Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Cliff Keen Arena)
Scores: #16 Michigan 24, #17 Wisconsin 12
Records: U-M (4-3, 2-2 Big Ten), Wisconsin (7-2, 5-1 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, Jan. 25 -- at Indiana (Bloomington, Ind.), 1 p.m.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The No. 16-ranked University of Michigan wrestling
team used wins early and late to claim a decisive 24-12 victory over No. 17 Wisconsin on Friday evening (Jan. 23) in front of 1,125 fans at Cliff Keen Arena. The Wolverines claimed seven individual matches to deal Wisconsin its first Big Ten Conference loss of the season.
Junior/sophomore Conor Youtsey set the tone at the opening weight, securing U-M's only bonus win with a second-period fall against Matt Cavallaris at 125 pounds. The Wolverine wrestler dominated the match, scoring on five takedowns to build up a 12-3 advantage before sticking Cavallaris off a crusher late in the middle frame, at the 4:41 mark. It was Youtsey's second pin of the season.
After the Badgers gained back several team points with a technical fall at 133 pounds, Michigan earned three straight decisions to carry a 10-point advantage into the intermission break.
Sophomore/freshman George Fisher, ranked 17th in the latest InterMat poll, scored a pair of takedowns en route to a 6-2 win over Jesse Thielke at 141 pounds. After a couple early flurries produced no points, Fisher struck late in the first period, finishing on a single-leg takedown on the edge in the waning seconds of the frame. He added another single leg off a second-period restart but quickly got to high and gave up a late reversal. He rode out the final period, however, accumulating 1:39 in time advantage.
Freshman Alec Pantaleo, ranked ninth at 149 pounds, used a second-period takedown to defeat Rylan Lubeck, 3-1, at claim his fifth straight dual win. Pantaleo opened scoring with a second-period escape and finished on a single leg, winning the short ensuring scramble, late in the frame. Pantaleo improved to 4-0 in Big Ten duals.
Sophomore Brian Murphy, ranked 15th nationally, picked up his third straight dual win, scoring two takedowns to defeat Jarod Donar, 6-1, at 157 pounds. Murphy finished on single-leg attacks in the first and third periods and rode for 3:10 time advantage.
Wisconsin picked up an extra point at 165 pounds, where fourth-ranked Isaac Jordan earned a 9-0 major decision over 10th-ranked junior/sophomore Taylor Massa, but U-M again responded with three straight wins at the upperweights.
Fifth-year senior Jake Salazar, who bumped up two weight classes to 174 pounds, surged to an 8-3 decision over Frank Cousins, breaking open the bout with three explosive double-leg takedowns in the final three minutes. After just missing on several double-leg attacks in the first period, he finished one with just 12 seconds remaining in the second and appeared to take the gas out of Cousins. He scored two more early in the third and added a stall point but could not finish again late in the frame to settle for the decision.
Sophomore Domenic Abounader, ranked 10th at 184 pounds, needed extra time to defeat the Badgers' Ricky Robertson but gutted out a 2-1 decision with the rideout in the second tiebreaker. The wrestlers traded just one escape apiece and little else through the opening nine minutes of the bout, but Abouander claimed the upperhand with a quick, six-second escape in the first of two 30-second goes in the second tiebreaker. He rode out Robertson in the second 30, putting a cap on it with a hard return in the final five seconds.
Fifth-year senior Max Huntley, ranked eighth at 197 pounds, used a big third-period comeback to defeat ninth-ranked Timmy McCall, 9-6, in the first of back-to-back marquee matches. Huntley trailed by four points midway through the second period after giving up a double leg and two near-fall points when he was returned straight to his back. Huntley cut the gap with a single leg late in the frame then score five points out of a third-period scramble, initiating the situation with a single-leg attack and securing three near fall.
The Badgers' third-ranked Connor Medbery used a comeback of his own to claim the second marquee bout, using a late takedown and near fall to defeat seventh-ranked sophomore Adam Coon, 7-3, in the heavyweight contest. After scoring on a quick first-period single leg, Coon led 3-1 until the final 15 seconds of the match when Medbery finished on a single leg and, just like in Huntley's match, returned the Wolverine wrestler straight to his back.
The Wolverines will close out the weekend on the road, traveling to Bloomington, Ind., to wrestle Indiana at 1 p.m. on Sunday (Jan. 25) at University Gymnasium. The dual will be streamed live on BTN Plus, via BTN2Go.com.
#16 Michigan 24, #17 Wisconsin 12
Individual rankings from InterMat
N O T E S
• With tonight's win, Michigan improved to 28-23-1 in the all-time series against Wisconsin. The Wolverines avenged a loss to UW in the most-recent meeting during the 2011-12 season.
• The Wolverines have claimed seven or more individual wins in all four dual victories this season.
