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January 27, 2014 - Image 15

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-01-27

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Monday, January 27, 2013 - 3B

From Page 1B
and hulking McClure.
Coon's loss put the heavily
favored 12th-ranked Wolverines
in an uneasy and unusual
position as they headed toward
the lower weight classes tied 6-6
with Michigan State (0-4 Big
Ten, 5-7 overall).
Michigan (4-0 , 8-2) began
the meet by takinga hard fought
6-0 lead. Redshirt junior Collin
Zeerip avoided getting caught
in a takedown late in the match
to hold on to a 3-2 victory at 174
pounds. Afterward, freshman
Domenic Abounader rallied to
win in overtime at 184 pounds.
After the intermission and
Coon's loss, the Wolverines
rebounded with renewed
enthusiasm, highlighted by an
aggressive match from redshirt
freshman Conor Youtsey, who
scored amajor decision.
Fifth year senior Eric Grajales
also had a strong performance,
keeping his opponent fighting
in vain while forced flat against
the mat. Michigan nearly got
the pin before a series of blood
stoppages put an exclamation
mark on a vicious match.
Grajales has recovered to prime
form after a shaky start to the
season, just as the Wolverines
have begun to burn through
their conference competition.
Redshirt junior Steve Dutton
and freshman Brian Murphy
also provided high points for the
Wolverines, but the end to Coon's
undefeated streak still weighed
on the crowd.
The Spartans' 18th-ranked
junior JohnRizqallah dominated
Abounader in the first period of
the day's most exciting match,
but Abounader eventually began
to heed Michigan coach Joe
McFarland's screams to push
the pace.
"In the third period I started
to pick it up and he started to
get worn out," Abounader said.
"Coach was telling me he would
before the match and I've been
working realhard all week trying
to get my conditioning up, and it

definitely paid off."
Abounader reversed the riding
time deficit and nearly rolled the
faltering Rizqallah into anear fall
at the end of the third period to
force a scoreless tie. In overtime,
Abounader came to life, shooting
for takedowns to take control of
the match. The breakthrough
finally came at the end of the
second 30-second tiebreaker
when Abounader scored a
takedown and immediately put
the match out of reach by forcing
a near fall.
"Rizqallah is a tough
84-pounder," McFarland said.
"I got a lot of respect for him.
We could see that it looked like
conditioning was going to be
a factor in the match. The way
that Domenic escaped, and then
scored, and then went right in
for the kill in overtime, that was
great to see."
Coon took the mat with
Michigan leading 6-3, and
a sold-out crowd buzzing in
anticipation of the marquee
matchup. McClure was too
strong for the freshman,
though, and never let Coon get
"We weren't able to clear
our ties and get to our offense,"
McFarland said. "It was a good
lesson for us. (Adam's) not
happy about it, but he'll be back.
We have a lot more wrestling
left this season."
Both wrestlers scored
by escaping from the down
position at the start of the
second and third periods,
and McClure almost scored a
takedown early in the third.
In the closing seconds Coon
began to force the action and
ended up caught in a takedown.
The resulting desperate escape
attempt ended with a near fall
count and a 5-1 loss.
Coon was composed and
reflective after the meet,
explaining that a loss taught a
wrestler more about himself
than a win. For Michigan
wrestling, a rivalry victory
without Coon might have given
them the confidence to take
adversity in stride in a way that
a Coon win never could have.

Mixhigan wrestling coach Joe McFarland has signed some of the top athletes in the state, and high-school dual meets in Ann Arbor have helped his efforts.
Recruits impressed at Cliff Keen

Dual meet helps
Michigan dominate
in-state battles
DailySports Writer
Before the No. 12 Michigan
wrestling team took on
Michigan State on Friday, two
future Wolverines stood on
the mat of Cliff Keen Arena.
St. John's junior Logan Massa
and senior Zac Hall will be
high-ranking members of
their respective Wolverine
recruiting classes, and they
had just finished competing in
a high-school dual meet hosted
by the University.
Hours later, Michigan did
its best to get the block 'M'
emblazoned in the minds of
potential recruits.
"We know it's good for our
program to do these kinds of
things," said Michigan coach
Joe McFarland. "Get some high-

school kids in here competing,
and who knows, maybe they'll
be here ina couple of years."
Bringing in schools from
near East Lansing and Mount
Pleasant gives the Wolverines
a chance to have a step up on
the other prominent wrestling
universities in the state, Central
Michigan and Michigan State.
According to InterMat's
recruiting profiles, Michigan
has dominated Michigan State
and Central Michigan when
it comes to signing in-state
recruits. Of the 21 recruits
coming out of Michigan high
schools in 2014,10 are wrestling
at colleges in Michigan. Four of
them are bound for Ann Arbor,
while no other school has more
than two.
St. Johns is one of the top-
ranked wrestling squads in
the state and frequently sends
athletes to top wrestling
programs inthe country. There's
a strong connection between
St. Johns and Michigan, as
Logan Massa's older brother,

