Michigan State Closes Out Big Ten Dual Competition With No. 4 Michigan
Spartans travel to Ann Arbor, Michigan, for Friday night match.
Michigan State (5-9, 1-7 B1G) vs. No. 4 Michigan (9-2, 6-1 B1G)
|Date | Time||Friday, Feb. 9 | 7 p.m. ET|
|Location||Ann Arbor, Mich. | Cliff Keen Arena|
|Notes||Michigan State | Michigan|
|Statistics||Michigan State | Michigan|
|TV/Internet Coverage||Live Stream on BTN Plus on BTN2Go.com|
|Social Media||@wrestlingmsu | Facebook | Instagram|
MICHIGAN STATE CLOSES OUT BIG TEN DUAL COMPETITION WITH NO. 4 MICHIGAN
Michigan State wrestling finishes up Big Ten dual competition with a road tilt against No. 4 Michigan (9-2, 6-1 BIG) in Ann Arbor, Michigan on Friday, Feb. 9 at 7 p.m. The in-state rivalry between the Spartans and Wolverines will be streamed on BTN Plus. Live stats will also be available on Trackwrestling.com.
Michigan and Michigan State wrestling teams will meet for the 110th time in program history when action commences at Cliff Keen Arena on Friday night. It will be a rivalry match-up for more than just wrestling, as Spartan men's ice hockey, women's gymnastics and women's basketball all take on the Wolverines this weekend.
SPARTANS IN THE RANKINGS
Senior Javier Gasca - 141 pounds
No. 21 by NCAA Coaches Panel
No. 23 by Trackwrestling
Freshman Rayvon Foley - 125 pounds
No. 20 by The Open Mat
No. 24 by NCAA Coaches Panel
No. 25 by Trackwrestling
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE
Eight of Michigan State's 13 duals have been against nationally ranked squads, and the Spartans are slated to take on one final ranked opponent in No. 4 Michigan. Eleven of the 14 teams from the Big Ten Conference are currently ranked in the NWCA/USA Today Coaches Poll. There are four Big Ten teams ranked in the top eight and MSU has faced all four this season.
SPARTANS TO WATCH
Freshman Rayvon Foley went 6-0 in his first six dual matches at 125 to open his Spartan career as the team's leader in dual wins ... ranked No. 24 in the NCAA coaches' panel rankings and No. 25 by Trackwrestling ... won his first Big Ten bout with a 6-2 decision over Devin Schnupp of Penn State (1/14) ... collected the first win over a ranked opponent of his career with a 7-1 decision over No. 13 Luke Welch of Purdue (2/2) ... earned his first collegiate dual match win in his first career start as a Spartan at No. 17 Central Michigan, giving MSU an early 3-0 lead after defeating Drew Hildebrandt, 9-6 (11/17) ... defeated James Szymanski from No. 24 North Carolina in a 7-3 decision for the Spartans' only win of the match (12/30) ... claimed his first open tournament title as a Spartan, going undefeated through four matches, including a major decision in the final bout, in the freshman/sophomore division at the Eastern Michigan Open (11/11) ... took second place of the freshman/sophomore division at the MSU Open in his first competition in the Green and White (11/5) ... went 4-2 at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational (12/1) ... leads the team in dual wins (10) and dual points (33).
Redshirt freshman Jake Tucker collected his first Big Ten win and first win over a ranked opponent against No. 12 Jake Short of 14th-ranked Minnesota, with a 7-6 decision for the team's only win of the match (1/7) ... owns a 16-14 overall record and 6-8 in duals ... leads the team in major decisions with six and second in dual points with 25 ... placed second at the EMU Open (11/11) and sixth at the MSU Open (11/5).
Redshirt freshman Christian Rebottaro went 3-0 in his first three Big Ten duals ... after being out of competition since Dec. 8, Rebottaro returned to the lineup with a statement, winning the last bout of the dual against Indiana to seal the match win for the Spartans (1/19) ... also swung the momentum for MSU against Wisconsin, collecting a major decision, 15-4, to put the team in the lead, 7-6 (1/21) ... his third-consecutive match win came against Kevin Snyder of Ohio State in a 4-2 decision (1/26).
SCOUTING THE WOLVERINES
No. 4 Michigan recorded its ninth win of the season against No. 15 Nebraska on Friday, Feb. 2, 24-10. The Wolverines are on a four-match win streak, all four against ranked opponents. On Saturday, Jan. 27, No. 7-ranked Michigan upset No. 4 Iowa in Iowa City, 19-17, for the Hawkeyes' first home loss of the season.
Michigan State is 36-68-5 overall against Michigan, looking for its first win against the Wolverines since Jan. 29, 2010. In the last meeting between the teams, Michigan defeated MSU, 24-15, in East Lansing on Michigan State's Senior Day. Mitch Rogaliner, Javier Gasca, Nick Trimble and Jacob Cooper recorded wins in the match.
