Here's a look at MAC Wrestling from around the Mid-American Conference.
Lewandowski and Soria Lead Bulls at UB Invite
BUFFALO, NY - Mark Lewandowski and Max Soria won individual titles at the season-opening UB Invite on Sunday, as the Bulls as a team finished third in the new team competition that was introduced this season. The Ohio State Buckeyes won the overall title. Overall, eleven Buffalo wrestlers finished in the top five in the tournament.
Soria went 3-0 in the tournament and was able to exorcise some demons in his title match, beating Edinboro's Kory Mines 8-3. To get to the final, he beat Ohio State's Kyle Visconti 10-4 in the first round before besting Hunter Wood of Army 6-1 in the semifinal round. After Soria lost to Mines multiple times in 2011-12, he came out strong and led almost from start to finish to win his first career tournament. He was not the only Soria to perform well though. His twin brother Mike Soria placed fourth after winning three matches and only losing to Kent State's Steve Mitcheff, who beat him in the quarterfinals and in the consolation championship match.
Lewandowski picked up right where he left off last season, when he won 33 matches and earned his second straight trip to the NCAA tournament. The senior won his four matches by a combined score of 34-11, culminating in a win over rival John Greisheimer of Edinboro in the final. The tournament title was Mark's first ever at the UB Invite.
Other top-five placewinners for Buffalo were Erik Galloway, John Northrup, Blake Roulo, Justin Lozano, Jake Waste, Jeff Palmeri, Angelo Malvestuto, and Justin Heiserman.
Galloway was an explosive scorer for the Bulls on the day, starting with an early second period tech fall over American International's Cody Cardinale, 15-0, in the first round. He then lost to returning national champion Logan Stiebler of Ohio State, but rebounded to beat teammates Justin Farmer and Sean Walton and then down Kent State's Mackenzie McGuire 8-7 to earn a shot at the consolation championship. In the final, he routed Army's Jordan Thome, a consensus top 20 wrestler in the nation at 133.
The team had a handful of outstanding performances from young wrestlers, starting with Northrup at 149. After losing in the first round to eventual champion Mike Depalma of Edinboro, the true freshman won three straight consolation matches before finishing fourth. Palmeri won his opening round match before losing to eventual champion Nick Heflin of Ohio State. He then won again to put him in the consolation final, where he would finish fourth.
Though they are likely redshirts this season, Lozano and Waste were able to start the season on strong notes as well for UB. Lozano finished third at 165 after winning five matches (four in the consolation bracket). Waste came up shy of winning the 174 pound title, losing in the final to Heflin of Ohio State, a top 10 nationally ranked wrestler. Before the loss, though, he won three straight matches.
The team will be back in action next Saturday, traveling to SUNY Brockport for the Oklahoma Gold Classic. It will be another all-day tournament for UB.
No. 17 Chippewas Set to Open Season versus No. 13 Michigan
MOUNT PLEASANT - The Central Michigan wrestling program will open its 2012-13 campaign versus rival No. 13 Michigan Tuesday night inside the friendly confines of McGuirk Arena at 7:30 p.m.
The Chippewas enter the season ranked No. 17 in the preseason USA Today/NWCA/AWN Division I Coaches Poll and No. 9 in the preseason InterMat rankings. The Wolverines are No. 13 in the NWCA poll and No. 17 in the InterMat poll.
Follow the Action: Tuesday's dual meet against Michigan will be streamed live through the CMU Sports Zone on CMUChippewas.com. Live updates will be provided through the Chippewas' official twitter account @CMUWrestling and live scoring will be available through TrackWrestling.com.
Parking: Fans choosing to park in Lot 62 East in front of the CMU Student Activity Center will be charged $5 for parking. Fans can choose to park in Lot 62 West free of charge. Season pass holders should park in their normal Lot 61 allocation. Tuesday night's dual versus Michigan will be the only match during the 2012-13 season in which this parking procedure is followed.
