As soon as redshirt freshman Logan Massa claimed Michigan’s first victory of the evening in the 165-pound weight class, it appeared that it could turn the dual meet around. Massa dominated his opponent from beginning to end to remain unbeaten, but it wasn’t enough to propel the wrestling team to victory, as it fell to No. 3 Iowa (2-0 Big Ten, 6-0 overall), 31-7.
Massa finished with seven takedowns, five of which came in the first period. With 2:30 minutes of riding-time, Massa cruised to a 16-6 major decision victory.
Redshirt freshman Myles Amine wanted to keep the momentum going in the 174-pound match, and he didn’t disappoint. He earned an early single-leg takedown against 13th-ranked Alex Meyer to give him the lead, but even after a tough first round, the score was just 2-1.
After a locked-hands call against the Wolverines and an escape from Meyer, the score was tied at five. With Amine’s riding time dwindling, he needed to act fast in order to secure the win. Amine delivered with a late reversal, winning 6-5.
Massa and Amine cut Iowa’s lead to 10, but Michigan proceeded to drop the next three matches.
The Wolverines lost too many matches that could have easily gone the other way, and Iowa capitalized on Michigan’s weak moments. Redshirt freshman Stevan Micic and No. 1 Cory Clark were evenly matched at 133 pounds, as two stalemates were called in the first period resulting in a tie at the outset.
Micic had the sold-out crowd on their feet with a reversal, but after complaints from the Hawkeye bench there was an official review. Fortunately for Iowa, the call didn’t stand and the second period ended with both men still scoreless.
Clark escaped quickly at the beginning of the third period and finished with a 1:55 riding-time advantage, ultimately securing a 2-0 win.
“Things didn’t go the way I planned it to,” Micic said. “If the match would have changed a little bit I would have had my hand raised, but it really doesn’t matter right now. It only matters what happens at the Big Ten Tournament and the NCAA Championships in a couple months.
“That’s what I’m training for everyday. That means little improvements and seeing mistakes I make now and fixing them for later.”
With an 18-point deficit heading into the final match, Michigan’s hopes for a win were impossible. The only thing the Wolverines could hope for was to try to cut the Hawkeye lead by as much possible.
Unfortunately for the Wolverines, freshman heavyweight Dan Perry couldn’t overcome his inexperience against No. 6 Sam Stoll.
There was an official review after Perry wasn’t awarded what Michigan thought was a takedown, though in the end he was not given the points. It wouldn’t have mattered anyway, because Stoll pinned Perry with 38 seconds left in the first period.
Stoll grabbed Perry’s left leg to throw him off balance, forcing Perry to fall on his back. His inexperience as a freshman may have led to a slight panic, which allowed Stoll to overpower him.
“I just told the guys, ‘Guys, we had opportunities to win these matches, we just didn’t do the work.’ ” said Michigan coach Joe McFarland. “We can get a little tougher, we can get a little better. Some of that’s just working on our grit.
“In some of those close matches, we just melted in the third period and let some of those matches get away from us. And all that is is hard work and believing in yourself, and doing the little things you need to do to win the match.”