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Wolverines Cannot Hold Lead against No. 18 Minnesota

By Michigan Sports Information , 12/12/16, 8:30AM EST


ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The No. 10-ranked University of Michigan wrestling team could not hang on to an early advantage, dropping a handful of swing matches, to fall to No. 18 Minnesota, 22-18, on Sunday afternoon (Dec. 11) at Cliff Keen Arena.

With the dual starting at 141 pounds, the Wolverines claimed three of the opening four matches -- and claimed bonus points of three of their four total wins -- but could not keep pace when Minnesota went on a five-match win streak to clinch the dual with one match remaining.

The dual's marquee match came with the team outcome already decided as sophomore/freshman Stevan Micic, ranked eighth in the latest InterMat rankings at 133 pounds, squared off against 18th-ranked Mitch McKee for the second time in as many weeks. Micic, who rallied to earn an overtime win in the last meeting, earned his first fall of the season, cradling up and pinning McKee at the 4:56 mark. He led 14-7 at the time of the fall after four takedowns -- three in the first period -- a reversal and two near fall.

Michigan earned all of its other three wins before the intermission break. Sophomore/freshman Sal Profaci opened up the dual with an 11-5 decision against Gannon Volk at 141 pounds behind three takedowns -- two in the first period -- a late second-period reversal and 1:18 riding-time advantage.

Junior/sophomore Zac Hall finished on six total takedowns -- two in each period -- to cruise to a 14-6 major decision against James Berg at 149 pounds. With the major in mind in the second period, he cut Berg midway through the period before finishing on another single-leg takedown and riding out the period to earn 1:34 time advantage.

Michigan also earned bonus points from second-ranked sophomore/freshman Logan Massa, who rolled to a 17-2 technical fall against Brandon Kinsley at 165 pounds. Massa scored on four takedowns, a combination of single legs and low doubles, before racking up big back points on two four-point bow and arrows to end the bout at the 5:00 mark. Massa improved to 15-0 on the season and already boasts nine bonus wins.

The Golden Gophers claimed a pair of marquee matches at 157 and 174 pounds and earned bonus points in three straight matches at the upperweights to take control in the dual. Senior captain Brian Murphy, ranked eighth nationally at 157 pounds, dropped a 5-1 decision to 12th-ranked Jake Short on a second-period takedown and third-period reversal before, two bouts later, sophomore/freshman Myles Amine, ranked ninth at 174 pounds, fell to 16th-ranked Nick Wanzek, 6-4, after giving up a pair of takedowns in the third period.

Minnesota clinched the dual with a decision win at 125 pounds, where Steve Polakowski used a third-period takedown to edge sophomore/freshman Austin Assad, 6-4. Assad had rallied to take a narrow lead early in the final frame before giving up the late points.

The Wolverines will take the next few weeks off for the holidays before returning to competition against Iowa on Friday, Jan. 6. The dual is slated for a 7 p.m. start at Cliff Keen Arena. [ Tickets ]

#18 Minnesota 22, #10 Michigan 18

Individual rankings from InterMat

Match  Score

141 -- Sal Profaci (U-M) dec. Gannon Volk, 11-5 (U-M, 3-0)

149 -- Zac Hall (U-M) major dec. James Berg, 14-6  (U-M, 7-0)

157 -- #12 Jake Short (UMN) dec. #8 Brian Murphy, 5-1 (U-M, 7-3)

165 -- #2 Logan Massa (U-M) tech. fall Brandon Kingsley, 17-2 (5:00)        U-M, 12-3

174 -- #16 Nick Wanzek (UMN) dec. Myles Amine, 6-4 (U-M, 12-6)

184 -- Bobby Steveson (UMN) major dec. Ernest Battaglia, 14-4 (U-M, 12-10)

197 -- #2 Brett Pfarr (UMN) major dec. Jackson Striggow, 17-5 (UMN, 14-12)

Hwt -- Michael Kroells (UMN) tech. fall Dan Perry, 17-0 (UMN, 19-12)

125 -- Steve Polakowski (UMN) dec. Austin Assad, 6-4 (UMN, 22-12)

133 -- #8 Stevan Micic (U-M) pinned #18 Mitch McKee, 4:56 (UMN, 22-18)