No. 14 Michigan at No. 18 Wisconsin | Wisconsin Claims First Ranked Conference Win
Abigail Ruckdashel | Wisconsin Wrestling Online | 2-12-2017
(Madison, WI) The No. 18 Wisconsin Badgers looked to pick up their first win against a ranked Big Ten team as No. 14 Michigan came to the UW Fieldhouse Sunday afternoon. In front of alumni and fans alike, the Badgers did just that, narrowly slipping by the Wolverines 19-18.
Both teams picked up five wins, as well as two bonus point wins. The teams came in evenly matched, with the main show to come in the final match of the afternoon. The closing match featured No. 3 Isaac Jordan and No. 2 Logan Massa at 165lb.
Undefeated and second-ranked Senior Connor Medbery notched a pin at heavyweight for Wisconsin, while No. 7 Stevan Micic (RS F) picked up the tech fall at 133lb. for Michigan. Those two matches provided the one point difference putting the dual in the Badgers favor.
“We had a lot riding on today,” Head Coach Barry Davis said. “We had a talk with the guys, you know more intensity, more urgency, things like that.”
Michigan was on the board first, but Hunter Ritter (RS F) tied the score at 4 at 184lb. Ritter picked up his second win of the weekend with a 17-8 major decision over Ernest Battaglia (RS JR). He locked up a cradle in the second period, but Battaglia escaped Ritter’s grip, keeping the match alive.
“[The plan was to] Just attack,” Ritter said. “To try not to let him dictate the pace or the match. Just keep scoring my points.”
Wisconsin kept on rolling, as Ricky Robertson (RS JR) followed with a 6-1 decision over Jackson Striggow (RS F). The 197lb. bout was evenly matched throughout the first two periods with no points scored. In the third period Robertson picked up the escape followed by a quick takedown. Striggow got away, but Robertson took him down again, adding another point at the end for riding time.
Connor Medbery rounded out the sweep of the top weights, pinning Dan Perry (F) in 1:45. The red and white held a 13-4 lead heading into the little guys.
It would take until the 141lb. matchup before the Badgers picked up another win. Cole Martin (RS F), three-time WIAA State Champion from Lancaster, picked up an 8-2 decision over Sal Profaci. (RS F). In the third period, Martin held Profaci on his back near the edge of the mat before finally rolling out of bounds.
Andrew Crone (RS JR) followed suit picking up a narrow 3-2 victory over Malik Amine (RS So). The score was locked at two after the first period when Amine scored a takedown and Crone a reversal. The next point was awarded to Crone on a stalling call in the second. Amine looked to turn Crone from the top in the third, but Crone kept his hips under him, claiming the decision.
The dual started at 174lb. where Ryan Christensen (RS F) was up against No. 8 Myles Amine (RS F). Christensen was unable to get a read on Amine as Michigan was on the board first with Amine’s 9-2 major decision.
Johnny Jimenez (JR) received the start at 125lb. over Jens Lantz. Jimenez had a tall task, taking on two-time All American No. 17 Conor Youtsey (Sr). Youtsey and Jimenez sent the match into four overtime periods, before Youtsey picked up the 3-1 sudden victory win for the blue. This put the score at 13-7 heading into intermission.
The 133lb. match featured Eli Stickley (RS F) against another ranked Michigan wrestler in No. 7 Stevan Micic (RS F). Micic got the best of “Stick” grabbing a 20-5 tech fall with riding time.
Senior TJ Ruschell met ranked wolverine No. 9 Brian Murphy (Sr) at 157lb. The match went back and forth the first two periods, until Murphy caught Ruschell on his back just before the second period concluded. Ruschell answered, taking Murphy down early in the third period catching him on his back near the edge, tying the score at 8. Murphy wiggled free, and reversed TJ as the clock expired. With the added point for riding time, Murphy picked up the 11-8 decision.
With the final face off looming, the Badgers held a 19-15 lead. No. 2 Massa (RS F) and No. 3 Jordan (Sr) took the mat. Zeke was looking for redemption in front of the home crowd as Massa edged Jordan in the finals of the Cliff Keen Invitational in Las Vegas earlier in the season.
Zeke scored the first takedown. Massa returned the favor, making the score 3-2 after the first period. Massa tacked on three more in the second. Jordan got away in the third, and took Massa down twice in under a minute to tie the score at 7. However, it wasn’t enough as Mass held 1:09 of riding time, notching on the winning point at the conclusion.
Luckily Massa’s win wasn’t enough for the Wolverines to steal the lead. Wisconsin still took the dual with a final 19-18 score and are now 3-5 in the Big Ten.
“We’re gonna go back and look at the film. We’re gonna make some individual adjustments as we look forward to Michigan State. We just wanna keep pounding. Urgency, urgency, urgency,” Barry Davis said.
The Badgers have off until Friday when Michigan State comes to town. That dual will start at 7pm in the UW Fieldhouse. It’s student appreciation day, so admission is free for students with ID. They will also be serving free pizza, so make sure to come support your Badgers.
No. 18 Wisconsin 19 No. 14 Michigan 18
174 No. 8 Myles Amine (UM) major dec. Ryan Christensen 10-2 U-M 4-0
184 Hunter Ritter (UW) major dec. Ernest Battaglia 17-8 Tied 4-4
197 No. 11 Ricky Robertson (UW) dec. Jackson Striggow 6-1 (UW) 7-4
HWT No. 2 Connor Medbery (UW) pinned Dan Perry 1:36 (UW) 13-4
125 No. 17 Conor Youtsey (UM) dec. Johnny Jimenez 3-1 SV2 (UW) 13-7
133 No. 7 Stevan Micic (UM) tech. fall Eli Stickley 20-5 (7:00) (UW) 13-12
141 Cole Martin (UW) dec. Sal Profaci 8-2 (UW) 16-12
149 Andrew Crone (UW) dec. Malik Amine 3-2 (UW) 19-12
157 No. 9 Brian Murphy (UM) dec. TJ Ruschell 11-8 (UW) 19-15
165 No. 2 Logan Massa (UM) dec. No. 3 Isaac Jordan 9-7 (UW) 19-18
Intermat rankings in box score
Photo: Pam Ruschell