YPSILANTI, Mich. (EMUEagles.com) - The Eastern Michigan University wrestling team fell in its final home dual of the season, 21-9, Saturday, Jan. 30 inside the Convocation Center. The loss moved EMU's record to 7-6 on the season, and 2-4 in MAC competition.
EMU won three duals on the day, while NIU took seven of the bouts. As an indicator of how close the dual was, none of the matchups yielded bonus points. The Huskies notched their first MAC dual win of the season, going to 1-3, and improved their overall record to 6-6.
The meet started at the top at 125 lbs. with redshirt freshman Armando Torres (Lorain, Ohio-Elyria) kicking things off. The first period ended in a stalemate. The second started with an NIU escape, but Torres quickly followed that with a takedown. A reversal from NIU had Torres down 3-2 heading into the final period. Starting on bottom, Torres was ridden out the rest of the way, falling with riding time 4-2.
Returning to the lineup for EMU at 133 lbs. was junior Shayne Wireman (Lansing, Mich.-Holt) making his first start since Dec. 13. He began the match with a quick takedown, but an escape made it 2-1. A takedown from NIU ended the first period at 3-2. NIU escaped to start the second and got a six-point swing on a takedown and nearfall making it 10-2 into the third. Despite an escape, Wireman fell 10-3. Early on, the Huskies led 6-0.
Looking to get EMU on the board at 141 lbs. was redshirt sophomore Kyle Springer (New Boston, Mich.-Davenport Assumption) going against No. 15 Steve Bleise. He got things started right with a takedown, but an escape made it 2-1 early on. The score sat at 3-2 in favor of Springer in the second before another takedown made it 4-3 NIU going into the third. Springer got the escape in the third period, but riding time to Bleise gave him the 5-4 decision.
At 149 lbs. redshirt sophomore No. 24 Nicholas Barber (Cleveland, Ohio-St. Edward) was the first to get the Eagles on the board. He led 2-1 after the first period, notching a takedown. Escaping in the second and notching another takedown in the second had Barber leading 5-1 into the third. A third takedown and riding time gave Barber the 8-3 decision. The win moved Barber's record to 15-6 on the season and 8-4 in duals. After four matches, NIU led 9-3.
The 157 lbs. match pitted a pair of Michiganders, with redshirt junior Devan Marry(Hudson, Mich.-Hudson) going against Andrew Morse of Alto, Mich. Morse got it started with a quick takedown to lead 2-0 into the second. He notched an escape to lead 3-0 into the third. In the third, NIU got two more takedowns, and despite a Marry escape, riding time gave them the 8-2 decision. At the midway point, EMU trailed 12-3.
Redshirt freshman Dakota Juarez (Grand Haven, Mich.-Grand Haven) wrestled out of the break against No. 4 MAC wrestler Shaun'Qae McMurtry. He got a first period takedown and second period escape and takedown to make it 5-1 into the third. Another takedown and NIU escape made it 7-2. With yet another escape it was 7-3 before a third takedown for Juarez and riding time gave him the 10-3 decision. It moved his record to 12-7 on the season and his second win against a MAC ranked opponent.
Thirty-second ranked redshirt junior Jacob Davis (North Ridgeville, Mich.-St. Edward)was next at 174 lbs. After a stalemate in the first period, NIU escaped in the second to go 1-0 after two. An early takedown for Davis made it 2-1 in the third, but a nearfall for Northern put them ahead for the 7-2 decision. After seven, the Huskies led 15-6.
Needing wins to stay in the match, redshirt freshman Derek Hillman (Woodhaven, Mich.-Woodhaven-Brownstown) was up for EMU at 184 lbs. He got an early takedown, followed by an NIU escape, but not before Hillman for 53 seconds of riding time. Another takedown put Hillman up 4-1 and also put his riding time over 1 min. He let up another escape but a third first period takedown put Hillman up 6-2 after one.
Northern Illinois got another escape but in the meantime Hillman got almost up to two minutes of riding time. The Huskies got a takedown themselves to go 6-5 into the third. On bottom in the third, Hillman's riding time was erased but he got an escape to go to 7-5. With a takedown, Hillman got his riding time back above a minute, and despite an escape, he took a 10-6 decision. Hillman is now 14-10 on the season. Going into the final two bouts, EMU trailed 15-9.
The only ranked matchup of the night came at 197 lbs. when No. 20 redshirt senior Anthony Abro (Canton, Mich.-Canton) went up against fellow Michigan native No. 16 Shawn Scott. After a lot of scrambling, no points were scored after one. Abro started on bottom and notched an escape, but a late takedown made it 2-1 after two periods. NIU got an escape to start the third and made it 3-1. The Huskies got another takedown to push the lead 5-1 and take the decision with riding time 6-1 and put the dual out of reach.
In the final bout, No. 28 heavyweight Gage Hutchison (Buchanan, Mich.-Buchanan) was up hoping to end the dual on a high note. The first was a stalemate and both escaped in the second and third to go 1-1 down the stretch. A takedown with about 10 seconds left finished off the dual with a 3-1 decision for the Huskies and the 21-9 dual win.
Since Saturday was the final home dual of the season, senior day ceremonies took place after the dual to honor the five seniors and their accomplishments at Eastern. The five seniors honored were Vincent Pizzuto (North Jackson, Ohio- Jackson Milton), Michael Shaw (Allegan, Mich.-Allegan), Chris Rau (Deerfield, Mich.-Dundee), Derek Davison(LaSalle, Mich.-Monroe) and Anthony Abro.
The Eagles now head back on the road when they travel up to Mount Pleasant, Mich. for a meeting with Central Michigan University. The dual with the Chippewas is set to begin at 7 p.m.
125: Alijah Jeffery (NIU) over Armando Torres (EMU) (Dec 4-2)
133: Austin Eicher (NIU) over Shayne Wireman (EMU) (Dec 10-3)
141: Steve Bleise (NIU) over Kyle Springer (EMU) (Dec 5-4)
149: Nicholas Barber (EMU) over Gabe Morse (NIU) (Dec 8-3)
157: Andrew Morse (NIU) over Devan Marry (EMU) (Dec 8-2)
165: Dakota Juarez (EMU) over Shaun`Qae McMurtry (NIU) (Dec 10-3)
174: Trace Engelkes (NIU) over Jacob Davis (EMU) (Dec 7-2)
184: Derek Hillman (EMU) over Quinton Rosser (NIU) (Dec 10-6)
197: Shawn Scott (NIU) over Anthony Abro (EMU) (Dec 6-1)
285: Arthur Bunce (NIU) over Gage Hutchison (EMU) (Dec 3-1)