The Matchups: Probable lineups for Central Michigan vs. Michigan; rankings are based on this week's InterMat weight class rankings
125: Christian Cullinan (Sr., 0-0) vs. No. 15 Sean Boyle (Jr., 1-0)
133: No. 2 Scotti Sentes (Sr., 0-0) vs. Rossi Bruno (Fr., 1-0)
141: Scott Mattingly (Jr., 0-0) vs. Camryn Jackson (Rfr., 1-0) or No. 11 Steve Dutton (Jr., 0-0)
149: Donnie Corby (Sr., 0-0) vs. Eric Grajales (Jr., 1-0)
157: Lucas Smith (RFr., 0-0) vs. Jake Salazar (So., 1-0)
165: No. 19 Mike Ottinger (So., 0-0) vs. Taylor Massa (Fr., 1-0)
174: Anthony Bill (So., 0-0) vs. No. 15 Dan Yates (Jr., 1-0)
184: No. 5 Ben Bennett (Sr., 0-0) or Craig Kelliher (Jr., 0-0) vs. Jordan Thomas (Fr., 1-0)
197: Jackson Lewis (RFr., 0-0) vs. No. 19 Max Huntley (So., 1-0)
HWT: No. 4 Jarod Trice (Sr., 0-0) vs. Justin Dozier (RFr., 1-0)
The Series: CMU is just 5-20 all-time versus the Wolverines, but had won three straight before dropping the last two meetings between the two teams. Michigan was ranked No. 10 in the country last season when it defeated No. 19 CMU, 23,14, in Ann Arobr.
CMU vs. the State of Michigan: CMU has won 16 of its last 18 dual meets against in-state opponents. The Chippewas' lone losses during that stretch are a pair of defeats against Michigan during the past two seasons. CMU has won 21 straight duals over Eastern Michigan, 11 straight over Michigan State and had won three straight against Michigan prior to losses in each of the last two seasons.
Scouting Michigan: The Wolverines opened their season Nov. 1 with a 46-0 shutout over Olivet in which they earned bonus points in nine of the night's 10 matches, including three pins and one technical fall. The U of M lineup features five wrestlers ranked in the top 20 in the country.
EMU Wrestling Opens the 2012-13 Campaign at EMU Open
Eagles place 13 in the 21st annual event at Bowen
YPSILANTI, Mich. – The 21st installment of the EMU Open officially kicked off the 2012-13 wrestling season for Eastern Michigan University Saturday, Nov. 3, at Bowen Field House. Thirteen EMU wrestlers posted top-seven finishes on the day with freshman Jacob Davis earning top spot at 174 lbs. in the freshman and sophomore division.
More than 450 wrestlers from all over the country showed up for the event and participants from NCAA Divisions I, II and III were represented.
Davis was the lone Eagle to place first in either division, going 4-0 with three decisions and a major decision. In the championship bout, Davis fought his way to a narrow 1-0 win over Jordan Wohlfert of Michigan State for a tournament victory in his first action as a collegiate athlete.
Freshman Matthew VanCuren narrowly missed capturing first place at 149 lbs. after rolling through his first four matches with a trio of decisions and a technical fall. In the final bout, VanCuren was out-dueled by Jonatan Rivera of Notre Dame (Ohio) by major decision and was awarded second place with a 4-1 record.
A pair of EMU grapplers took home top-three honors as redshirt senior Aaron Sulzer went 3-1 at 157 lbs. and redshirt junior Khodor Hoballah did the same at 197 lbs. Sulzer won his third place match by way of forfeit, while Hoballah took care of Tiffin's Joe Miller, 11-0.
Redshirt juniors Phillip Joseph (184 lbs.) and Jared Germaine (125 lbs.) each took fourth place in their respective weight classes. Both wrestlers were victorious in their first two matches before dropping the final pair. Germaine, ranked 23rd at 125 lbs. nationally, met up with No. 17-ranked Camden Eppert of Purdue in the third-place match and fell just short, 5-2.
