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Wolverines Topple No. 10 Ohio State for Seventh Straight Win
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The No. 12-ranked University of Michigan wrestling team took seven individual matches, including three separate upset victories, to take down No. 10 Ohio State, 21-12, on Friday evening (Jan. 31) at St. John Arena. The Wolverines claimed nearly all of the dual’s key swing matches.
Carrying a narrow two-point advantage at the halftime intermission, Michigan gutted out three straight overtime tiebreaker wins after the break to pull away late in the dual.
Freshman Adam Coon (Fowlerville, Mich./Fowlerville HS), ranked second in the latest InterMat poll, used a reversal in the first tiebreaker to defeat Nick Tavanello, 3-2, in the heavyweight contest. The wrestlers traded escapes during regulation. Coon struggled to keep Tavanello in the circle and drew an early stall warning but not a second and fought out of a deep counter attack in the sudden-victory period. The Wolverine reversed and subsequently rode out the first tiebreaker and kept Tavanello down for most of the second to claim the win.
Sophomore/freshman Conor Youtsey (Parma, Mich./Mason HS) and sophomore Rossi Bruno (Brandon, Fla./Brandon HS) followed with similar 2-1 tiebreaker decisions at the lowerweights. Youtsey knocked off No. 15-ranked Nick Peters at 125 pounds, riding out the first tiebreaker before picking up a quick escape in the second. Bruno avenged an early-season loss to fifth-ranked Johnni DiJulius at 133 pounds. Both wrestlers rode out the 30-second frames in the first tiebreaker, while Bruno secured a late escape in the second before riding out DiJulius for the win.
The Buckeyes’ two-time NCAA champion Logan Stieber earned a technical fall at 141 pounds to pull OSU within six points, but the result also sealed the win for Michigan, who also held the tiebreaker advantage.
The tiebreaker wasn’t needed, however, as fifth-year senior Eric Grajales (Brandon, Fla./Brandon HS) capped the dual with a 7-2 decision over 18th-ranked Ian Paddock in the final match at 149 pounds. It was Paddock that struck first, scoring on a quick single leg, but Grajales, ranked seventh, battled back, riding out the second period before throwing the Buckeye for four points in the waning seconds of the bout.
Freshman Domenic Abounader (Gates Mills, Ohio/St. Edward HS) picked up the Wolverines’ third upset victory at 184 pounds, using a big first period to knock off 10th-ranked Kenny Courts, 9-4. Abounader, ranked 20th, scrambled out of a deep single shot early in the opening frame and caught Courts in a scissors for a takedown and three back points. Courts scored on a low single leg late in the frame, but couldn’t do much else as Abounader iced the win with a late takedown in the third.
Michigan opened the dual with back-to-back wins at the middleweights. Starting at 157 pounds, freshman Brian Murphy(Carol Stream, Ill./Glenbard North HS) rallied from an early deficit to defeat Randy Languis, 5-2, scoring a two-point near fall out of a third-period cradle and riding out the period to accumulate 1:49 in time advantage. Fifth-year senior Dan Yates(Hesperia, Mich./Hesperia HS) scored three first-period takedowns — all on head in the holes — and similarly rode for 1:49 to beat Joe Grandominico, 8-4, at 165 pounds.
The Wolverines (9-2, 5-0 Big Ten) will close out their 2013-14 home schedule on Sunday (Feb. 2), hosting No. 1 Penn State, the three-time defending NCAA champion, at 3:30 p.m. at Cliff Keen Arena. Tickets are sold out for the dual, which will be aired live on the Big Ten Network.