sophomore Taylor Massa, and
freshman Payne Hayden both
wrestle for the Wolverines.
Hall, who weighs in at
the 138-pound weight class,
wrestled at Cliff Keen Arena
during his junior season at St.
Johns and said that he gets a
special feeling every time he
sets foot in the building.
"I love wrestlingonthis mat,".
Hall said. "The atmosphere and
fans here are crazy. I can't wait
to be back on this mat next year.
There's nothing like it."
McFarland added that it's
tough to get recruits to campus
in the winter because of both
sides' packed schedules. That's
where having high-school
meets before college meets can
be most helpful.
Because the high-school
programs competed before the
Michigan's match, the athletes
were able to enjoy mat-side
seats for the evening's main
event. As if the intrastate
rivalry needed any more fuel,
it was wrestling's "Maize Star"

event for the year, meaning the
pep band was in attendance to
provide a better atmosphere.
According to St. Johns
coach Dave Phillips, the most
important thing for a high-
school wrestler to consider
when choosing a college is
finding the place where one
feels most at home.
Hall believes he has found
just that at Michigan.
The high schooler's eyes
glazed as he looked around the
gym watching the high-school
parents file out. He had just
won, 7-5, to remain undefeated
on the season, and solidify a St.
Johns victory.
Soon the stands refilled,
and Michigan took down the
Spartans in front of a roaring
crowd. Hall kicked back in his
mat-side seat and enjoyed one of
his last times being in the arena
as a spectator.
This time next year he will be
under the lights striving for Big
Ten and nationalchampionships
that he's been dreaming about.

From Page 1B
"I hope they realize," Morgan
said, pausing to catch himself. "I
hope we realize what happened
today - that's just not okay."
By time the buzzer sounded
on that mid-February night,
Michigan was in the midst
of what seemed like an epic
collapse to a once-promising
season. In hindsight, it was a
team learning how to win by
learning what it's like to lose.
Still, the memory of the
hallway that night doesn't seem
any brighter.
The first half of Saturday's
game, save for the Wolverines'
10-2 outburst to open the eve-
ning, had all the makings of a
rerun of last year.

Michigan's start silenced
the crowd, but not for long.
Michigan State stormed
back with a 19-6 run and the
Spartans held an eight-point"
lead for much of the half. After
a Wolverine turnover on a
near-shot clock violation, one
longtime Michigan State official
noted that it was the loudest
atmosphere he'd ever heard in
the arena, a notch above last
year's game, the previous best.
It was the moment that
would've cracked last year's
freshmen-laden lineup: Nik
Stauskas, Glenn Robinson
III, Spike Albrecht and Mitch
McGary in his first-career start.
Like the year before, the
ensuing huddle, and each one
after it, would've been full of
blank stares and an overall
sense of defeat.

But that moment never came about it, Morgan stepped in.
on Saturday. "It got a little chippy - guys
The Wolverines narrowed talking that wasn't necessary,"
their first-half deficit to two late Morgan said.
in the half, and when Michigan He pushed back - earning a
State scored the final two technical foul - and Michigan
buckets of the period to take a followed his lead. Fifteen
six-point lead second later, it
into the break, took the lead,
Michigan 54-53, with
scored the first "W e've been fewer than
four points out. eightminutes
of the locker tested a 1 t miny. e
room. , With just
A few year. over three
minutes after minutes left,
Michigan a Stauskas
climbed out 3-pointer put
of another eight-point deficit, Michigan ahead for good. To
Morgan backed up his words cement the contest, freshman
from the previous year. When Derrick Walton Jr. did
Michigan State's Russell Byrd something last year's National
blocked a Robinson layup and Player of the Year, Trey Burke,
got in his face to let him know couldn't do, commandeering

the Wolverine offense to a win
in spite of the hostile Breslin
Center crowd. The freshman
made nine of his 10 attempts
from the line, giving the
Wolverines sole possession of
first place in the Big Ten and
their fifth win in their last seven
attempts against the Spartans.
It capped a grow-up-in-front-
of-your-eyes week for a team
that was supposed to crumble
after a poor non-conference
showing and the loss of pre-
season All-American Mitch
The team's current run
certainly can't be judged side-
by-side with last year's NCAA
Tournament run, but the
message was the same. After
drilling his 3-pointer to cap
a miracle win over Kansas,
Burke was quick to reference

all the misses, the in-and-out
buzzer beaters - Indiana, Ohio
State, Wisconsin - that led to
that moment.
When asked why this year's
rivalry game was different
than last, Morgan's comments
echoed Burke's.
"We've been tested a lot this
year. That might be the differ-
ence," he said. "We had a couple
road games where we did get
knocked back and we didn't
fight back. Learning from those
experiences, being able to keep
our composure in those situa-
tions, really helped us."
Last year's loss in East
Lansing is a distant memory
because of what happened in
March - a string of wins from a
team that learned, in its losses,
how to win.
Just like Saturday.