At 133 lbs. of the open division, redshirt freshman Vincent Pizzuto claimed fourth place with a 3-2 ledger. Pizzuto, who won at last year's open in the freshman and sophomore division, recorded a decision, major decision and fall in his three victories. He lost a hard-fought 8-5 decision to Central Michigan's Zach Horan in a possible precursor to a rematch in the regular season.
Also placing fourth was Seth Schaner, who went 3-2 at 141 lbs. of the open division. Schaner earned a decision, major decision and technical fall in his three victories.
Rounding out Saturday's place-winners were freshman Nicholas Barber (fifth; 141 lbs. freshman-sophomore division), freshman Devan Marry (fifth; 165 lbs. freshman-sophomore division), freshman Jacob Dorulla (fifth; 165 lbs. open division), redshirt freshman Chris Rau (seventh; 141 lbs. freshman and sophomore division) and Jake Byers (seventh; 133 lbs. open division).
The Eagles continue tournament competition Sunday, Nov. 11, at the Michigan State Open in East Lansing, Mich.
Grapplers Open Season Sunday at Buffalo Invitational
Tabbed No. 17 in the nation by InterMat, the Kent State wrestling team opens its season Sunday, Nov. 4 at the Buffalo Invitational. Twenty wrestlers will be representing the Golden Flashes, while several others will be competing unattached. The field includes MAC rival and host Buffalo, No. 5 Ohio State, Edinboro and Army among others.
Eager to start the 2012-13 season, Head Coach Jim Andrassy talked about his projected 10 starters, which includes five fifth-year seniors, beginning with Stevie Mitcheff (Lorain, Ohio) at 125 pounds.
"Stevie's back down to his natural weight class (125) and he's really excited about it," Andrassy said.
Mitcheff is ranked No. 4 in the MAC's preseason coaches' poll, which now includes the additions Missouri and Northern Iowa. Competing at 133 throughout all of last season, he went 3-2 in conference duals and placed fourth at the conference tournament.
Making his official Kent State debut at 133 will be redshirt freshman Kyle Bauer (Wheeling, W. Va./Wheeling Park), who went 12-6 last season, wrestling unattached at 133 and 141. Bauer placed second at last season's Michigan State Open.
"Kyle's coming off an injury-riddled season, but is feeling a lot better," Andrassy said. "He's doing all the right things and I think he will surprise some people this year."
Dropping down to 141 will be sophomore Andrew Candiello (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Allegheny), who went 18-17 last season, competing at 149, 157 and 165. Candiello had fourth place finishes at both the Michigan State and Purple Raider Opens.
"Andrew's a third-year guy and understands our program," Andrassy said. "And I think he'll win a lot matches because of what he's learned here."
Looking make an instant impact at 149 is redshirt freshman Nick Carr (South Fayette, Pa./South Fayette), who won the Michigan State Open last season. Finishing 12-4 on the year, Carr also placed third at the Eastern Michigan Open.
"Nick wants to come in right away and be an All-American as a freshman," Andrassy said.
Bringing two-plus seasons of starting experience to the 157-pound class is fifth-year senior Mallie Shuster (Newville, Pa.). An NCAA qualifier in 2011, Shuster is ranked No. 3 in the MAC after winning 26 matches last season.
"Mallie's looking to continue to get better and become a Top 10 guy," Andrassy said.
The weight class with the biggest question mark on a starter is 165, but Andrassy has a few good options in sophomore Caleb Marsh (Marysville, Ohio), redshirt freshman Tyler Buckwalter (Mill Hall, Pa.) and redshirt freshman Clay Wenger (Wadsworth, Ohio). Marsh, who transferred in from Ashland last season, is considered the frontrunner. But Wenger (23-15) and Buckwalter (16-14) each showed promise in their redshirt seasons.
"Caleb won the wrestle-off, but he is injured right now and won't compete this weekend. Over the next three weeks we're really going to watch to see who steps up and takes over the position."
