Jan. 21, 2011
MICHIGAN STATE RETURNS HOME TO FACE CENTRAL MICHIGAN, NORTHWESTERN
After splitting duals against West Virginia and Ohio State on the road last weekend, the Michigan State wrestling team returns to Jenison Field House to host No. 21 Central Michigan Friday at 7 p.m. and No. 19 Northwestern Sunday at 2 p.m.
The Spartans rallied from a 12-0 deficit to defeat West Virginia, 21-18, last Friday at the WVU Coliseum. With MSU trailing 18-15 in the final match, heavyweight Joe Rizqallah pinned Philip Mandzik in the second period to give MSU the 21-18 victory. The win put MSU at 8-1 for the season, marking MSU's best start since 1993-94 (9-1).
On Sunday, Michigan State fell to Ohio State, 19-16, in a dual hosted by the Buckeyes at Millersburg's West Holmes High School. The Spartans and Buckeyes (2-5, 1-1 Big Ten) split the 10 matches, but 16th-ranked Ian Paddock's pin against Levi Stace at 133 pounds proved to be the difference in the final score.
Central Michigan enters Friday's dual with a 3-7 record after losing to No. 11 Michigan, 21-12, on Sunday. The Chippewas, who are ranked 21st in this week's NWCA/USA Today Coaches' Poll, feature three ranked wrestlers, including No. 2 Jarod Trice at heavyweight. Northwestern improved to 14-0 on the season with a 27-13 win over No. 15 Illinois last Friday.
MINKEL WINS 150TH DUAL AS SPARTAN HEAD COACH WITH WIN OVER WEST VIRGINIA
The comeback victory against West Virginia gave 20th-year head coach Tom Minkel his 150th dual win at Michigan State. Minkel is third on the all-time wins list at MSU, behind Grady Peninger (213) and Fendley Collins (158). During his tenure, Minkel has produced 36 All-Americans, 13 Big Ten Champions and two NCAA Champions, building on the tradition of the program that has generated 19 NCAA Champions, 67 Big Ten Champions and eight Big Ten Championships. His direction has also led to team success as his squads have placed in the Top 25 at the NCAA Championships 13 times, including an 18th-place finish in 2010.
SPARTAN PROBABLE LINEUP
125: Eric Olanowski (Jr., Virginia Beach, Va.), 12-10, Went 3-0 at the Spartan Duals
133: Levi Stace (R-Fr., Portage, Mich.), 0-2, Went 5-5 as a redshirt last season
141: Joel Trombly (Sr., New Baltimore, Mich.), 1-12, Won dual match vs. Oakland
149: Dan Osterman (So., Carson City, Mich.), 18-4, Is 10-0 in dual meets this season
157: Sean McMurray (Fr., Portage, Ind.), 10-5, True freshman went 2-0 last weekend in his first appearance in the lineup
165: Ben Boudro (Sr., Richmond, Mich.), 10-8, Went 2-0 at the Spartan Duals
174: Curran Jacobs (Jr., Owosso, Mich.), 18-5, Is 7-2 in dual meets this season
184: Ian Hinton (Jr., Nappanee, Ind.), 11-5, Is 7-2 in dual meets this season
197: Tyler Dickenson (Jr., Pewamo, Mich.), 17-8, Placed eighth at the Midlands Championships
Hwt.: No. 16 Mike McClure (R-Fr., Holland, Mich.), 18-5, Tied for team lead with 18 victories OR
Joe Rizqallah (So., Allegan, Mich.), 13-7, Recorded a fall in final match to defeat West Virginia
QUOTING COACH MINKEL
On the teams' efforts in the dual matches over the weekend...
"I thought we wrestled very hard and we got down pretty badly to West Virginia, I think we were down 12-0. But then Danny Osterman got a fall to make it 12-6. We kind of worked our way back in, and we were three points down, going into the heavyweight match. Joe Rizqallah got a fall for us at heavyweight, to win the dual.
