Wrestling sweeps Olivet in season opener

Granger, Indiana senior Drew Hildebrandt is shown as the winner over Cameron Mahlich of Olivet College during a dual meet on Jan. 3 in McGuirk Arena. Hildebrandt won the match 17-2.

Not a bad first time out for the No. 21-ranked Chippewa wrestling team. 

CMU dominated and swept visiting Olivet College, 44-0, Sunday in McGuirk Arena. Three Chippewas earned pins and two others won by technical fall as the Chippewas (1-0) claimed the landslide victory in their season opener. 

"The important thing for our guys is getting into a routine," said head coach Tom Borrelli. "Making weight for the first time, having to wrestle someone who is an actual opponent, not someone you practice with on the mat, also seeing how your body feels after making weight. Making sure you're making adjustments from week to week if you're not doing things quite right. If you don't feel like you should, those things are real important."

Referred to as the "bookends" by head coach Tom Borrelli, redshirt seniors Drew Hildebrandt and Matt Stencel proved their coach right as Hildebrandt defeated Cameron Mahlich with a tech, 17-2, and Stencel made quick work of Donovan King with a pin at 1:05 in the first period. 

"Drew did a good job on his feet," Borrelli said. "We're trying to get him to be more offensive on his feet and go out and score more takedowns. ... Matt's a pinner, and he wrestled a guy that's a pinner. So, the match was pin or be pinned and Matt ended up finishing on top. That kid from Olivet is a beast." 

In the 149-pound weight class, redshirt sophomore Corbyn Munson was leading his match 7-3 suffered an apparent injury to his right shoulder on a nearfall from Olivet's Hunter Murphy, which tied the match at 7-7. After stretching it out with the trainers, Munson continued and battled back to earn a 10-8 victory over Olivet's Hunter Murphy. 

Borrelli said overcoming adversity, no matter the situation, is important for all of his guys.

"You gain confidence from that," Borrelli said. "You're in a tough situation and you figure out how to be successful, that should give you confidence every time that happens. ... Those are good things for us, everybody thinks they're supposed to blow their opponent away but sometimes you're looking for those type of matches to see how people respond."

Wrestling up a class due to undisclosed injuries to redshirt sophomore Tracy Hubbard and redshirt freshman Johnny Lovett, redshirt sophomore Mason Breece pinned the Comets' Gabe Guerrero at 1:19 to put his team up 21-0 at the halfway point of the dual. 

Borrelli was not able to specifically state the nature of the injuries to Hubbard and Lovett due to CMU's injury policy, which includes positive tests for COVID-19. 

"(Lovett) had an injury, so he couldn't wrestle today, and that came up in the last day, day-and-a-half," Borrelli said. "Tracy hadn't been practicing until yesterday. Normally, one of the things we say is, 'If you're going to wrestle on the weekends, you have to practice during the week.'"

In Sunday's penultimate match, redshirt senior Landon Pelham added his team's fifth extra-point opportunity as he earned a first-round pin of Olivet's Devlen Kuschel at the 2:12 mark. 

"It felt good to make weight finally and get the routine of things (going)," Pelham said. " ... Felt good to see how some of our guys down weight and just get ready for the coming weeks." 

Borrelli has always stressed the importance of scoring bonus points in dual matches, and his guys were able to deliver those points against the Comets.

"It's really important for our guys," Pelham said. "Especially those bigger duals later in the year, bonus points are everything, that's what makes or breaks college duals. It's important for our guys to have expectations to go out and score bonus points." 

Up next, CMU head to a triangular on Jan. 8 at Missouri with a showdown against the Tigers to open the Mid-American Conference season and a nonconference battle against Wyoming. The Chippewas are back at home on Jan. 17 when they host Northern Illinois. 


125: Drew Hildebrandt (C) def. Cameron Mahlich by technical fall, 17-2
133: Drew Marten (C) def. Spencer Murphy by major decision, 9-0
141: Hunter Watts (C) def. Dylan Phelps by decision, 10-5
149: Corbyn Munson (C) def. Hunter Murphy by decision, 10-8
157: Mason Breece (C) def. Gabe Guerrero by fall at 1:19
165: Alex Cramer (C) def. Hall by technical fall, 15-0
174: Jake Lowell (C) def. Owen Guilford by decision, 12-10
184: Sage Castillo (C) def. Adam Hall by decision 5-0
197: Landon Pelham (C) def. Devlen Kuschel by fall at 2:12
285: Matt Stencel (C) def. Donovan King by fall at 1:05


133: Brock Bergelin (C) def. Spencer Murphy by fall
149: Mason Breece (C) def. Brian Paquette by technical fall, 18-2
165: Bret Fedewa (C) def. Zach Potter by technical fall, 19-3
174: Ryan Ringler (C) def. Zach Wells by decision, 6-5
197: Aaron Bolo (C) def. Austin Engle by decision, 7-0
285: Cade Dallwitz (C) def. Dominick Wilson by decision, 4-0