A redshirt freshman that could quickly gain national attention is Sam Wheeler (Copley), who transferred in from Oklahoma after one semester, last season. Wrestling unattached at the Ashland Simonson Open last season, Wheeler won a 184-pound title in his very first college competition and is currently ranked No. 3 in the MAC preseason poll.
"Sam was a highly-recruited guy coming out of high school and we're expecting big things from him," Andrassy said.
Also ranked No. 3 in the MAC preseason poll is fifth-year senior Casey Newburg (Union, Ohio) at 184. Newburg won titles the Mat Town Invitational and Cleveland State Open last season, before qualifying for the NCAA Championships.
"Casey's improved a great deal since he arrived here and he's looking to be a Top 10 guy," Andrassy said.
After traveling the world with Team USA, 2011 NCAA champion Dustin Kilgore (Berea, Ohio) returns to the 197 spot as a fifth-year senior. Kilgore is ranked No. 1 in every national poll after winning three international competitions during an Olympic redshirt year.
"Dustin not only wants to be a national champion, he wants to go undefeated and earn Outstanding Wrestler at the NCAA Championships," Andrassy said. "He has set some lofty goals and it all starts this weekend for him."
Rounding out Kent State's five fifth-year seniors is Keith Witt (Oak Harbor, Ohio), who has moved up to heavyweight. Witt is ranked No. 4 in the MAC preseason poll, bulking up from his MAC Championship run at 197 last year.
"Keith is up to about 235 pounds and he's excited to become an NCAA qualifier at his third different weight class," Andrassy said. "Heavyweights wrestle at a different pace that I think fits him well."
The Golden Flashes will be competing in tournaments in three consecutive weekends as the Buffalo Invitational is followed by the Michigan State Open (Nov. 11) and the Navy Classic (Nov. 17). Sunday's action begins at 10 a.m. at Alumni Arena.
Huskies Put 13 on the Podium at EMU Open
Mougin paces NIU in open bracket; Scott wins fresh/soph 197 title
YPSILANTI, Mich. – The Northern Illinois wrestling team opened their season on the right foot with 13 placewinners Saturday at the EMU Open.
Eight of those placewinners came out of the open bracket, while five of NIU’s six freshman/sophomore wrestlers finished on the podium in their collegiate debuts.
“We learned a lot about ourselves as a team today,” said NIU head coach Ryan Ludwig. “We will take our notes and apply them to our training when we hit the mats on Monday. I believe we have a lot of potential to be realized through constant attention to detail in the mat room. Our young guys fought hard as well and garnered some valuable experience.”
The highest placer in the open brackets was Matt Mougin, who claimed third place at 174 pounds. Wrestling for the first time at his new weight class, Mougin rattled off three straight wins – outscoring those three opponents by a 24-3 margin – to advance to the semifinals. However, the Columbus Junction, Iowa, native dropped a 10-4 decision to eventual champion Mat Miller of the Naval Academy. He would rebound in the third-place match, though, with a 7-0 shutout of Michigan State’ Jake Proctor.
Jared Torrence opened the year at heavyweight with a fourth-place showing. His day began with a 3-1 win over Tiffin’s Kevin Christman to move on to the semifinals. However, he would fall in his next match against Andrew Tumlin of Findlay by a 6-5 margin, then drop a 4-1 match to Danny Miller of Navy.
Another Huskie who had a successful day at a new weight class was 149-pounder Rob Jillard. He opened the day with a bang, pinning Tiffin’s Marco Gualtieri at 3:44, then shutting out Michigan’s John Evashevki by a 7-0 margin to move on to the quarterfinals to face Central Michigan’s Joey Kielbasa. After falling by a 6-3 score to Kielbasa, Jillard ran off three convincing wins in the consolation bracket, topping Eastern Michigan’s Justin Melick (14-8), Notre Dame (Ohio)’s Eric Burgey (fall at 2:38) and Central Michigan’s Jared Porter (6-2) to claim fifth place.
