Feb. 13, 2013
Wolverine Wrestling Wrap
CLIFF KEEN/NWCA NATIONAL DUALS (Tournament Central)
Sunday, Feb. 17 -- at No. 9 Oregon State (Corvallis, Ore.), 1 p.m. PST
Sunday, Feb. 17 -- vs. No. 7 Virginia Tech or No. 25 Oklahoma (Corvallis, Ore.), 3 p.m. PST
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The No. 19-ranked University of Michigan wrestling team (9-6, 3-5 Big Ten) will participate in the revamped NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals for the second straight year this Sunday (Feb. 17), traveling to Corvallis, Ore., to compete in one of the tournament's four regional sites. The No. 3-seeded Wolverines will face No. 9-ranked and host Oregon State in the first round at 1 p.m. PST before taking on either No. 7 Virginia Tech or No. 25 Oklahoma in a second match at 3 p.m. PST. All dual meets will be held at Gil Coliseum.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Match 1 -- #1 Seed Virginia Tech vs. #4 Seed Oklahoma, 1 p.m. PST
Match 2 -- #2 Seed Oregon State vs. #3 Seed Michigan, 1 p.m. PST
Match 3 -- Match 1 Winner vs. Match 2 Winner, 3 p.m. PST
Match 4 -- Match 2 Loser vs. Match 2 Loser, 3 p.m. PST
ABOUT MAT MAYHEM
The 2013 NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals will represent the second year under its current regional team dual-meet tournament. Coined "Mat Mayhem," the ultimate goal of the revamped National Duals is to create a premier national dual meet championship that will become a platform for growing spectator and media interest in wrestling both at the institutional and national levels.
New this year, last season's final-four teams will receive an automatic bid to the finals, scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Feb. 22-23, in Minneapolis, Minn. The remainder of the finals field will draw from four separate four-team regionals. Each region will wrestle two rounds on two mats at each facility with teams seeded 1-4. The winners from the first-round matches will move into the regional final, while the winner of each region will move on to compete for the national dual championship.
Below is the breakdown of the 16 participating teams by their regional sites:
Ithaca, N.Y. -- Cornell, Hofstra, Virginia, Nebraska
Kent, Ohio -- Kent State, Oklahoma State, Northern Iowa, Wisconsin
Corvallis, Ore. -- Oregon State, Oklahoma, Virginia Tech, Michigan
Columbia, Mo. -- Missouri, Wyoming, Maryland, Purdue
* The four teams with automatic bids into the finals are: Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Ohio State.
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 Mike Hillock Sr./Jr. Massillon, Ohio (Perry) 149 Eric Grajales Sr./Jr. Brandon, Fla. (Brandon) 157 Michael Carpenter Jr./So. Bozeman, Mont. (Bozeman) or Collin Zeerip Jr./So. Fremont, Mich. (Hesperia) 165 Taylor Massa Fr./Fr. St. Johns, Mich. (St. Johns) 174 Dan Yates Sr./Jr. Hesperia, Mich. (Hesperia) 184 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)
Michigan previously defeated Oregon State this season, earning a 21-18 victory over the then-10th-ranked Beavers on the road on Nov. 17. U-M claimed five matches, including the first three, and earned bonus points at 125, 165 and 174 pounds. U-M is 5-0 in the all-time series against Oregon State.
The Wolverines have narrow margins in the all-time series against Virginia Tech and Oklahoma, leading the Hokies, 2-1, while trailing the Sooners, 5-4-1. The latter series dates back to 1974.
Junior Eric Grajales finished 8-0 in Big Ten duals with a pair of wins over the weekend. He owns wins over two ranked conference opponents -- Purdue's Ivan Lopouchanski (10-6, Feb. 3) and Nebraska's Jake Sueflohn (3-2, Jan. 11) -- and four bonus wins. Grajales is 18-5 in Big Ten dual competition over his career.
