No. 12 wrestling counted on every wrestler in a 17-16 upset win at No. 7 Missouri Sunday afternoon in the two programs’ first-ever matchup as Mid-American Conference rivals.
The Tigers came into the match with three more ranked wrestlers than CMU, but this did not seem to intimidate the Chippewas.
“That’s what we preach. We can’t control rank, just the way you wrestle,” said head coach Tom Borrelli. “You’re really just wrestling two arms and two legs, not their rank.”
CMU started with a 4-0 lead, thanks to senior 125-pounder Christian Cullinan, who earned himself an 11-0 major decision against Dale Boyd.
Freshman Lucas Smith (157 pounds) and sophomore Mike Ottinger (165 pounds) would get the Chippewas consecutive wins to put them up 13-6. Smith won his match against No. 20 Kyle Bradley in the first tiebreaker of overtime, 6-5. Ottinger would also earn an upset against No. 10 Zach Toal, 6-4, with a takedown in sudden victory.
“It felt really good to get this win,” Ottinger said. “Especially after last week at the Virginia Duals; I had a tough week.”
After underclassmen took care of business, it was time for a senior to put the dual out of reach for Mizzou.
Senior Ben Bennett earned himself a major decision, 8-0, against No. 9 Mike Larson to put CMU up for good, 17-9.
The Chippewas would fall in the next two matches but would still get the win and give the Tigers their first loss of the season.
“It was a good win for us,” Borrelli said. “We still could have wrestled better in some areas. If we use this win the right way, it could give us a lot of momentum going into the last part of the season.”
On Friday, CMU found itself in an early hole while wrestling at Northern Illinois.
But, it finished the night winning five of the next seven matches and capturing the 23-12 win against the Huskies.
The Chippewas will now start a three-dual homestand Sunday with Mid-American Conference foe Kent State, the last remaining unbeaten in the MAC besides CMU.