your performance in Las Vegas?
A: It was nice to get a lot of matches in; that was a positive. But I felt like I did not wrestle well at all. I didn't attack very well on my feet, and I couldn't get much of my offense going. It was a great eye-opener. I had some of mental issues over the weekend. I was too afraid to get tired. But my coaches explained to me that no matter what, I'm going to be exhausted after a match, and I have to learn to accept that and embrace it. I think that was the biggest thing I took away from the tournament, and by the end of it, I did feel like I got that monkey off my back.

Q: You scored a lot of points over the weekend with four bonus wins. That's been a big emphasis of the coaches this season. Has that always been a trait of your wrestling, going after big points?
A: Ever since I was little, that's been my mentality. I want to put up as many points as I can. You might give up the first takedown -- or even first two takedowns -- but by the third period, you're going to have them so tired that you'll be able to score at will. In Las Vegas, I wasn't really wrestling that way. I was being too conservative and trying to sit on my lead instead of blowing matches open like I've done all my life. That was one of my struggles last weekend.

Q: After going undefeated in high school, is it hard for you to take some of these early losses?
A: I'd much rather lose now than at the end of the NCAA tournament. I mean I've lost before. Life goes on. You need to look back on them, see what you did wrong, why you lost and grow from it. I think I've done a good job with it so far. I've only had 12 college matches, but I've taken as much as I can from all of them -- win or lose.

U-M Individual Rankings

Wt. Wrestler InterMat AWN W.I.N. Flo
125 Sean Boyle NR NR NR 20
141 Camryn Jackson NR NR NR 20
149 Eric Grajales 13 13 19 12
165 Taylor Massa 15 17 17 14
174 Dan Yates 12 10 10 12
197 Max Huntley 19 16 16 18

LAST TIME OUT
Behind the efforts of three individual placewinners, the Wolverines took 12th place (52.5 points) at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational last weekend (Nov. 30-Dec. 1) at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Senior/junior Dan Yates earned runner-up honors at 174 pounds, posting a 4-0 record before withdrawing from the championship match with injury, while freshman Taylor Massa took fifth at 165 and junior/sophomore Max Huntley placed eighth at 197 pounds, respectively.
[ Recaps: Day 1 | Day 2 ]

UP NEXT
Sat-Sun., Dec. 29-30 -- at Midlands Championships (Evanston, Ill.)


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