On a weekend of missed opportunities for the Michigan wrestling team, even fifth-year senior captain Eric Tannenbaum’s key victory couldn’t be considered a complete success.
Leading 10-4 with just 12 seconds left in his 165-pound match, the third-ranked Tannenbaum shot at Ohio State’s eighth-ranked Colt Sponseller, bringing him to the mat. Though Tannenbaum appeared to have control over both of Sponseller’s legs, the referee refused to issue a takedown.
Tannenbaum settled for a six-point decision win, giving No. 6 Michigan three team points. Had he gained the extra takedown, the victory would have been a major decision and would have provided the Wolverines an extra bonus point.
Such missed opportunities ultimately loomed huge for Michigan as it fell to the No. 7 Buckeyes, 16-15, yesterday at St. John Arena in Columbus.
“It was one of those losses where every single point that could have gone against us did,” Tannebaum said.
The same could be said of the Wolverines’ 20-14 loss to No. 10 Penn State in State College Friday.
With Penn State ahead, 17-14, the dual’s final match went to overtime.
In the waning seconds of the extra frame, the Nittany Lions’ 18th-ranked heavyweight John Laboranti used a single-leg shot to bring Michigan redshirt freshman Chad Bleske to the mat for a takedown.
Though the Michigan bench protested vehemently that the clock had run out before Laboranti gained control, officials upheld the ruling, giving Penn State the match and the dual.
Against Penn State, Michigan briefly took the lead after picking up major decisions from Tannenbaum at 165 pounds and redshirt junior captain Tyrel Todd at 184.
But Saturday, the Wolverines were unable to record bonus points in any match.
Ohio State gained one at 149 pounds when fifth ranked Lance Palmer defeated redshirt junior Justin Chrzanowski 10-2. Chrzanowski, who originally did not even make the trip to Columbus, filled in for fifth-year senior captain Josh Churella, who was ill. Churella did wrestle, and won, against Penn State.
Todd, who had provided the Wolverines with bonus points in 13 of his previous matches, broke his 21-match winning streak in a 6-5 loss to Ohio State’s 3rd-ranked Mike Pucillo.
“Bonus points are huge,” Michigan coach Joe McFarland said. “We need to continue to build on our leads, look to get those majors, those pins, tech falls. Those kinds of things that can help us at the (Big Ten) tournament.”
Ohio State 16
Penn State 20