Jan. 12, 2011
MICHIGAN STATE HITS THE ROAD TO FACE WEST VIRGINIA, OHIO STATE
After going unbeaten in the Spartan Duals last Saturday at Jenison Field House with wins over Lock Haven, Oakland and Eastern Michigan, the Michigan State wrestling team hits the road this week to face West Virginia Friday at 7:30 p.m. in Morgantown, W.V., and Ohio State Sunday at 2 p.m. in Millersburg, Ohio. Both the Mountaineers and Buckeyes are receiving votes in the NWCA/USA Today Top 25 Coaches Poll.
At 7-1, the Spartans are off to their best start since going 9-1 to begin the 1993-94 season. MSU started out 6-1-1 last season and also in 1999-2000.
West Virginia enters Friday's dual with a 4-3 record after upsetting No. 8 Illinois in Champaign, Ill., last Friday, 18-15. The Mountaineers have also defeated Liberty, John Hopkins and Sacred Heart, and have lost to Maryland, Rutgers and Penn State. MSU owns a 4-0 all-time record against West Virginia, including a 24-9 victory last season at Jenison Field House.
Ohio State is coming off an 0-2 performance at the Cliff Keen/NWCA National Duals in Cedar Falls, Iowa. The Buckeyes lost to top-ranked Cornell, 27-6, and Northern Iowa, 20-19, at the event. OSU's lone win of the season came at Edinboro on Dec. 12, 31-14.
SPARTAN PROBABLE LINEUP
125: Eric Olanowski (Jr., Virginia Beach, Va.), 11-9, Went 3-0 at the Spartan Duals
133: Levi Stace (R-Fr., Portage, Mich.), 0-0, Went 5-5 as a redshirt last season
141: Joel Trombly (Sr., New Baltimore, Mich.), 1-10, Won his second career dual match vs. Oakland
149: Dan Osterman (So., Carson City, Mich.), 16-4, Is 8-0 in dual meets this season
157: Sean McMurray (Fr., Portage, Ind.), 9-5, True freshman will be in the lineup for first time
165: Ben Boudro (Sr., Richmond, Mich.), 10-6, Went 2-0 at the Spartan Duals
174: Curran Jacobs (Jr., Owosso, Mich.), 17-4, Is 6-1 in dual meets this season
184: Ian Hinton (Jr., Nappanee, Ind.), 10-4, Is 6-1 in dual meets this season
197: No. 19 Tyler Dickenson (Jr., Pewamo, Mich.), 16-7, Placed eighth at the Midlands Championships
Hwt.: No. 16 Mike McClure (R-Fr., Holland, Mich.), 17-5, Tied for team lead with 17 victories
Individual rankings according to InterMat (Jan. 11)
MSU GOES 3-0 AT SPARTAN DUALS
Michigan State defeated Lock Haven, Oakland and Eastern Michigan at the second annual Spartan Duals Jan. 8 at Jenison Field House to improve to 7-1 on the season. The Spartans beat Lock Haven in the first dual of the day, 28-12, shut out Oakland, 45-0, and rallied to top Eastern Michigan, 19-15.
Eric Olanowski (125), Dan Osterman (149) and 20th-ranked Tyler Dickenson (197) led the way for Michigan State by winning all three of their matches in the event, while Ben Boudro (165), Curran Jacobs (174) and Ian Hinton (184) each recorded two wins.
QUOTING COACH MINKEL
On the lineup...
"We have Sean McMurray back at 157. David Cheza is out with a season-ending injury (at 157), and so McMurray was the next guy in line and we expected him to step up, and he got hurt, fairly seriously, at Midlands. But he got cleared (earlier this week), so that will give us a little more strength at 157. We have Levi Stace, who was on the team last year, at 133. Although he's only had a week of training, I think he could give us a boost at 133. With those two additions in the lineup, I think we'll be a little stronger than we have been the last week or so."
On this weekend's duals...
"They're (West Virginia) a pretty solid team, and we're at their place. They always seem to wrestle us pretty hard there. But I think we have a team that's starting to mature a little bit and starting to get some confidence. If we can continue to develop, I'll think we'll be all right. It's going to be a team effort, much like it was for us this past weekend. We can't fumble the ball any place and win those kind of duals."
On his team right now...
"We're a little stronger in the upper weights, a little more mature and a little more experienced there. At the same time, we have to find a way to get the job done. We're just not strong top to bottom. But I like what this team is showing so far. We're 7-1, and our only loss is to the defending national champs (Iowa), and we won three matches there, and could've won a fourth or fifth. This is kind of a gritty team, and I expect to be in every dual."
ANCHOR AT HEAVYWEIGHT
Red-shirt freshman heavyweight Mike McClure is making an immediate impact in his first year as a starter. McClure, currently ranked 16th by InterMat, is tied for the team lead with 17 victories and is 6-1 in dual meets this season.
The Holland, Mich., native began the season by winning the Eastern Michigan Open, then placed fourth at the MSU Open. In his first career Big Ten dual match, he upset 15th-ranked Blake Resing of Iowa, 4-2.
McClure went 9-4 as a true freshman in open tournaments, including a second-place showing at the EMU Open and a fifth-place finish at the MSU Open in the freshman/sophomore division.
DICKENSON HAVING HIS BEST SEASON YET AT 197 POUNDS
Now in his third year as the starter at 197 pounds, junior Tyler Dickenson is having his best season yet as a Spartan.
The Pewamo, Mich., product has steadily improved since his arrival on campus. After going 8-20 as a red-shirt freshman and 16-18 as a sophomore, Dickenson is now 16-7 and ranked 19th in the nation in his weight class. He finished eighth in the prestigious Midlands Championships, and has also placed second at the EMU Open and fourth at the MSU Open.
Dickenson, who has already started in 39 career duals, is 7-1 in the lineup this season.
ALL THE WORLD'S A STAGE
The wrestling mat is not the only stage that junior Curran Jacobs performs on. He recently played a leading role in the Michigan State Theater Department's production of the Shakespearean comedy, As You Like It. Jacobs starred as Orlando, the lead male character, and also choreographed a number of scenes. One of those scenes pitted Orlando against Charles The Wrestler - played by none other than Michigan State men's basketball starting forward Delvon Roe.
In competition, Jacobs has been equally successful in his 174-pound weight class. In his first full year in the starting lineup, Jacobs is tied for the team lead with 17 wins and has compiled a 6-1 mark in dual meets this season. He placed fourth in the Eastern Michigan Open Nov. 6.
CHEZA OUT FOR SEASON
Junior David Cheza, who qualified for the NCAA Championships last year, will miss the remainder of the 2010-11 season with a shoulder injury. One of the team leaders, Cheza was ranked nationally at 157 pounds the first two months of the season and compiled a 6-4 record, including a victory over then-third ranked Justin Lister of Binghamton at the Sprawl & Brawl, 7-4.
In addition to Cheza, Anthony Jones is also taking a medical redshirt this season with a shoulder injury. Jones qualified for the last two NCAA Championships at 157 pounds and will return for his senior season in 2011-12.