'The whole team came together': CMU wrestling wins fourth straight MAC meet

Redshirt senior Tracy Hubbard has his hand raised during a meet against Kent State Sunday, Feb. 5 in McGuirk Arena. Hubbard won in the first period with a pin to give CMU a 6-0 lead.

With time running out in the first period, Central Michigan wrestling redshirt senior Tracy Hubbard (165) struggled to escape as Kent States No. 33 nationally ranked sophomore Enrique Munguia had him pinned.  

Hubbard reversed the pin earning him two points, to tie the match at two. Just before time expired, Hubbard gained control and pinned Mungia to put the Chippewas up 6-0 in the opening match on Sunday.  

Hubbard's' pin sent a rush of momentum through the CMU bench as it went on to defeat the Golden Flashes 21-15.

“It definitely builds my confidence because we’re just going out there and just dominating and having fun,” Hubbard said. “Having my team behind me and knowing that my coaching staff puts so much effort into teaching me the best things they can.” 

“That was a huge pin for us to get,” said head coach Tom Borelli. “He got taken down, he got ridden for a long time and then he got an escape and took the guy down to his back and got a pin.”

The Chippewas earned their fourth straight Mid-American Conference win moving to 5-8 overall record and 4-1 in the MAC. The Golden Flashes are now 0-11 overall and 0-6 in the MAC. 

CMU redshirt junior Alex Cramer wrestling in at 174 pounds, opened his match with a two-point takedown but it didn't take long for his opponent sophomore Michael Ferree to escape for one point. After Ferree made it a one-point match, Cramer was able to secure three more points to put him up by four. Despite Ferree escaping and getting a takedown, Cramer was able to come out with the 9-6 victory to extend the Chippewas lead, 9-0. 

After two scoreless periods, CMU redshirt senior Ben Cushman (184) started down for the third period, quickly escaping to finally get on the board. The Golden Flashes redshirt senior Tyler Bates took the lead with a two-point takedown, but Cushman was quick to escape tying the score at two. As time ran out, the match went into sudden death over time. Fifteen seconds in, Cushman ended the match with a takedown, extending the Chippewas lead to 12-0. 

“That’s what we trained for,” Borrelli said. “We’ve been training to have good third periods because we tell our guys it takes about four and half minutes for a guy to get tired and wrestling is seven minutes long. So, when the guys get tired you got three minutes to two and a half minutes to really push him over the edge.” 

The Chippewas dropped the next two matches at 197 and 285, cutting their lead in half with a score of 12-6. 

Taking on No. 27 nationally ranked wrestler Jake Ferri, 125-pounder Sean Spidle looked to get CMU back on track. Spidle took down Ferri for two points to start the match but coming back in the second period, Ferri tied the match at 2 with a takedown. Spidle was quick to take the lead back by escaping followed by a two-point takedown to end the second period with a score of 6-2. Despite Ferri opening the third period with a two-point takedown, Spidle kept his composure and came out with the victory reversing Ferri’s takedown to extend the Chippewas' lead 15-6. 

“He (Spidle) has been snake bit a little all year,” Borelli said. “He’s had some injury issues and he’s lost a ton of one-point matches and he’s been in every match, and he figured out how to pull that one out.”

The Golden Flashes were quick to come back with a victory in the 133-pound match cutting the Chippewas lead to six with a score of 15-9. 

Ending the meet was redshirt junior Johnny Lovett as he sealed the deal for the Chippewas with a major decision win over graduate student Kody Komara only allowing Komara to score one point from an escape. Lovett won the match 10-1.

Redshirt senior Corbyn Munson (157) forfeited the match due to illness, making the final score 21-15.

“Our 157-pounder (Munson) is really sick right now,” Borrelli said. “We’ve been fighting the flu bug a little bit.” 

Looking to add to its MAC winning streak, CMU heads to Buffalo, New York to take on the Buffalo Bulls on Sunday at 2 p.m.