HOCKEY gotta survive it," Berenson
From Page 1B said. "We've gotta play with
discipline. We don't want to take
penalties that are going to hurt
paid off both nights. Friday the team."
evening, it completed a series Thursday's contest in Detroit
sweep with a 5-2 win at Munn was no different. Plays didn't
Ice Arena. stop at the whistle; they ended
"We knew that we had to when the referees managed to
play stronger and harder and come between shoving and push
with more of an edge," said apart not-so-friendly bear hugs.
Michigan coach Red Berenson. The Wolverines' game-
"And I think you saw that this winning goal that night was
weekend." equally as scrappy, coming off
For half of a shot that
a period, took several
the teams deflections
played clean, "W e knew we before junior
unbroken - forward Phil
hockey. had to play Di Giuseppe
Then junior poked it in
defenseman stronger and on his second
Brennan . effort.
Serville harder with But on
stepped into Friday,
an open-ice more of an Michigan
hit at the edge played pretty
of Michigan edge. when it
State's blue counted. Fifty-
line and the one seconds
game began in after going up
earnest. 3-2 in the third period, senior
Four minutes later, Copp defenseman Mac Bennett's
and sophomore forward Boo backhand-forehand deke netted
Nieves came threateningly the Wolverines a fourth.
close to blows with Spartan Minutes later, despite being
forward Brent Darnell, and the down a man, a breakout play
teams earned offsetting minor by Bennett, freshman forward
penalties for roughing after JT Compher and Copp created
the whistle. a two-on-one that Compher
"We didn't instigate any of buried.
the trouble on the ice, but you've And after a weekend of

taking a beating from a team
not designed to deliver one,
Michigan State finally snapped.
With seconds remaining in
a three-goal game, the tension
boiled over into a brawl in
response to a play by the boards
in Michigan's zone.
Michigan State's Joe Cox
picked up junior forward Zach
Hyman like a parent cradles a
baby. Junior forward Andrew
Sinelli exchanged blows with
Spartan Thomas Ebbing. Four
players - two from each team
- received penalties, including
one game misconduct, and
they jawed at each other even
as the referees escorted them
off the ice.
"You want to make sure you're
winning the game and not start
everything and get too chippy,"
Compher said.
Followingthe ensuing faceoff,
defenseman Jake Chelios
crosschecked Compher from
behind needlessly and ruthlessly
and he too was ejected.
Compher skated away instead of
From the bench, Berenson
looked both ways before
affording a small smile. In a
weekend of hard hits and frayed
nerves, the Wolverines had kept
their cool.

Series in review: MSU

Daily Sports Writer
What happened Thursday:
It took seven tries, but late in
the third period at Joe Louis
Arena, on his eighth shot, junior
forward Phil Di Giuseppe
knocked a rebound puck past
Michigan State goaltender
Jake Hildebrand, snapping the
No. 14 Michigan hockey team's
four-game losing streak.
For the 14th-ranked
Wolverines (4-2 Big Ten, 12-6-
2 overall), though, the first
period mimicked those in the
losing streak. Michigan was
plagued by a series of unlucky
bounces and golden saves
throughout, and failed to find a
presence down low.
With five seconds remaining
in the frame, freshman forward
JT Compher took a pass from
sophomore forward Boo Nieves
to even the score at one.
Michigan State (2-4-2, 8-12-
3) brought itself back early in
the third period when forward
Joe Cox's shot in the slot was
deflected by teammate Michael
Ferrantino to tie the game.
Something old, something
new: Back together on a line
after midseason struggles,

Compher, junior Alex Guptill
and senior Derek DeBlois
put together the Wolverines'
strongest weekend this season.
The line recorded five goals
and five assists in two games
against Michigan State.
On Michigan coach Red
Berenson's newest line, Di
Giuseppe partnered with
sophomore forwards Andrew
Copp and Nieves for the
first time this season. The
trio combined for 13 shots,
including an assist and a goal.
Meanwhile, the duo of
junior forward Zach Hyman
and senior Luke Moffatt added
seven of the Wolverines' 36
shots. Hyman, who hadn't
recorded a point since Dec.
2 against Ohio State, nearly
scored twice.
What happened Friday:
Early last week, Copp, an
Ann Arbor native, said he was
confident the Wolverines could
beat "those guys" every night.
So after five periods of back-
and-forth hockey between
Michigan and Michigan State,
the Wolverines showed what
that dominance might look
like, including three goals in
the third period en route to a
5-2 victory.

Though the offense posted
its best scoring performance
since Dec. 2, Michigan's
penalty kill was burned twice
in five man-down situations,
making the Spartan's power
play - which came into the
game with a 12.9-percent
success rate - look like the
team's best unit.
One at Munn: After each
victory, Michigan circles up
in the locker room to sing a
sped-up rendition of "Hail to
the Victors." Following the
conclusion of the Wolverines'
sweep of the Spartans, the chant
penetrated the cinderblock
walls of Munn Ice Arena.
For any Michigan team -
especially one with12 Michigan
natives on its roster - a sweep
of Michigan State is special.
But for the Wolverines' senior
class, doing it on the road was
even more remarkable.
Friday night was the first
time the five-man senior class
took a game from the Spartans
at Munn Ice Arena.
Compher, calm and
collected: Compher's four-
point night was the most by a
Michigan player since Oct. 13,
2011. He now leads the team in
scoring with 20 points.

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