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Assad, Massa Earn Top-Six Finishes in Southern Scuffle Debut

By University of Michigan Sports Information Department , 01/03/16, 10:15AM EST

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Site: Chattanooga, Tenn. (McKenzie Arena)
Event: Southern Scuffle (Day 2 of 2)
U-M Team Standing: 28th Place of 31 Teams (8 points)
Next U-M Event: Thursday, Jan. 7 -- vs. Oregon State (Cliff Keen Arena), 7 p.m.

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -- Freshmen Austin Assad and Logan Massa placed at 125 and 165 pounds, respectively, to headline the University of Michigan wrestling team's performance at the annual Southern Scuffle on Saturday (Jan. 2) at Tennessee Chattanooga's McKenzie Arena. Both Wolverine freshmen competed unattached to preserve their redshirt seasons.

Massa had to settle for second place at 165 pounds, falling to Oklahoma State's top-ranked and two-time defending NCAA champion Alex Dieringer, 8-2, in the championship final -- the only non-bonus win allowed by the Cowboy wrestler in the tournament. Dieringer finished on three shots -- one in each period -- including two in the waning seconds of the frame. He struck on a high crotch with just 10 seconds remaining in the third and rode out the match to earn 1:02 time advantage and pad the final score. Massa got in on a couple low single shots of his own but could not finish. The championship final was his first collegiate loss; he is now 13-1 on the season.

Massa defeated Cornell's third-seeded -- and 14th-ranked -- Duke Pickett, 7-3, in the semifinals, scoring on takedowns in the first and second periods before riding out the third to earn 3:35 in time advantage. It was his second win over a nationally-ranked opponent this season. He also cruised to a 6-0 quarterfinal win against Gardner-Webb's Tyler Marinelli, similarly tallying two takedowns and a third-period rideout.

Assad claimed sixth place at 125 pounds with a 4-3 record, twice falling to Lehigh All-America Darian Cruz, seeded fourth and ranked 13th nationally, including a 10-2 major decision in the fifth-place bout. He was doomed by big first periods in both matches as Cruz twice jumped out to an early seven-point lead and Assad couldn't recover.

The Wolverine rookie earned two wins on the day, including a 13-4 major decision against Oklahoma State's Elijah Hale in the wrestlebacks. He trailed early in the bout after giving up a takedown but rallied with a late first-period takedown of his own to steal the lead before pulling away with two more takedowns, a four-point near fall off a second-period leg turk and 1:37 in riding-time advantage. Assad is 14-3 on the season and, like Massa, has placed in all three of his tournament appearances.

Four additional Wolverines were eliminated after suffering their second loss of the tournament early in the morning session. Freshman Ben Lamantia, who also competed unattached, and sophomore/freshman Zac Hall earned wins at 133 and 141 pounds, respectively, and finished with similar 3-2 marks. Lamantia earned a 13-2 major decision over Edinboro's Tony Recco, scoring on five takedowns and a two-point tilt, while Hall tallied two takedowns and a four-point leg turk to defeat Tennessee Chattanooga's Mike Pongracz, 8-5.

The Wolverines will resume dual-meet competition at home on Thursday (Jan. 7), hosting Oregon State at 7 p.m. at Cliff Keen Arena. Tickets are still available through the U-M Ticket Office.

Team Standings (Top 10)

 

 1. Penn State       183.0
 2. Oklahoma State   158.0
 3. Lehigh           104.5
 4. Cornell           98.5
 5. North Carolina    97.5
 6. Minnesota         79.5
 7. West Virginia     76.5
 8. Central Michigan  65.5
 9. Stanford          59.5
10. Penn              56.5
-----------------------------
28. MICHIGAN           8

Michigan Results (Day 2)
Numbers listed are tournament seeds

125 Pounds -- Austin Assad *
Quarterfinals - major dec. by #4 Darian Cruz (Lehigh), 16-3
Consolations - major dec. William Mason (Virginia), 13-4
Consolations - dec. by #3 Brent Fleetwood (Central Michigan), 2-0
Fifth Place - major dec. by #4 Darian Cruz (Lehigh), 10-2
Finished in sixth place with a 4-3 record

133 Pounds -- Ben Lamantia *
Consolations - major dec. Tony Recco (Edinboro), 13-2
Consolations - dec. by Garth Yenter (Michigan State), 6-1
Eliminated with a 3-2 record

141 Pounds -- Zac Hall
Consolations - dec. Mike Pongracz (Tennessee Chattanooga), 8-5
Consolations - dec. by Connor Prince (Navy), 6-1
Eliminated with a 3-2 record

157 Pounds -- Jordan Amine
Consolations - major dec. by #5 Dylan Cottrell (West Virginia), 13-0
Eliminated with a 2-2 record

165 Pounds -- #10 Logan Massa *
Quarterfinals - dec. Tyler Marinelli (Gardner-Webb), 6-0
Semifinals - dec. #3 Duke Pickett (Cornell), 7-3
Final - dec. by #1 Alex Dieringer (Oklahoma State), 8-2
Finished in second place with a 4-1 record

184 Pounds -- Ben Ralston
Consolations - major dec. by John Lampe (Tennessee Chattanooga), X
Eliminated with a 3-2 record

* Competed unattached

• Day 1 Results

Communications Contact: Leah Howard

Photo: www.mgoblue.com