Freshman Taylor Massa has scored bonus points in six of his last seven matches with two pins, three technical falls and two major decisions. The U-M rookie has earned bonus points in 15 of 22 wins this season (68.2 percent) and, excluding pins, has outscored his opposition, 256-100. Three of his season losses have come by just two points.
Massa leads the Wolverine team with a 22-5 record, including an unbeaten 7-0 mark in Big Ten duals. Massa also leads in two bonus categories with five pins and six technical falls.
Senior/junior Sean Boyle earned back-to-back wins over ranked opposition with a 4-1 decision over Purdue's Camden Eppert on Feb. 3 and a 2-1 decision over Ohio State's Nikki Triggas on Feb. 8 -- both on first-period takedowns. His win over Triggas was his first over an NCAA All-American. Boyle posted a solid 6-2 record in Big Ten dual competition, falling to Iowa's top-ranked Matt McDonough before suffering an unexpected pin at Michigan State.
Senior/junior Mike Hillock earned his first collegiate dual-meet victory with 4-3 decision over MSU's Nick Trimble on a late third-period takedown and subsequent ride out in the 141-pound match last Sunday (Feb. 10). Hillock is the ninth different Wolverine wrestler to earn his first dual win this season, joining Rossi Bruno, Camryn Jackson, Michael Carpenter, Jake Salazar, Taylor Massa, Jordan Thomas, Chris Heald and Justin Dozier.
Q: You split your two rivalry matches last weekend. Was it an important to end with a win?
A: It was a positive to end the Big Ten season with a win at Michigan State. I really felt like, in eight of 10 matches, we were really the aggressor, pushed the pace, attacked more and scored a lot of points. It was a much more exciting match [than Friday's loss against Ohio State].
Q: Michigan won five of the last six matches. Did you like seeing the team really battle back after suffering an unexpected pin at 125 pounds?
A: We felt like that was a 10-point swing with Sean [Boyle] getting pinned. But the guys responded really well. Rossi [Bruno] went out after that and got our whole second half kick started. You hate to see a guy caught and pinned, but at the same time, it was nice to see our guys, in a hostile environment, bounce back and get the train back on track. You need to fight for each other out there. It's a team effort. When you see one of your teammates go down -- or if you see one of your teammates performing really well -- that should inspire you and give you that extra passion you need out there.
Q: Eric Grajales went 8-0 in Big Ten duals. How do you like his attitude and wrestling right now?
A: He's head and shoulders above where he was at this point last season -- mentally and physically. He knows he's paying price. That's a big thing for him. He knows he's working hard, and he knows he should be getting his hand raised. He's not making believe; he really believes that he's going to win. That's a step in the right direction for Eric and for our program, because he's a leader.
Q: With the Big Ten season complete, are you looking forward to the National Duals this weekend?
A: Oregon State kind of reminds me of a Big Ten team. We wrestled them earlier in the year and beat them early. That will be a tough dual. Some of the matchups will be a little different. That was their first dual of the season, and I know they will put out a better team. We're a better team too. So, it should be a good dual. We'll have either Virginia Tech or Oklahoma in the second round. There will be good individual matchups in either of those, and that's good for NCAA seeding. So, we're excited.
U-M Individual Rankings
LAST TIME OUT
Michigan split its rivalry duals to close out the Big Ten season, falling to No. 5 Ohio State, 24-12, on Friday evening (Feb. 8) before surging past Michigan State, 24-15, on Sunday (Feb. 10). The Wolverines claimed four individual matches in the former contest, earning decisions at 125, 149 and 165 pounds and heavyweight. Michigan took six matches against MSU, rallying from an early deficit to claim five of the final six matches, including bonus victories from Rossi Bruno (133), Eric Grajales (149) and Taylor Massa (165). [ Recaps: Ohio State | Michigan State ]
Sunday, Feb. 24 -- at Cliff Keen/NWCA National Duals Finals (Minneapolis, Minn.)
For Michigan wrestling tickets, starting as low as $5, visit MGoBlue.com/tickets.