Comeback not enough as CMU wrestling falls against Ohio
Collin Lieber scored his first home dual victory of his career, and it sparked a comeback from Central Michigan wrestling against the Ohio Bobcats.
But it was too little, too late.
The Chippewas (3-6, 2-3 Mid-American Conference) have now dropped four of their last five dual meets. This one coming against the Bobcats (5-4, 3-1 MAC) by a score of 19-15.
Lieber won his match with an 11-4 decision over Logan Stanley. Lieber attacked early and often to score the victory in the 174-pound weight class.
"It felt good," Lieber said. "I feel like the work I'm putting in the room is finally paying off. I feel like I can go after my takedowns more."
Lieber hopes the win builds confidence for himself and the team going forward.
"This win for me was for sure a confidence booster," Lieber said. "I've really been working on my feet, just getting to my shots and my hip defense. I want to get on top and get takedowns."
CMU coach Tom Borrelli praised Lieber's ability to finish and execute on the offensive attack. He has stressed that aspect all season.
"The biggest thing for him is he was able to finish three takedowns," Borelli said. "In the North Dakota State match, he got to a great shot but couldn't finish. Today he had enough confidence to attack and finish, so that's a bright spot."
Drew Hildebrandt was forced to forfeit the opening match in the 125-pound weight class. The sophomore has a lingering issue with his leg.
CMU has started the last two duals by forfeiting the opening match. Borelli said it is hard to be successful by doing so, and he knows the results could be different if Hildebrandt was able to go.
"Starting off a dual meet giving up six points is tough," Borelli said. "If that doesn't happen, maybe we're right there. I can't see (Ohio) pinning us at 125."
Redshirt freshman Brock Bergelin cut the lead in half with a 6-3 victory over Trevor Giallombardo in the 133-pound match. Bergelin scored early in the match and was able to keep Giallombardo at bay.
In the 141, Drew Marten fell to No. 19 Cameron Kelly by major decision, 12-4. That moved the team score to 10-3 in favor of the Bobcats.
Next, Dresden Simon fell behind early to Alec Hagan in the 149. The sophomore Simon brought Hagan's lead down to two points, but the comeback was not enough. Simon dropped the decision, 9-6.
Logan Parks faced off against Zac Carson in the 157-pound weight class, which was the final match before the intermission. Parks and Carson went back-and-forth in the first two rounds.
Parks gained an early lead.
Carson hung around and pulled away late with a 7-4 decision. The teams went to the locker room and Ohio carried a 16-3 lead with them.
Sophomore Blake Montrie (165) suffered a defeat at the hands of Colt Yinger, 8-4. Yinger scored early against Montrie and was able to maintain his lead throughout the match.
The lone senior Jordan Atienza attacked hard in the 184-pound match against Jake Walker. Atienza scored quickly with a pair of takedowns and a reversal for a 5-0 edge.
Atienza used an offensive attack and scored a late reversal to give CMU it's second straight win, 7-2.
Sophomore Landon Pelham and Derek Hillman squared off for the 197-pound match, which was the penultimate match of the dual.
Late in the first period, Hillman was injured on a reversal from Pelham. The injury timeout gave Pelham the choice of positioning in the final two periods.
Pelham used that positioning to his advantage and gave the Chippewas their third straight win with a 9-3 victory over Hillman. The win brought the team score to 19-12.
No. 9-ranked Matt Stencel anchored the lineup in the final match of the dual against Zack Parker in the 285-pound weight class.
The heavyweights used hand-fighting for the majority of the match while each wrestler looked for their shots.
Stencel eventually found his opportunity for the lead. He held on to secure the fourth victory in a row for CMU to close out the match.
"We're really working hard at getting better," Borrelli said. "We have a lot of guys in our lineup that haven't quite turned the corner yet but they're trying and working hard."
The Chippewas look to bounce back against Buffalo on the road at 7 p.m. Feb. 8 in Alumni Arena. The Bulls are currently 2-2 in the MAC and 9-4 overall coming off a double-digit win at Kent State.