• Fifth-year senior Max Huntley has defeated three ranked wrestlers at 197 pounds this season, including two in the top 10. He previously knocked off Ohio's eighth-ranked Phil Wellington, 8-1, at the EMU Duals (Nov. 15).
• Prior to today, fifth-year senior Jake Salazar had exclusively wrestled at 157 pounds in college.
• Junior/sophomore Conor Youtsey owns five career falls.
• Sophomore Adam Coon's last-second lost to Connor Medbery was his first dual loss of the season.
Q U O T E S
Michigan Associate Head Coach Sean Bormet
On the dual win ... "Our guys wrestled pretty hard, and we won a lot of tough bouts. Wisconsin's got a good team, so we knew we were going to have a lot of tough matches going into it. There were six or seven matches that could be really tough. We had to keep wrestling where we wanted it, and we did a good job of that. When we had to get really tough in tight matches, where maybe we didn't wrestle quite as well but had to stay really tough and win by a point, we did it. We knew if we wanted to win the dual, we had to win all the close bouts and our guys did a good job."
On Michigan's strategy for the dual ... "We wanted to score a lot of points. We wanted to score more points than we even scored tonight. There were a couple matches where we are holding too much or allowing ourselves to be held, but it's still nice when you can win that tough one. You can't let guys shorten matches on you and try to sneak in a score at the end. We did a good job overall the whole night.
"The biggest thing we work on all week in our training is that you want to keep scoring, you want to build your lead, but when it's a tight match, you've got to stay tougher than the other guy in every position. Keep taking the wrestling where you want it to go and control the guy. Unfortunately, that cost a little bit at heavyweight. Adam [Coon] wrestled a great match and at the end he started absorbing a little too much. Then [Connor] Medbery snuck in with a late takedown."
On the Wolverines' standout performers ... "Jake Salazar did a great job. He moved up two weight classes in a week and won his bout tonight, so he did an outstanding job. Domenic Abounader won a really tough match; there were a lot of tough moments in that long match. He held on tight and stayed mentally tough and won. Max Huntley came back and won a tough match. All the guys that guy did great. We're proud of all of those guys."
On the Big Ten dual season left ahead ... "We want to win every Big Ten match. We don't want to lose any Big Ten dual meets. That's what we are working for every dual meet. Coming off our Ohio State match, we had to bounce back and see how the guys would respond. They had a great week of training and came back and wrestled really well tonight."
U-M Junior/Sophomore Conor Youtsey
On starting the dual with a pin ... "My coaches are always on me about how I'm the first guy that steps out there, the first guy the crowd sees and the team sees on the mat, so it's super important to get that momentum going. Today I felt pretty good, got my weight down right and had some legs underneath me. I just went out there with determination to get that pin. Our team did a great job following me. I think maybe the momentum set the pace. The team came behind me and did just as well and wrestled just as tough. I think it's good for the guys to see us on top early on."
On bouncing back from Ohio State dual ... "Our coaches always talk about how is a new day. Wisconsin is a new opponent with new wrestlers, but we have to go out there and compete against them with the same intensity. It's tough losing, but what matters is in March and we just look forward to that."
U-M Fifth-Year Senior Max Huntley
On his comeback effort ... "I talk with my coaches a lot about having what we call 'grit.' Every day, when I wake up, I have notebook and the first thing I write is 'I have grit and I will have it today.' I write that every single day in my little notebook I have next to my bed. That's what it comes down to. Down 5-0 halfway through the second, but having grit, I knew I was going to come back and win that match. Down 5-0, I was like 'Alright, here we go.' It's a lot of work, but you just have to do it. If I needed to, I could have scored again, I was in that mindset and ready to go. Just having grit, John Wayne style."
On his strategy ... "I just gave that double and the two back points. Right then I started picking up the pace and started working. I didn't have any tactics other than to shoot, get my hands locked and score. I'm a pretty simple wrestler; I don't do anything crazy."
U-M Fifth-Year Senior Jake Salazar
On keeping momentum and sealing victory ... "It felt good. I'm always going for the team. The whole phrase at Michigan is 'The team, the team, the team,' so it's always nice to get a win for them. I felt good in my first time wrestling 174, so I was really pumped to go out there. I knew I wasn't going to be down in energy at all, because I have been eating like crazy. It just felt good to get a win and get the team back winning after a tough loss."
On wrestling up two weights ... "Nothing really too different in this match. Maybe some of the guys in practice, but really not in this match at all. I felt like I could move the guy without getting too tired. I think it was a good move for us. A lot of it is going to depend on the other guy's style, and I think his style really benefited me in this match. He didn't really attack, attack, attack or try to hold me too much. I was able to use my stuff from the outside and blow through my doubles."