MAC Wrestling Weekend Notes

Updated 2/11/2011

MAC Wrestling Schedule:

February 11 (Friday)

*Ohio at Kent State (at Kent, Ohio), 7:00 pm

February 12 (Saturday)

Northern Illinois at SIU-Edwardsville (at Edwardsville, Ill.), 3:00 pm

February 13 (Sunday)

*Buffalo at Central Michigan (at Mount Pleasant, Mich.), 1:00 pm

*Kent State at Eastern Michigan (at Ypsilanti, Mich.), 2:00 pm

Ohio at West Virginia (at Morgantown, WV), TBA

 

BUFFALO NOTES:

Buffalo earns first MAC win, defeat Eastern Michigan 20-12

Spurred on by five straight wins in the first half of the match, the Buffalo wrestling team broke in to the Mid American Conference win column Wednesday evening with a 20-12 win over Eastern Michigan at Alumni Arena.

After dropping the first match, the Bulls took control, starting with Kevin Smith at 133 pounds. The junior just missed a pin but used two takedowns and three near fall points to post a 10-5 win. With the win, Smith now has a team-leading 30 wins, the most in a single season the Mexico, NY native has ever won.

At 141 pounds, Chris Conti continued his MAC hot streak with a 3-0 win over Mike Leholm. The Fredonia, NY sophomore now is 2-1 in conference action and an impressive 5-2 in dual meets overall.

"He (Conti) is out there wrestling hard, he's out there wrestling smart and he's winning MAC dual meets for us and those are the toughest one's to win," head coach Jim Beichner said. "We're very proud of him."

Desi Green continues to dominate in conference action, winning 5-3 over Corey Phillips. The junior now sits at 96 career wins and is now 3-0 in the MAC this season and 9-1 in the MAC for his career.

The team really broke away in the 157 and 165 pound bouts. Mark Lewandowski (157) continued his breakout season with a 8-0 major decision over Aaron Sulzer. The Depew, NY native used two takedowns, two near fall points and riding time to pull out a big decision.

John-Martin Cannon one-upped his teammate in the very next match, starting fast from the first whistle and blowing out his opponent 18-8, with his opponent's only points coming from escapes. The junior had eight takedowns and eclipsed the century mark in takedowns for his career in the process.

"He (Cannon) isn't where he wants to be at this time. He has wrestled 17 or 18 guys in the top 32 in the country he's had one of the most difficult schedules of anyone in that weight class," Beichner said. "Tonight he woke up. He said enough is enough and I'm going to go out there and wrestle. We hope that we see this for the rest of the season because that's the John-Martin we know."

Jimmy Hamel put the icing on the cake with a strong showing at 184 pounds, just missing a major decision by beating Khodar Hoballah 9-2.

Hamel dictated the pace throughout the match and won career match 116 in the process.

After snapping a two-match losing streak, Buffalo (8-7, 1-2 MAC) will hit the road for another critical MAC dual as it will face Central Michigan Sunday afternoon at 1pm. The Chippewas were upset most recently by Ohio, who used two pins to beat CMU 21-17. The team was ranked 12 nationally in the most recent polls and is 5-8 overall (0-1 MAC).

Up Next:  Saturday the team will hit the road for the last time as it heads to Mount Pleasant for a match against Central Michigan. The Chippewas were upset most recently by Ohio, who used two pins to beat CMU 21-17. The team was ranked 12 nationally in the most recent polls and is 5-8 overall (0-1 MAC).

 

CENTRAL MICHIGAN NOTES:

No. 17 CMU Hosts Buffalo at McGuirk Arena

Central Michigan begins the final week of the regular season by hosting Buffalo Sunday at 2 p.m. at McGuirk Arena.  Sunday's dual is the first of three in seven days at McGuirk Arena to close the dual meet schedule. The Chippewas welcome Eastern Michigan and Kent State to Mount Pleasant next week.

Buffalo enters Sunday's dual 8-7 overall, 1-2 in the MAC following a 20-12 win over Eastern Michigan on Wednesday. Mark Lewandowski (157 pounds) and John-Martin Cannon (165) scored bonus points for the Bulls, who won six of the dual's 10 bouts.

Junior 133-pounder Kevin Smith leads Buffalo in wins with a 30-10 overall mark, while senior Desi Green is ranked 14th nationally at 149 pounds with a 26-4 overall mark.