Projected Lineup (Year, Overall)
125: No. 9 Drew Mattin (Fr., 17-7)
133: No. 5 Stevan Micic (R-So., 15-2)
141: Sal Profaci (R-So., 10-10)
149: No. 18 Malik Amine (R-Jr., 12-8)
157: No. 7 Alec Pantaleo (R-Jr., 12-4)
165: No. 9 Logan Massa (R-So., 10-4)
174: No. 6 Myles Amine (R-So., 16-5)
184: No. 5 Domenic Abounader (R-Sr., 17-3)
197: No. 12 Kevin Beazley (Gr., 12-5)
HWT: No. 2 Adam Coon (Gr., 20-0)
SPARTANS KEEP KNOCKING
Freshman Rayvon Foley is the fifth Spartan to take down a ranked opponent this season, defeating No. 13 Luke Welch of Purdue in a 7-1 decision against No. 24 Purdue on Friday, Feb. 2. Redshirt freshman Austin Hiles knocked off his second ranked opponent of the season on Friday, Jan. 26 against No. 2 Ohio State when he took down No. 13 Te'Shan Campbell, leading the match 4-2 at the end of the third before Campbell was disqualified for stalling. Hiles also defeated No. 14 CJ Brucki of then-ranked No. 17 Central Michigan in another thrilling, buzzer-beater decision, 12-10, in his first start as a Spartan. Redshirt freshman 157-pounder Jake Tucker earned a 7-6 decision over No. 12 Jake Short at No. 14 Minnesota on Jan. 7. Redshirt senior Javier Gasca has defeated three ranked opponents so far this season (No. 12 Eli Stickley of Wisconsin, No. 16 Sal Profaci of Michigan and No. 14 Michael Longo of Oklahoma), and 174-pound sophomore Drew Hughes also recorded a victory over Brucki from Central Michigan.
NCAA QUALIFIER HUGHES OUT FOR 2018 SEASON
Nationally-ranked 174-pounder and NCAA Qualifier Drew Hughes will miss the remaining 2018 season due to injury and will receive a medical hardship. Hughes, a sophomore from Lowell, Indiana, placed second at the MSU Open and helped the Spartans to a dual win at Buffalo with a 4-3 decision over Ryan Kromer. Last season, Hughes was Michigan State's Outstanding Freshman Award recipient after becoming the first Spartan freshman to qualify for the NCAA Championships since Sean McMurray in 2011. At NCAA Championships, Hughes was one win away from earning All-America honors, and finished the season as the team's leader in wins (29) and technical falls (6).
AN EXCELLENT EDINBORO OPEN
The Spartans represented at the Edinboro Open in Edinboro, Pennsylvania, on Saturday, Feb. 3, three of which placed. Freshman Nathan Atienza claimed third place at 157 pounds, tallying a 3-1 record. Atienza has placed in four tournaments this season. Fellow freshmen Jaden Enriquez (149) and Cameron Caffey (184) took fourth place in their respective weight classes. Enriquez recorded his first two falls of the season at the tournament, with his quickest pin coming at 1:03, and also marked his fifth placement at an open tournament this season. Caffey added two falls and a technical fall, claiming the team lead overall with three tech. falls on the season. Redshirt freshman Alex Hrisopoulos went 5-1 on the day at 141 pounds, missing tournament placement due to the NCAA match rule, but claiming the team lead in falls with nine on the season. Freshman Clay Smith recorded two falls at 133 pounds, as did freshman Chase Beard at heavyweight. Smith secured his quickest pin of the season at 2:12.
CHANDLER IN SECOND YEAR AS HEAD COACH
Michigan State head coach Roger Chandler is in his 21st season on the Spartan wrestling staff, but his second as head coach, taking over the reins of the MSU program from longtime head coach Tom Minkel, who directed the program since 1991, and retired following his 25th season at Michigan State in 2015-16.
In his first season as head coach, Chandler led the Spartans to a 10th-place finish at Big Ten Championships, the team's best finish since 2012. MSU's 38.5 points at the meet was their highest total since 2012, showing the signs of the program's progress in Chandler's first year acting as head coach. The Spartans also qualified three for NCAA Championships for the first time since 2013 in Chandler's first year at the helm of the program.
SPARTAN ASSISTANT COACHES
Former Spartan All-American Chris Williams is in the second year of his second stint on the MSU staff as an assistant coach. Williams had served as the head wrestling coach at Adrian College since November 2014, where he restarted the program and led the Bulldogs in their first season of competition in 31 years in 2015-16. He previously was an assistant coach at Michigan State, along with Chandler, for eight seasons (2005-13).
Former Central Michigan All-American and U.S. Senior Nationals Champion Wynn Michalak enters his second season as Spartans' assistant wrestling coach. One of the most successful wrestlers in Central Michigan history, Michalak was a four-time Mid-American Conference Champion (2005-08), three-time MAC Wrestler of the Year (2006-08), and a three-time NCAA All-American (2005, 2006, 2008), including a runner-up finish at 197 pounds in 2008. He won the 2015 U.S. Senior Nationals title at 97 kg/213 pounds on Dec. 19, 2015, in Las Vegas, and competed in the past two U.S. Olympic wrestling trials.
COACH CHANDLER ON THE IN-STATE RIVALRY
"Any time that you get to wrestle your rival, there's a little extra incentive to try and compete at your best. There's no doubt that any time you step on the mat against your in-state rival that you're going to see these guys wrestle at a different intensity level. It's Javier Gasca's last time that he'll step on the mat against Michigan, which is a pretty cool thing. You always remember those rivalry moments."
COACH CHANDLER ON NO. 4 MICHIGAN
"Michigan is one of the top teams in the country. There's no doubt that they've put together one heck of a team this year. We've seen a lot of the best teams in the country already, so I don't think anything changes. We need to adjust and worry about ourselves. Where you see progress and improvement is how you adjust personally each and every time you step on the mat."
COACH CHANDLER ON THE TEAM'S GROWTH THROUGH CONFERENCE DUALS
"They've grown a lot. I know it's hard to see with the stretch we've gone through, but what I want to see is the team all at one time performing at their best together. You've seen individuals step up at certain times, but we as a program, as a team, all 10 guys that step on the mat need to step up together."
MSU returns home for a tri-meet on Friday, Feb. 16 against Clarion at 2 p.m. and against Eastern Michigan at 6 p.m. at Jenison Field House in East Lansing, Michigan. Clarion will go up against Eastern Michigan at 4 p.m. Michigan State's two duals will be streamed on BTN Plus. Friday will be MSU's Senior Day, as the Spartans will honor their lone senior, Javier Gasca.