Dec. 5, 2012
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)|
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|
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
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 ]
Sat-Sun., Dec. 29-30 -- at Midlands Championships (Evanston, Ill.)