CMU's two-match winning streak was snapped at Ohio Friday night. The loss was just the third for the Chippewas (5-8 overall, 1-1 MAC) against a MAC opponent since the 1998-99 season. Junior 133-pounder Scotti Sentes, who leads the team in victories and pins, improved to 24-6 overall with his eighth pin of the season at Ohio.

Sunday's dual will be streamed live on the CMU Sports Zone on CMUChippewas.com (subscription rates apply). CMU's Matchday Central page will be active on Sunday at CMUChippewas.com/wrestling with probable lineups and scoring updates throughout the dual.

The Series:  CMU is 15-0 all-time against Buffalo, including 12-0 since the Bulls joined the MAC in 1998. The Chippewas won at Buffalo last season, 35-3.

In the Rankings: CMU is ranked 17th in the InterMat poll and 25th in the NWCA/USA Today poll this week. Buffalo is not ranked in either poll. The InterMat team rankings are based on InterMat's individual weight class rankings, while the NWCA/USA Today poll is voted on by a nationwide pool of head coaches.

Four Chippewas and one Bull are ranked in the top 20 nationally in InterMat's weight class rankings. CMU's ranked individuals are Scotti Sentes (11th, 133 pounds), Mike Miller (17th, 165 pounds), Ben Bennett (7th, 174 pounds) and Jarod Trice (2nd, 285 pounds). Buffalo's ranked individual is Desi Green (14th, 149 pounds).

CMU vs. the MAC: The Chippewas have won 63 of their last 66 conference duals dating back to the 1998-99 season. CMU has won 11 of the last 12 MAC titles and nine straight conference tournament championships.

Fearsome Threesome: Scotti Sentes, Ben Bennett and Jarod Trice are a combined 31-6 in dual meets this season and have combined to score 121 dual meet points, 56.5 percent of CMU's total of 214 points in 13 duals. Sentes is 10-3 in duals with a team-leading 46 points, Bennett is 11-2 with 39 points and Trice is 10-1 with 36 points.

Bennett Continues Winning Streak: Sophomore Ben Bennett's loss at Ohio last week snapped a string of 12 victories in 13 matches for the 174-pounder who is now 22-5 overall, including 11-2 in dual meets. Bennett leads the team in dual victories and is second in overall victories. Four of his five losses have been to an opponent who has been ranked No. 1 nationally at 174 pounds this season.

Trice Takes on the Top 10: Junior heavyweight Jarod Trice closed the Chippewas' dual with Michigan with a 5-3 decision over Ben Apland. Trice had been defeated by Apland by the same score in the semifinals at the Cliff Keen Invitational. Trice, ranked No. 2 nationally at heavyweight, is 4-4 against opponents in this week's InterMat top 10 following, including a 3-1 exhibition loss to No. 5 Ryan Flores (American) at the NWCA All-Star Classic.

Top of the Tournament: Scotti Sentes (133 pounds), Ben Bennett (174) and Jarod Trice (heavyweight) combined for seven top-three finishes at the Body Bar Invitational, Cliff Keen Invitational and Midlands Championships. Sentes won the Body Bar and was third at Midlands, Bennett finished runner-up at all three events and Trice was third at the Cliff Keen and runner-up at Midlands.

Three Earn First MAC Wins: Three different Chippewas have earned their first career MAC dual victories this season. Sophomore Christian Cullinan (125 pounds) and redshirt freshman Craig Kelliher (197 pounds) posted wins in the Chippewas' 21-13 win at Northern Illinois, while junior Chad Friend (184 pounds) claimed his first conference victory in CMU's 21-17 loss at Ohio.

Trice Travels the World: Junior heavyweight Jarod Trice has competed in a pair of events outside of CMU's schedule this season. In October, Trice placed eighth in Greco-Roman at the University World Championships in Italy. He was the highest placing American in Greco-Roman at the event. In November, Trice represented CMU at the NWCA All-Star Classic in Fresno, Calif. American's Ryan Flores scored a third-period takedown to defeat Trice, 3-1.

 

EASTERN MICHIGAN NOTES:

Eagles fall 20-12 at Buffalo

The Eastern Michigan University wrestling team won matches in three of the last four weight classes, but still fell to host University at Buffalo, 20-12, in a Mid-American Conference showdown at Alumni Gym, Wednesday, Feb. 9.

