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Michigan State Hosts Tri-Meet Against Clarion and Eastern Michigan On Senior Day

Feb. 15, 2018

Dual #16:
Michigan State (5-10, 1-8 B1G) vs. Clarion (9-5, 4-2 EWL)
 Date | Time Friday, Feb. 16 | 2 p.m. ET
 Location East Lansing, Mich. | Jenison Field House
 Tickets $5 (adults)/$3 (senior/youth) | MSU Ticket Information
 Notes Michigan State | Clarion
 Statistics Michigan State | Clarion
 TV/Internet Coverage Live Stream on BTN Plus on
 Social Media @wrestlingmsu width=  |  Facebook width= |   Instagram  width=
Dual #17:
Michigan State (5-10, 1-8 B1G) vs. Eastern Michigan (7-7, 3-4 MAC)
 Date | Time Friday, Feb. 16 | 6 p.m. ET
 Location East Lansing, Mich. | Jenison Field House
 Tickets $5 (adults)/$3 (senior/youth) | MSU Ticket Information
 Notes Michigan State | Eastern Michigan
 Statistics Michigan State | Eastern Michigan
 TV/Internet Coverage Live Stream on BTN Plus on
 Social Media @wrestlingmsu width=  |  Facebook width= |   Instagram  width=

Michigan State wrestling closes out the regular season by hosting a tri-meet against Clarion and Eastern Michigan on Friday, Feb. 16. The Spartans will take on a pair of Eagles with Clarion first at 2 p.m., followed by a dual between Clarion and Eastern Michigan at 4 p.m. and finishing the meet against Eastern Michigan at 6 p.m. The duals will be streamed on BTN Plus.

MSU will honor its lone senior wrestler, 141-pounder Javier Gasca, as well as two senior managers, Alexandra Sanchez and Amanda Craig, before the dual against Eastern Michigan.

• Senior Javier Gasca - 141 pounds
No. 23 by NCAA Coaches Panel
No. 25 by Trackwrestling
No. 26 by NCAA RPI

• Freshman Rayvon Foley - 125 pounds
No. 13 by NCAA RPI
No. 16 by Win Magazine
No. 16 by FloWrestling
No. 17 by Intermat
No. 17 by Trackwrestling
No. 18 by The Open Mat
No. 20 by NCAA Coaches Panel

• Redshirt freshman Austin Hiles - 165 pounds
No. 31 by NCAA RPI

Ten of Michigan State’s 14 duals have been against nationally ranked squads, with MSU’s only losses this season coming against ranked opponents. 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.

• 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 ... leads the team overall in dual wins (11) and dual points (36) ... ranked No. 17 by Intermat ... 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) ... defeated his second ranked opponent of season with a 10-3 decision over No. 9 Drew Mattin (2/9) ... 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).

• 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).

Clarion split last weekend, winning on Friday, Feb. 9 against Bloomsburg, 30-9, but falling to No. 23 Lock Haven, 28-12, on Sunday, Feb. 11, snapping a three-match win streak. The Golden Eages are 5-0 in duals as the road team.

MSU is 4-2-0 in career meetings with Clarion. The two teams met last season, when the Spartans defeated the Golden Eagles, 23-9, in Clarion, Pennsylvania. MSU took seven bout-wins, including two bonus points, to break a two-match losing streak against Clarion.

Projected Lineup (Year, Overall)
125: Gavin Park (Fr., 16-11)
133: Roshaun Cooley (Jr., 8-12) -OR- Cam Butler (So., 2-4)
141: No. 5 Brock Zacherl (Jr., 23-0) -OR- Evan Myers (So., 1-9)
149: Taylor Ortz (R-So., 21-9) -OR- Joe Sliwoski (R-Fr., 5-7)
157: Avery Shay (Fr., 20-12) -OR- Mac Tanner (So., 8-7)
165: Max Wohlabaugh (Fr., 7-12) -OR- Jack Peura (So., 6-7)
174: Dom Rigous (R-Sr., 17-7) -OR- Taylor Cahill (R-So., 20-8)
184: Greg Bulsak (R-Fr., 18-6)
197: Dustin Conti (R-Sr., 20-6) -OR- Edgar Ruano (R-Jr., 5-7)
HWT: Toby Cahill (Fr., 13-13) -OR- Brylee Shumaker (R-Fr., 3-7)

Eastern Michigan last wrestled against No. 16 Central Michigan on Friday, Feb. 9, dropping 29-7 and snapping a three-match win streak. EMU will face off with Clarion at 4 p.m. before wrestling Michigan State.

