As Jackson Striggow walked onto the mat in the day’s penultimate match, he knew what he needed to do to keep Michigan alive. A win from the senior, even by a decision, would pull the Wolverines within four points. With the nation’s third ranked heavyweight, sophomore Mason Parris, coming up next, Michigan could have pulled out a win.

Striggow, however, fell 5-3, squashing the Wolverines’ hopes, as the No. 22 Michigan wrestling team (1-2) fell to Oregon State (3-1), 21-15. The six deciding points came from a Michigan forfeit at 133 pounds, where it failed to make weight.

Sophomore Jack Medley tried to set the tone early for the Wolverines, opening the meet with an 11-0 major decision at 125 pounds. The match saw him get an early takedown and continue the attack through all three periods.

“I felt pretty decent in my match,” Medley said. “I thought my energy could’ve been a bit better, I kinda forced myself to hustle back to the center.”

Medley’s performance put Michigan up 4-0, but was immediately overshadowed by the forfeit at 133 pounds, taking away the Wolverines’ only lead of the day.

The next match at 141 set the tone as freshman Cole Mattin led for the majority of the match but failed to see it out, losing 6-5.

“Our finishing was not good enough today,” Michigan coach Sean Bormet said. “We’re capable of being much better at finishing.”

Mattin started a string of matches where the Wolverines lost three of four, with their only win coming from freshman Will Lewan at 157 — keeping Michigan from falling behind by double figures.

Freshman Max Maylor came up with only four matches left and an eight-point deficit to overcome. Maylor earned a major decision in his match, cutting the Beavers’ lead in half. 

“Maylor wrestled a really good match,” Bormet said. “Really glad to see him penetrate and get his offense early in that match.”

Maylor’s match could have proved a turning point in the match for Michigan, but Oregon State had other plans.

Freshman Bobby Striggow fell behind by two early and never caught up, but he prevented the Beavers from getting bonus points, losing by decision, 8-2.

This put the score at 18-11 when Bobby’s brother Jackson Striggow came out, still just barely in reach. Jackson’s 5-3 loss meant the undefeated Parris would have no impact on the outcome of the meet. Despite the gap, he still went out and earned a 15-5 major decision to bring the final score to 21-15.

The main separator between the two teams ended up being the Wolverines’ inability to win close matches or finish strong when they held the lead. Michigan consistently took an early lead in the first period, but then failed to close the match out.

“We put guys out there that we knew were gonna be in some close matches,” Bormet said. “We felt confident we could still win those close matches, unfortunately we did not.

“I’m a little disappointed in a few of our weight classes just in terms of how we wrestled in those matches. Some of the effort we put in a few of those positions, that’s gotta improve. The expectation is a lot higher.”

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