The Bulls strung together five straight wins at one point in the match and it was enough to defeat the Eagles on their home turf. With the loss EMU falls to 11-8 overall, 0-2 in the MAC. Meanwhile, UB moves to 8-7 (1-2 MAC).

EMU freshman Jared Germaine (Saginaw, Mich.-Saginaw Valley) gave the Eagles an emotional jump start in the 125-lbs. weight class with a two-point reversal with just six seconds remaining in the third period to take a 5-4 win over Buffalo freshman Sean Walton.

The disappointing loss didn't faze the home squad as they responded to take each of the next five matches. At 133, EMU junior Filiberto Colon (Belleville, N.J.-Belleville Senior-Rider) suffered a 10-5 defeat to Buffalo's Kevin Smith. Then, Mike LeHolm (Jackson, Mich.-Jackson Northwest) couldn't get anything going in his 3-0 loss to Chris Conti at 141.

At 149, EMU's Corey Phillips (Canton, Mich.-Canton) gave a valiant effort against 14th-ranked Desi Green of Buffalo, but three escapes for the Eagle wasn't enough to counter a pair of takedowns as the Green came away with the 5-3 win.

Aaron Sulzer (Cleveland, Ohio-Holy Name) and Nick Hendrick (Columbiaville, Mich.-Powers Catholic) found themselves over-matched at 157 and 165, respectively, falling to each of their opponents by major decisions to give the Bulls five straight victories and a commanding 17-3 lead.

EMU sophomore Chris Eggert (Dundee, Mich.-Dundee) was able to get the Eagles back in the scoring column when he broke a 4-4 tie after two periods to score three points in the third, and with one point for riding time, defeated Buffalo's Ron Majerus, 8-4.

After Khodor Hoballah (Dearborn, Mich.-Dearborn) fell, 9-2, to Jimmy Hamel at 184, Nick Whitenburg (Temperance, Mich.-Bedford) and David Wade (Beavercreek, Ohio-Beavercreek) each came back with victories to close out the match, just as they did against NIU last Friday.

Whitenburg used a reversal and takedown to build a slim 4-2 edge heading into the third and final period. In the third, he quickly scored an escape and then a takedown to widen his margin. He added to it with another takedown later in the match and another point for riding time to defeat Josh Peters 10-3 at 197.

At heavyweight, the 18th-ranked Wade came into the match riding an eight-match winning streak and having won nine of his last 11 matches overall. He made it interesting late into the match, falling behind 1-0 to Buffalo's Brett Correll after two periods. Choosing down to start the third, the senior quickly escaped out before scoring a takedown to go up 3-1 and eventually earning a 3-2 victory for his ninth straight.

On The Horizon: The Eagles will host their lone MAC match of the season this Sunday, Feb. 13, when they take on Kent State University. It will also couple as the final home match of the season and Senior Day for EMU seniors David Wade and Nick Hendrick. The match is slated to begin at 2 p.m. at Bowen Field House.

The Captain's Club: Head Coach Derek DelPorto announced the captains for the 2010-11 squad. As chosen by their peers, senior heavyweight David Wade - who is coming off a season in which he qualified for the NCAA Championships - headlines the five-member group. Redshirt freshman Jared Germaine, sophomore Aaron Sulzer and juniors J.J. Johnson and Corey Phillips round out this year's captains for the Eagles.

EMU Ranked 20th Nationally In APR Rankings:  Eastern Michigan University's wrestling program is tied with Pittsburgh and Princeton in the annual Academic Performance Ratings (APR) as released by Wrestling Insider Newsmagazine's June Issue. It's a new program-best for the Eagle grapplers. EMU ranks ahead of all Mid-American Conference institutions in the highly-regarded poll including Northern Illinois (29th), Buffalo (44th), Kent State (47th), Central Michigan (60th) and Ohio (67th).

Eagles Wrestling On The Web: Don't forget to stay up-to-date with EMU wrestling all season long online at EMUEagles.com. Watch live-streamed EMU sporting events via Eagle All-Access and follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/EMUAthletics.

