Wrestling loses Oliver in 29-6 loss to rival No. 3 Missouri
Former All-American and junior wrestler Justin Oliver did not return to the bench after injuring his right knee in Central Michigan wrestling's 29-6 loss to No. 3 Missouri on Jan. 19 in McGuirk Arena.
Missouri broke CMU's four-match win streak. CMU fell to 5-4 on the season with a 2-1 record in Mid-American Conference duals. Missouri improved to 15-0, and 6-0 in the MAC.
The Chippewas only won two of 10 individual matches.
"Hopefully (the team is) embarrassed and they can handle some adversity," said CMU head coach Tom Borrelli. "Hopefully, they can bounce back (because) the weekend is not over."
Redshirt freshmen Drew Hildebrandt (125 pound weight class) and Matt Stencel (heavyweight) were the only two CMU wrestlers to win their individual matches.
Hildebrandt knocked off redshirt senior Barlow McGhee 5-4 with a last minute takedown. Stencel, who earned win No. 21 this season, defeated redshirt freshman Jake Bohlken, 9-2.
"(Missouri) is a good team, and we felt like we could get them in a few spots," Borrelli said. "It didn't work out for us. I think we're a little better than how we performed."
The Chippewas were without No. 14-ranked Colin Heffernan, who suffered a shoulder injury in December at the Cliff Keen Invitational in Las Vegas. He has injured this shoulder before, but Borrelli and Heffernan were hopeful for a quick return.
"Those were two matches (141, 149) that were real important for us, especially without having Heffernan in the lineup," Borrelli said. "We felt like we could get them in a few spots and it just didn't work out."
Heffernan is ranked No. 2 in the MAC despite the injury.
Redshirt freshman Dresden Simon (133) fell 6-4 to No. 7 John Erneste, dropping his record to 14-12.
No. 9 ranked Mason Smith (141) fell to No. 3 Jayden Eirman (21-1) 6-0. Oliver (149) dropped his third match of the season to No. 11 Grant Leeth, 3-1.
"Those were two matches that were really important," Borrelli said. "We had to (win) those matches."
Oliver, who was not available after the match, had an MRI on Jan. 20 to find out the severity of the injury.
Redshirt freshman Blake Montrie (157) was pinned by No. 4 Joey Lavallee three minutes into the match, giving the Tigers a 15-3 advantage into the intermission.
Sophomore Logan Parks (165) fell to Connor Flynn 7-3, dropping Parks record to 12-9 on the season.
Seniors CJ Brucki (174) and Jordan Ellingwood (184) each dropped their respective bouts via major decision. No. 15 Brucki (16-9) fell to No. 4 Daniel Lewis, 9-1, while No. 13 Ellingwood (19-7) fell to Canten Marriott, 9-1.
Junior Jordan Atienza (197) fell to No. 7 Willie Miklus 7-2. Atienza's record now sits at 14-9.
"(Missouri) will be in the (MAC) Tournament in a month and a half from now," Borrelli said. "We have to get better to compete with them. That's all there is to it."
CMU has a 3-9-1 record against Missouri in program history, with its last win coming in January. 2013. CMU lost 16-15 the following season.
From 1997-2012, the Chippewas won 14 of 15 MAC Tournament Championships. Since Missouri entered the MAC after the 2012 season, the Tigers have won the MAC Tournament for five straight years.
Missouri has never lost a MAC Tournament in conference history.
The Chippewas have three more conference dual meets before finishing the regular season at Michigan. The MAC Tournament takes place in McGuirk Arena March 3-4.