"It was a great event, it was `The Beauty and The Beast', and we competed alongside our women's gymnastics team, Kathie Klages and her girls did a marvelous job. It was really a unique event, and really fun. They had their largest crowd they had ever had, for wrestling or gymnastics. The place was just rocking. It was nice to come out on the good end of that event.
"Then we wrestled Ohio State at a high school, where Colt Sponseller, one of their best wrestlers competed in high school. It sold out, the gym was full two hours before, we were warming up and the place was packed. They had a crowd a little over 2,000 and the place just rocked. We had a great dual, three overtime matches in that dual, if we won two of them we won the dual, unfortunately we only won one of those matches. So we came up three points short on that dual. But at the same time I think our kids wrestled well, it was a great dual, great environment, great for the community there, and it was a lot of fun. So, it was a good weekend overall."
On the pin by sophomore Joe Rizqallah to win the dual against West Virginia...
"We were all pretty pumped. The neat thing too is that the gymnastics event had finished about 20 minutes before we got done, so all of our women gymnasts' were along the side of the mat. So we had a little cheering section of our own. And it came down to the last match, and Rizqallah just got after it. I didn't know if he was going to pin him or not, but he did what he needed to do. It was a huge win for him and a huge win for us. In a great environment, and having been down the whole dual, to come right back and win it in the last match was pretty rewarding for everybody."
On the strides being made by sophomore Dan Osterman...
"Danny was actually in a pretty tough match, at the end of the second period it was 5-5. And he was wrestling a really tough kid, pretty dangerous kid, and Danny beat him by a couple of points I think, in the dual last year. But he caught him in a headlock, and kind of a flurry in the third period, then just nailed it down. That actually enabled us to be in the dual. Danny is just a marvelous kid, he goes wide open, has a huge gas tank, doesn't get tired, not afraid of anybody, and he is 10-0 and just rocking. He is off to a great start and I'm sure the rest of the season will go well."
On the challenges of the upcoming weekend...
"We have to get recovered a little bit [the team took Monday off]. Then we will get ready for Central this weekend. And again we just have to find a way, and that has been kind of our motto or our theme this year. We just have to find a way to get the job done. And we have been doing that for the most part, we only have two losses, and both of those we wrestled pretty well. I think if we continue to improve, and we have to win some of those close decisions that have got away from us on occasion, we will be fine. Central is a huge dual for us, and then Northwestern is having a heck of a year. It is a big weekend for us; it is nice to be home and wrestling with fans behind us, instead of everyone against us."
ANCHOR AT HEAVYWEIGHT
Red-shirt freshman heavyweight Mike McClure is making an immediate impact in his first year as a starter. McClure, currently ranked 17th by InterMat, is tied for the team lead with 18 victories and is 7-1 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.
In addition to McClure, the Spartans feature another quality heavyweight in sophomore Joe Rizqallah, whose pin in the last match of the West Virginia dual secured the 21-18 comeback win for the Spartans. Rizqallah is 13-7 this season and placed fourth at the Nittany Lion Open Dec. 5.
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 17-8 and has been ranked as high as No. 19 in the nation this season 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 41 career duals, is 8-2 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 18 wins and has compiled a 7-2 mark in dual meets this season. He placed fourth in the Eastern Michigan Open Nov. 6.
IT'S NOT OVER UNTIL IT'S OVER
Michigan State has won five duals this season when it has trailed either at intermission or in the second half of the meet. Here's a look at MSU's comebacks this season:
Opponent; Score; Final Score
Binghamton (Nov. 21); BU led, 15-9, after 174 match; MSU won final three matches to win, 19-15
Northern Illinois (Dec. 5); NIU led, 15-3, after 157 match; MSU won final five matches to win, 20-15
Lock Haven (Jan. 8); LH led, 12-6, after 157 match; MSU won final five matches to win, 28-12
Eastern Michigan (Jan. 8); EMU led, 12-7, after 157 match; MSU won four of last five to win, 19-15
West Virginia (Jan. 14); WVU led, 12-0, after 141 match; MSU won five of last seven to win, 21-18
CHEZA OUT FOR SEASON
Junior David Cheza, who qualified for the NCAA Championships last year, will miss the remainder of the 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.