Friday night at Cliff Keen Arena, fans of the Michigan wrestling team witnessed a near perfect match against Maryland. The Wolverines won nine out of ten individual matches and beat the Terrapins by a score of 34-3. The cheers and the band’s victory music never seemed to catch a break.
The Wolverines immediately set the tone for the night when redshirt sophomore Jack Medley had three takedowns in the 125-pound division. Medley’s strong ground game took away the legs of Terrapin Brandon Cray for a three point takedown in the third period. And just like that, the Wolverines were on top 4-0 to start the evening.
“I always want to fire up my team right away and score points,” Medley said. “Setting the tone is important. I think that one of the biggest things for me is getting on top and riding guys, especially the four-point near fall. That’s a game changer and gets the match wide open. I worked a lot with the coaches, and it’s paying off.”
Added Michigan coach Sean Bormet “Jack got us started the right way. He had great energy on his feet, and he got those attacks early. He told me that he has some goals in the top position tonight. It was great to see him focus on working on his turns and getting back points.”
For the Wolverines, accountability was the theme of the night. By the time redshirt freshman Will Lewan took the mat for the 157-pound match, Michigan was already ahead, 14-0. Lewan came out thunderous. He had a quick takedown and turned the momentum into a four point nearfall. Suddenly, it was 19-0 Wolverines at intermission.
The highlight of the night was redshirt junior Tyler Meisinger’s outing. In the 165-pound division, Meisinger got Maryland’s Kyle Cochran on his back to end the match within one minute. The call was reversed, and Bormet was not happy with the referee’s decision.
“I didn’t like the call,” Bormet said. “I understand how the referee can feel how he impeded the action, but there’s nothing in our rulebook for that. In wrestling, refs get closer to the action than most sports, and we need to get something stated in our rulebook on how to handle that moving forward.”
Meisinger surrendered control to Cochran after the reversed call. Even so, he still got the win to keep Michigan’s perfect night alive at 22-0.
“Thankfully, Tyler was able to regroup and focus on wrestling for another five and a half minutes, Bormet said. “It’s hard when you thought you won the match and have to refocus.”
Ranked second in the nation, star heavyweight sophomore Mason Parris capped off the night, and lived up to his ranking. Parris picked up the Terrapins’ Parker Robinson for a two point takedown. Right after that, Parris caused another near fall for Michigan.
The Wolverines’ only loss of the night came as a result of redshirt Max Maylor’s loss to Maryland’s Philip Spadafora. Still though, Michigan was able to overcome the Terrapins, thanks to the efforts of Maylor’s teammates.
“I thought our guys did a great job focusing on Maryland,” Bormet said. “The guys wrestled with a lot of energy.”