By Adam Renuart, For The Daily
Published November 11, 2012
After splitting the first two matches of its dual meet with Pittsburgh, the Michigan wrestling team roared forward to take to the momentum and the win. In the 141 pound weight class, redshirt freshman Camryn Jackson started his match down 7-0. But helped by the crowd, Jackson fought his way back to a 13-11 victory that allowed Michigan to move ahead and ultimately win, 16-15.
“He just gassed the kid, and you can win a lot of matches by outhustling someone,” said Michigan Coach Joe McFarland.
After wins by redshirt junior Eric Grajales and redshirt sophomore Jake Salazar, the Wolverines entered the intermission with what seemed like a commanding 12-3 lead in the match.
Following Salazar was Taylor Massa, who lost a close match in overtime, 5-3. It was a tough loss for the true freshman, who was ranked seventh nationally in his weight class entering the match. Massa’s defeat to put the score at 12-6.
Michigan captain Dan Yates stopped the Pittsburg comeback attempt. The redshirt junior jumped on his opponent from the very start and never looked back. He scored takedown after takedown, and the only points from opponent Nick Bonaccorsi came from escape points.
“I was just trying to overwhelm the kid, keep coming at him,” Yates said.
As he was declared the winner of the 16-5 match, Yates waved his arms to the crowd, which responded with a loud cheer.
“We want to fill these stands, and it was huge to go out there and hear the crowd,” Yates said.
Jackson echoed the sentiment.
“I loved hearing the crowd, that got me pumped up,” Jackson said. “It just kept reminding me, I have to go and score points.”
That was the last match the Wolverines would win. Pittsburgh responded with three straight wins in the 184 pound, 197 pound and heavyweight classes. Max Thomusseit started the rally for Pittsburgh, with the unranked wrestler upsetting No. 18 Jordan Thomas. The last two classes were low-scoring affairs, and Michigan's toughest loss came in the 197 pound weight class. Max Huntley rallied to take the match to an extra period but lost on a takedown to the second-best 197 pound wrestler in the nation, Matt Wilps.
In the heavyweight match, Justin Dozier lost in a low scoring 4-0 affair. The Wolverines ended up with a 16-15 victory, overall
The win was a rebound for the Wolverines, who lost to Central Michigan earlier in the week. Despite his excitement with the win, McFarland voiced his displeasure with overtime losses.
“I’m not happy at all that we lost the three overtime matches,” McFarland said. “We didn’t do it the way we wanted, but we’ll take it. It showed the character of our team to dig deep and pull out a win.”