 

KENT STATE NOTES:

WWE Star Dolph Ziggler Part of Kent State vs. Ohio Friday

Kent State wrestling fans know him as Nick Nemeth (1999-2003), but to much of the world he is WWE superstar Dolph Ziggler, and Friday night (Feb. 11) he makes his return to the M.A.C. Center.  The three-time Mid-American Conference champion and former career win leader will serve as an honorary captain for his alma mater when it takes on rival Ohio.

Ziggler will be signing autographs following the Flashes' dual with the Bobcats that is slated to begin at 7:05 p.m.  He will also be recognized with a video tribute midway through the dual.

Friday night's M.A.C. Center events will begin at 5 p.m., featuring two high school dual meets.  Area schools Cuyahoga Falls and Medina will be in action along with Gahanna Lincoln and Delaware Hayes.  KSU will also welcome back former three-year captain Kyle Bentley (1993-97), who serves as head coach at Gahanna Lincoln.

"We're expecting a great atmosphere Friday night," Head Coach Jim Andrassy said.  "You're going to see some quality wrestling at both the high school and college levels, a WWE superstar and we're going to have the pep band, cheerleaders and promotions so we'll have something for everyone."

Ranked No. 15 in last week's NWCA Coaches Poll, the Golden Flashes (12-5, 2-0 MAC) will be recognizing its four seniors Friday night.  SportsTime Ohio will be airing the meet Saturday at 9:30 p.m.

This Weekend:  No. 15 Kent State has an opportunity to clinch a share of the MAC regular season title this weekend with dual meets against Ohio and Eastern Michigan. The Golden Flashes (12-5, 2-0 MAC) host the Bobcats (9-4, 3-0) Friday night at the M.A.C. Center, before heading to Ypsilanti Sunday to take on the Eagles.  KSU has won 10 of its last 11 duals and has four wrestlers ranked among the nation's Top 15.

Live Video & Live Stats: Live video of Friday's dual can be seen on the K-Zone at KentStatesports.com.  It will also be aired locally on TV2.  That same broadcast will also be aired Saturday on SportsTime Ohio at 9:30 p.m.  It can also be seen on Community Cable 9 in Northeast Ohio.  In addition, Gohiocasts.com will have video available on Saturday.  Live stats can be viewed at nwcaonline.com. 

A Look At Ohio: The Bobcats upset Central Michigan last weekend 21-17 in Athens.  It was Ohio's first win over the Chippewas since 1998 and the Bobcats second key MAC victory in a seven-day span after topping Buffalo 16-15.  National polls have four different Ohio wrestlers ranked in the Top 20, while six different Bobcats are ranked in the top three spots in the MAC.

A Look At Eastern Michigan:  The Eagles (11-7) have six wrestlers ranked among the MAC's Top 4.   EMU went 3-0 at the Wendy's Duals in Ashland, winning all three duals by over 20 points.  The Eagles were also dominant at the Eastern Duals, winning all three of its meets by 30 or more points.  Nick Hendrick (165) and David Wade (285) each had pins last weekend at Northern Illinois.

Dual Success:  Since the 2005-06 season, the Golden Flashes have gone 83-25-1 in dual meets and 22-4-1 in conference duals.  KSU has not dropped a MAC dual to a team other than Central Michigan since February of 2005.

 

NORTHERN ILLINOIS NOTES:

NIU Travels to SIUE on Saturday for Two Dual Meets

The Northern Illinois University wrestling team travels to Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville Saturday afternoon to face Knox College and the Cougars at the SIUE Fitness Center. NIU will face Knox College at 1:30 p.m. and SIUE at 3 p.m. This weekend's match begins a two-match road trip before the MAC Championships in March.

"You approach every match the same," NIU head coach Dave Grant said. "Even though these aren't conference dual meets, every match is the same at this point. You have to be concerned with how you wrestle and less about the opponents that you wrestle and bring your best game. It's all about wrestling hard and being dominant."

The Huskies (3-10, 1-4) enter Saturday's matchup looking to build on their strong performance against Eastern Michigan last week.  Northern came out victorious against their conference rival and walked away with their first conference win with a 21-18 decision over EMU.  The Huskies came out strong winning their first five matches and six overall.   

