Feb. 11, 2011
?Photo Gallery* | Notes & Quotes
? Video: Kellen*Russell vs. Mike Thorn
Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Cliff Keen Arena)
Score: #5 Minnesota 22, #10 Michigan 12
Records: U-M (10-4, 5-2 Big Ten), Minnesota (15-3, 6-0 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, Feb. 13 -- at Iowa (Iowa City, Iowa), 1 p.m. CST
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The No. 10-ranked University of Michigan wrestling team could not recover from a sluggish start, dropping three of the opening five bouts en route to a 22-12 loss against No. 5 Minnesota on Friday evening (Feb. 11) at Cliff Keen Arena. The Wolverines won four individual matches but dropped several swing matches and gave up bonus points in a pair of bouts.
Senior/junior captain Kellen Russell (High Bridge, N.J./Blair Academy), ranked No. 1 nationally, claimed the evening's marquee match at 141 pounds, using an overtime takedown to edge second-ranked Mike Thorn, 3-1. After struggling to penetrate Thorn's defensive tactics through the opening seven minutes, Russell elevated the pace in the extra frame with several early shots. He finally broke through with a late single leg, using a tomahawk to finish on the edge with just 10 seconds remaining the clock. The win was Russell's second over Thorn on the season; he improved to 28-0 on the season.
The Wolverines also picked up wins at 157, 174 and 197 pounds. Sophomore/freshman Brandon Zeerip (Fremont, Mich./Hesperia HS) and senior/junior captain Justin Zeerip (Fremont, Mich./Hesperia HS) captured the former pair at the middleweights, pulling Michigan within six points with three matches remaining.
Brandon Zeerip dominated the first two periods against Matt Mincey at 157 pounds before persevering through a big Gopher third period to hang onto a 13-10 decision. Zeerip converted on five takedowns, using a variety of singles, doubles and high crotches, and added an immediate reversal in the second period to carry a seven-point advantage into the final stanza. Mincey chose top in the third and took advantage of it, earning a quick three-point tilt before cutting Zeerip and scoring on a late double leg.
Justin Zeerip picked up his second win over a ranked opponent in two weeks, using a first-period takedown to edge 12th-rated Scott Glasser, 4-1, at 174 pounds. The Wolverine captain struck quickly on a single leg, lifting it high before finishing with a club along the edge and riding out the remainder of the frame for significant time. Zeerip was hit with a pair of stalling calls, including one that seemed somewhat premature in the second, but neutralized the point with a quick second-period escape and 1:56 in riding time.
Fifth-year senior captain Anthony Biondo (Clinton Twp., Mich./Chippewa Valley HS) claimed Michigan's final win in his final appearance at Cliff Keen Arena, cruising past the Gophers' Joe Nord, 11-4, at 197 pounds. Biondo scored on four takedowns, including three in the third period, and added a second-period reversal and 5:23 in time advantage to secure his fourth Big Ten win. Biondo had the major decision in his grasp, finishing on a late single leg to earn the necessary margin, but Nord took advantage of a last-second scramble to escape at the buzzer.
Minnesota claimed big bonus points at the opening weight, where fifth-ranked Zach Sanders overcame an early deficit to pin sophomore Sean Boyle (Lowell, Mass./Blair Academy) at 4:49 in the 125-pound bout. Boyle converted on two first-period takedowns -- both out of scramble scenarios -- to carry a two-point advantage into the second frame. Sanders pulled back into the match with two takedowns of his own in the second, using an ankle pick to take Boyle straight to his back on the latter and provide his team an advantage it did not relinquish.
The Wolverines lost close swing matches at 149 and 165 pounds, where sophomore/freshmen Eric Grajales (Brandon, Fla./Brandon HS) and Dan Yates (Hesperia, Mich./Hesperia HS) battled late but could not overcome deficits. Grajales lost to Danny Zilverberg, 4-3, in the former bout after the Gopher wrestler finished on an early low single leg and accumulated 3:17 in time advantage. Grajales earned a reversal in the waning seconds of the first to keep the match close and was in deep on a low double leg for the final 30 seconds of the third but could not win the ensuing scramble on the mat.
Yates sacrificed a quick eight points to Minnesota's 11th-ranked Cody Yohn at 165 when the Gopher wrestler immediately took Yates to his back for four points and titled him twice to two more points apiece. The Wolverine rookie finished on singles in the second and third periods but gave up a late reversal in the middle frame as Yohn kept pace to hand Yates his first Big Ten loss of the season.