Five NIU wrestlers – Derek Elmore (125 pounds), Ethan Davis (141), Caleb Busson (174), Shane Rosenberry (184) and Arber Bebo (197) – took sixth place in their respective weight classes in the open brackets.
Over in the freshman/sophomore brackets, freshman Shawn Scott took home first place at 197 pounds. Following a close 2-1 win against Ashland’s Joe Brandt, Scott went on an impressive run through the following rounds. Outside of a forfeit in the quarterfinals, the Holly, Mich., native blasted both CMU’s Kurt Alder and Lincoln’s Archie Williams by 7-0 and 13-6 margins, respectively.
Fellow Michigander Andrew Morse took third place at 157 pounds. Morse opened the tournament with three strong victories, scoring two decisions and a technical fall by a combined score of 32-6. However, he was narrowly defeated by Louden Gordon of Notre Dame (Ohio), 4-3, before winning third place by way of a 2-0 decision over Ashland’s Zeb Beam.
Gabe Morse took fourth place at 141, while Braun Marquez and Bryan Loughlin earned fifth place finishes at 125 and 184, respectively.
The Huskies return to DeKalb for their home opener Saturday, Nov. 10, when they host Indiana, South Dakota State, Cleveland State and Tiffin in the Huskie Duals. The action starts at 10 a.m. in the NIU Convocation Center.
Bobcats Conclude Competition at Virginia Duals
Junior Jeremy Johnson goes 3-0 on the day
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The Ohio University wrestling team defeated Anderson 37-13, but fell 34-6 to No. 16 Virginia and 21-12 against Chattanooga inside Memorial Gymnasium Saturday afternoon at the 2012 Virginia Duals.
Redshirt junior Jeremy Johnson (Broadview Heights, Ohio) and redshirt freshman Cody Walters (Macedonia, Ohio) led the way for the Bobcats as they both finished with a perfect marks on the afternoon. Johnson went 3-0 and Walters posted a 2-0 record. Freshman Kagan Squire (Wadsworth, Ohio) and redshirt sophomore Harrison Hightower (Strongsville, Ohio) also turned in strong efforts for the `Cats as they posted marks of 2-1.
"I thought we got a lot better as the day wore on," said head coach Joel Greenlee. "We have a lot of youth on our team right now, so it was good for our guys to get out there and get some experience. Some good things happened today and we just need to keep plugging away in order to get better."
In the Bobcats' win over Anderson, Squire, Hightower, Walters, redshirt sophomore Michael Duckworth (Liberty, Ind.) and Johnson all tallied pins for Ohio.
Ohio returns to action on Sunday, Nov. 11 at the Michigan State Open. Competition is set to begin at 9 a.m.
Bradley Sets Tone for Season at NWCA All-Star Classic
Missouri Senior heavyweight Dom Bradley defeats No. 5-ranked Mike McMullan of Northwestern 3-2 in NWCA All-Star Classic Saturday in Washington D.C.
COLUMBIA, Mo. - Missouri's No-2-ranked heavyweight wrestler Dom Bradley started the upcoming season off on the right foot Saturday in Washington D.C. by defeating Northwestern's Mike McMullan 3-2. After a scoreless first period, Bradley took a one-point lead with a quick escape, and followed that with a takedown over the No.5-ranked heavyweight in the nation. McMullan responded with two escapes of his own, one in the second and one in the third period, and Bradley escaped with the 3-2 victory.
The NWCA All-Star Classic is a pre-season collegiate wrestling tournament that features some of the best wrestlers all over the country. The heavyweight bout between Bradley and McMullan featured a matchup between previous 3rd place finishers at the NCAA Championships, Bradley in 2011 and McMullan last year.
Bradley returns to Missouri after taking an Olympic redshirt last season to focus on the Olympics this past summer in London. He brings his experience and 66 career-wins back to the Tigers as the No.7-ranked team looks to add a National Championship this year. The season kicks off this weekend in West Lafayette, where the Tigers will face off against Purdue and Old Dominion. For all of the latest Missouri Wrestling news, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow us on Twitter @MizzouWrestling.