Eight days before Logan Massa, the now-No. 2 wrestler in the 165-pound weight class, faced off against Minnesota’s Brandon Kingsley, the redshirt freshman increased his momentum at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational. After going 6-0 in Las Vegas, Massa became the fourth wrestler in Michigan history to take the individual championship, earning the Big Ten Wrestler of the Week award for the 165-pound weight class.
“That was a huge honor and winning out there was a great experience,” Massa said. “It gave me a lot of confidence going into the second part of the season.”
His road to the award began with victories over two top-10 opponents. In his semifinal match, Arizona State’s then-No. 9 Anthony Valencia proved not to be an issue, as Massa accumulated four takedowns to rack up 17 points. Valencia tried fighting back late in the first period, but Massa retaliated in the third, earning the 17-4 victory.
“I was patient, attacked a lot and let the points build up,” Massa said. “I’ve been being offensive, having fun with it and building off each match.”
And build off it he did. Massa went on to win the tournament with a win over Wisconsin’s then-No. 2 Isaac Jordan, capturing a title that only three Wolverines before him had earned. The victory also allowed him to advance to the No. 2 spot in the country.
By amassing enough riding time late in the third period, Massa was able to earn the one point advantage needed to win the match over the three-time All-American.
“He goes out and continues to execute and attack,” said Michigan coach Joe McFarland. “Logan does a great job. … He’s progressing because he goes out and wrestles hard.”
Building off his success a week earlier, Massa forced Kingsley to the mat in his dual match Sunday and practically controlled the bout the entire time. His 17-2 victory over Kingsley came as no surprise, though, as he improved his already perfect season to 15-0.
Though the Wolverines lost the dual meet against No. 18 Minnesota to start off the Big Ten campaign, Massa was able to lead by example with his decisive win over his opponent.
McFarland said that Massa’s successes stem from his consistent intensity in practice and in meets. With the rest of Big Ten play coming up, Massa will look to notch a few more Big Ten Wrestler of the Week awards as Michigan seeks to become a dominant force in the conference.