The Spartans hold an 18-3-0 advantage over the Eagles in career meetings. MSU last took on Eastern Michigan on Feb. 12, 2017, winning 17-16 in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

Projected Lineup (Year, Overall)
125: Tomas Gutierrez (R-Fr., 7-12)
133: Noah Gonser (R-So., 11-9) -OR- Amando Torres (R-Jr., 7-7)
141: Sa’Derian Perry (R-So., 12-13) -OR- Chris Poland (R-So., 1-6)
149: Kyle Springer (R-Sr., 17-13)
157: J.J. Wolfe (R-So., 6-14)
165: Zac Carson (R-So., 17-10)
174: Andrew McNally (R-Fr., 15-13) -OR- Jared Leidich (R-Fr., 1-8)
184: Kayne MacCallum (R-Jr., 13-12)
197: Derek Hillman (R-Jr., 7-6) -OR- Jared Langley (R-So., 2-9)
HWT: Gage Hutchison (R-Sr., 15-6) -OR- Wyatt Harden (3-5)

Freshman Rayvon Foley is the fifth Spartan to take down a ranked opponent this season, defeating No. 9 Drew Mattin of Michigan, 10-3, on Friday, Feb. 9 and 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.

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).

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.

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.

• 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.

“It’s our guys’ last opportunity to compete in a dual format. I think it’s great that we’re at home and they get to end the regular season at home, and get to see other competition outside the Big Ten.”

“It’s different from the standpoint of what they’ve been going through for the past couple of months is that you weigh-in and an hour later, you compete. We’ll do that for the first dual, but the second competition won’t be until four or five hours later. It creates more of a tournament-type atmosphere, where guys get multiple matches in a day. It’s a great ending to the regular season as they get ready for Big Ten Championships because they will wrestle multiple matches in a day.”

“I want to see them wrestle with confidence and what they’re capable of doing. The Big Ten Conference is brutal up and down, and sometimes you get caught up in how tough it is. This is an opportunity for our guys to really open up and execute individually in the matches.”

“Both teams have done very well this year. They’ve built really good programs. We wrestled both teams last year, and they’re definitely better teams than they were last year. It shows the growth within their programs, and we’re going to have to be ready to compete against both of them because I know they’re going to bring their A game when they step on the mat with our guys.”

“Javier is the kid that you would want to be your son. He does everything right. He’s a leader. He doesn’t get caught up in the social aspects of life. He works hard. He’s committed to himself, this program and the bigger picture. I couldn’t think of a better leader for this program that people respect, and with how he carries himself on and off the mat.”

On a snowy night in enemy territory, Michigan State wrestling closed out dual competition on Friday night with a 39-3 loss to No. 4 Michigan at Cliff Keen Arena. The Spartans started with a 3-0 lead after a 10-3 upset from freshman Rayvon Foley over No. 9 Drew Mattin at 125. The Wolverines came back with nine unanswered wins to take the match win.

“It was a tale of two halves,” Michigan State head coach Roger Chandler said. “I really thought our guys came to compete the first five matches. They adjusted and they came out ready to fight through an entire match. The second half, our guys were in quicksand a little bit. From a coaching standpoint, we’ve got to figure out what’s going on there. Overall, those first five guys came out really hard.”

Freshman Rayvon Foley started out the match with a decisive, 10-3 win over No. 9 Drew Mattin. Foley jumped out to the lead first with a takedown and didn’t look back, collecting his team-leading 23rd win of the season, along with his 11th dual win and second win over a ranked opponent this season.

“Rayvon almost majored a kid he lost to earlier in the year. He was ranked ninth in the country,” Chandler added. “The biggest thing about Rayvon, and why he continues to get better, is he studies every time he finishes a match. You can see him growing as a wrestler every day. There’s no doubt in my mind he will compete for a national title before he graduates, maybe even right away.”

MSU completes the regular season on Friday, and will host Big Ten Championships on Saturday and Sunday, March 3-4 at the Breslin Center in East Lansing, Michigan.



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