Minnesota wrapped the dual with a narrow win in the dual's second marquee match as eighth-ranked Tony Nelson used a pair of takedowns to edge junior/sophomore Ben Apland (Woodridge, Ill./Downers Grove South HS), 6-3, at heavyweight. After Nelson finished on a second-period single leg, the two wrestlers traded counter takedowns in the third, but Apland's strike -- and subsequent ride-out -- came too late as the Gopher added 1:13 in riding time to cap his win.
The Wolverines (10-3, 5-1 Big Ten) will wrap up the Big Ten portion of their 2010-11 schedule on Sunday (Feb. 13), heading to Iowa City, Iowa, for a 1 p.m. CST slate against No. 2-ranked Iowa at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
#5 Minnesota 22, #10 Michigan 12
Individual rankings from InterMat
Match Score 125 -- #5 Zach Sanders (Minn) pinned Sean Boyle, 4:49 Minn, 6-0 133 -- David Thorn (Minn) dec. #19 Zac Stevens, 11-7 Minn, 9-0 141 -- #1 Kellen Russell (U-M) dec. #2 Mike Thorn, 3-1 SV Minn, 9-3 149 -- Danny Zilverberg (Minn) dec. Eric Grajales, 4-3 Minn, 12-3 157 - #20 Brandon Zeerip (U-M) dec. Matt Mincey, 13-10 Minn, 12-6 165 --#11 Cody Yohn (Minn) dec. #19 Dan Yates, 10-6 Minn, 15-6 174 -- Justin Zeerip (U-M) dec. #12 Scott Glasser, 4-1 Minn, 15-9 184 -- #9 Kevin Steinhaus (Minn) major dec. Hunter Collins, 13-2 Minn, 19-9 197 -- #11 Anthony Biondo (U-M) dec. Joe Nord, 11-4 Minn, 19-12 Hwt -- #8 Tony Nelson (Minn) dec. #10 Ben Apland, 6-3 Minn, 22-12
N O T E S
? With the loss, Michigan falls to 30-28-2 in the all-time series against Minnesota.
? Senior/junior <a href="http://www.mgoblue.com/sports/m-wrestl/mtt/russell_kellen00.html">Kellen Russell is 2-0 against Minnesota's Mike Thorn this season, earning a previous 6-2 decision against the Gopher in the 141-pound final at the Southern Scuffle (Dec. 29-30). In his collegiate career, Russell is a perfect 4-0 against Thorn.
? Senior/junior Justin Zeerip's 4-1 win over Scott Glasser was his first in four career meetings against the Gopher wrestler.
Q U O T E S
U-M Fifth-Year Senior Anthony Biondo
On how the Wolverines can rebound ... "Tonight they outwrestled us in the tough matches. That hasn't been the case all year. They just wrestled harder than us, which you never want to happen. The good thing about wrestling is Sunday you get to wrestle again, and Sunday we get another chance against another tough team. When you face a team like this, wrestling for seven full minutes is important. You aren't going to win any matches wrestling two minutes or four minutes, and coach has been preaching that."
On his 197-pound match ... "It was a good match, getting my offense better. I would have liked to turn him and not give up that point at the end to pick up the major. At this point, I'm just trying to progress in everything. I feel like each week I'm taking little steps and it's all going towards Big Tens. I could have rode that kid out and won 4-0 and gotten 10 minutes of riding time, but I need to just keep building. It was a good building block because in a tough match, I'm going to need to be able to score."
U-M Senior/Junior Kellen Russell
On his match against No. 2 Mike Thorn ... "Today I think I did a lot better job actually trying to get myself going, which I worked on all week, and I try not to change my game plan. I was pretty surprised because usually he comes right at me and we usually go at it pretty good, but he didn't really seem to come at me at all. I knew I could get my single leg if I could get him moving, and I've been working on it all week. It was perfect time to try it in overtime; I was able to get in on that single and finish it. I almost finished it in the first period too, but he was wrestling near the edge. I was looking for that single all match. So, year, I was surprised, because I was definitely looking for a different kind of match; I was prepared for a different kind of match. It wasn't as physical as when we usually wrestle. He backed up a lot more, and I was just surprised. But it's a good win to have under my belt, especially knowing I'm going to see him again."
U-M Senior/Junior Justin Zeerip
On his recent success ..."I feel like I'm turning the corner a bit. I've been trying to stay more relaxed before matches and go into the matches more confident in my abilities. I think that's starting to show."
On getting the first takedown and controlling the match ... "It was big for me. In a lot of the matches tonight, it seemed like they were getting the first takedown. Coach [Brian] Dolph is big on getting the first takedown. So, when he snapped me right into his legs, I took the shot and was able to finish it. That really got rid of my nerves and definitely helped to calm me down and get started on the right pace."
Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423
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