CMU wrestling wins fifth straight MAC match clinching West Division title

Redshirt junior Vince Perez wrestles Kent State's Matt Ellis Sunday, Feb. 5 in McGuirk Arena. Perez lost 5-3.

After two scoreless periods in the 133-weight class between Central Michigan wrestling's redshirt junior Vince Perez and Buffalo’s redshirt junior Tommy Maddox, Perez, down by two finally got on the board by escaping to start the third period on Sunday.

Gaining control, Perez pinned Maddox to end the match and put the Chippewas up 9-0.

Perez’s pin was part of CMU’s dominating 27-6 win that gave the Chippewas their fifth straight Mid-American Conference win clinching the MAC West. 

"It is real important as far as giving the guys confidence going into the MAC tournament," head coach Tom Borrelli said. "And obviously we got another two weekends of duals with Michigan and Michigan State but going into the MAC tournament our guys should have some confidence."

CMU moves to 6-8 overall and 5-1 in the MAC, while Buffalo falls to 8-11 overall and 3-3 in conference play. 

"We were good at winning close matches today," Borrelli said. "That is kind of the way the matches will go in the MAC tournament, so we are good at figuring out how to win close matchups."

In the 125-weight class, junior Sean Spidle opened the match for the Chippewas quickly taking control with a two-point takedown. As time ran out in the third and final period, Bush put the match within one with a takedown, but Spidle was quick to escape taking back a two-point lead. Spidle’s 5-2 victory gave CMU a 3-0 start. 

CMU freshman Jimmy Nugent wrestling in at 141 pounds knocked down sophomore Jack Marlow to extend the Chippewas lead to 12-0. 

Only allowing his opponent to score three points, redshirt junior Johnny Lovett (149) added to the Chippewas lead with an 8-3 victory extending the score to 15-0. 

After forfeiting the last two weeks due to an illness, redshirt senior Corbyn Munson (157) returned to the mat. Coming out hot, Munson gained control with two takedowns. Redshirt senior Michael Petite was quick to come back tying the match at four at the end of the second period. Munson reversed Petite’s takedown to take a 6-4 lead. Keeping control, Munson kept Petite down, resulting in the win and extending CMU’s lead to 18-0. 

"Corbyn hadn't wrestled for like two weeks," Borrelli said. "He forfeited in Ohio and then we forfeited to Kent State, so he hadn't wrestled in two weeks and the kid he was wrestling was the number one ranked kid in the MAC. So, it was a good test for him and it's good to see him be successful." 

Continuing to extend the Chippewas lead, redshirt senior Tracy Hubbard (165) and redshirt junior Alex Cramer (197) both won their matches making the score 24-0.

The Chippewas dropped their next two matches at 184 and 197, to put the Bulls on the board 24-6. 

Closing out the match in the 285-pound weight-class, redshirt freshman Bryan Caves came out with a 6-3 win to end the match with a final score of 27-6.

CMU returns home on Friday to take on Michigan State at 7 p.m. at McGuirk Arena.

"We're gonna be in some real good competition," Borrelli said. "Michigan State is in the top 25, so it'll be a good test for us ... and I think it's going to make us up our game to be successful. And that's what we need going into the MAC tournament."