Tristen DeShazer (Wichita, Kan./Wichita West) looks to stay hot, posting three wins in as many matches, all by pin fall.  With a victory over Mike Leholm at the end of the first period (2:47), DeShazer recorded his eighth pin on the season, a team high.  Freshman Nick Smith (Ida, Mich./Ida) also posted a win in his second straight match since returning from injury, beating Jared Germaine 7-4.  Smith has won three straight overall and leads the team with 19 victories.

"Nick's been a consistent guy for us," Grant said. "He's been out of the line up and now he's back in and given a great spark to our line up."

Bryan Deutsch (Columbia City, Ind./Columbia City) regained his form with a decision over Aaron Sulzer 6-2.  Deutsch has won six of his last eight matches, improving his season record to 17-8.

 

2010-11 MAC February Rankings (Feb. 10, 2011)

1.             Kent State (29)

t-2.          Central Michigan (18.8)

t-2.          Ohio (18.8)

4.             Buffalo (18)

5.             Northern Illinois (9)

6.             Eastern Michigan (6.3)

Based on the individual rankings, Kent State is expected to surpass last year's champion Central Michigan for the 2011 championship. The rankings, voted on by the league's head coaches in an open forum, are as follows:

The 2010-11 MAC Wrestling Championships will be held March 5-7 and hosted by Northern Illinois University.   Last year, Central Michigan won its ninth consecutive MAC wrestling championship with 94 team points.  Kent State was the runner-up with 73 points, while Ohio was third with 62 points.

MID-AMERICAN CONFERENCE ANNOUNCES WRESTLER OF THE WEEK

MAC Wrestler of the Week

Nick Purdue, Ohio-Junior, Genoa, Ohio (Genoa High School)

Ohio junior Nick Purdue had an exceptional week, recording a pair of victories by pin over his opponents from 12th-ranked Central Michigan and Clarion. On Friday, Purdue pinned fifth-ranked Ben Bennett of Central Michigan in four minutes, 38 seconds to help power the Bobcats to a 21-17 win over the Chippewas in Athens. The victory snapped a 12-year losing streak to Central Michigan and handed the Chips just their third MAC dual loss in the last 66 competitions. On Sunday, he made short work of Clarion's Scott Joseph, winning in four minutes, 55 seconds to guide the Bobcats to a 29-18 triumph. For his efforts, Purdue, who was previously unranked, is now 16th in the latest Intermat rankings.

Additional Nominees:

Chris Conti, Buffalo-Sophomore, Fredonia, N.Y. (Fredonia High School)

Buffalo sophomore Chris Conti got the team rolling Sunday against Kent State with an upset win in the leadoff 141-pound match, controlling Chase Skonieczny throughout and using a late reversal to seal a 5-2 win to lead off the match. The win was Conti's fourth dual meet win of the season despite being an injury replacement.

David Wade, Eastern Michigan-Senior, Beavercreek, Ohio (Beavercreek High School)

Eastern Michigan senior heavyweight David Wade extended his current win streak to eight consecutive matches and he has won nine of his last 11 matches overall after defeating Dakota Greenhaw of Northern Illinois last Friday, Feb. 4, with a pin in 4:10. Wade moves to 14-6 on the season, 8-1 in duals and 1-0 in the Mid-American Conference. He is currently ranked 18th in the nation according to Intermat and WrestlingReport.com.

Ross Tice, Kent State-Junior, Brookfield, Ohio (Brookfield High School)

Kent State junior Ross Tice started a rally that helped the Golden Flashes post a conference road win.  In Sunday's dual at Buffalo, the Bulls captured the first three matches of the day before Tice got a Kent State rally started in a 19-13 victory. Tice's 4-2 win over John-Martin Cannon at 165 was the first of six straight victories for the Golden Flashes (12-5, 2-0 MAC), which included overtime triumphs at 184 and heavyweight.  Martin-Cannon was ranked No. 1 in the MAC Coaches Poll.

Tristen DeShazer, Northern Illinois-Senior, Wichita, Kan. (West High School)

Northern Illinois senior Tristen DeShazer posted his third-straight victory by pin fall and his eighth of the season, pinning Eastern Michigan's Mike LeHolm in 2:47 at 141 helping lead the Huskies to a 21-18 victory over the Eagles Friday night. It was Northern Illinois' first conference victory of the season and DeShazer's 32nd pin fall win of his career. The Huskie senior, who is riding a three-match winning streak, improved to 13-8 on the season and 3-1 in conference action.