The Eastern Michigan University men’s wrestling team triumphed over the Olivet College Comets for the sixth consecutive occasion; the Eagles defeated the Comets 34-6 on Eagle territory Wednesday.
The first match of the evening went to 125-pound freshman Alexander Calandrino by way of an Olivet forfeit.
The wrestling began at 133 pounds with EMU redshirt sophomore Jake Byers defeating Michael Gancer with an 8-0 major decision. Byers earned one takedown after another and accumulated much more than the one minute of riding time to earn an extra match point.
Redshirt freshman Michael Shaw took over the 141-pound weight class with another EMU major decision. At the end of the first period, Shaw was down but came back to tie it 2-2 by the end of the second.
“I expected to tire him out and then score as many points as I can,” Shaw said.
During the third period, Shaw went away with multiple near falls and an individual win, bringing the team scores to 14-0.
The 149-pound match went to Olivet, but EMU redshirt senior Aaron Sulzer swooped in with a first-period pin at 157 pounds and earned the Eagles six more team points.
“I told the coaches that if I got the chance, I was going to go for the pin,” Sulzer said.
Redshirt sophomore Jaylyn Bohl wrestled two weight classes above his normal 149 pounds, and was defeated by OU wrestler James Myers in the 165-pound weight class match.
The final matches went to the Eagles; bringing the window of opportunity to a close for the Comets.
EMU freshman Jacob Davis manhandled Nicholas Allen to win by a 4-2 decision at 174 pounds. EMU teammates redshirt juniors Phillip Joseph and Nick Whitenburg earned extra points for the Eagles with major decisions. Redshirt junior Khodor Hoballah took the final match at 285 pounds to lock in the EMU win.
With less than 20 seconds left in the first period, Joseph took down his opponent and started the riding time in his favor. The 184-pound match went to the Eagles as Joseph got three more take downs and passed the minimum amount of riding time to earn an extra point for his 10-2 major decision.
Coming back from a torn medial collateral ligament and torn quadricep, Whitenburg controlled the 197-pound match. Whitenburg defeated Logan Renas in a 12-4 major decision. Renas never took Whitenburg down, and earned all of his points from escapes only.
“I knew that the kid that I was going to wrestle is pretty tall,” Whitenburg said. “I knew that I was going to win, I just had to finish through and get him out of position.”
The win at 197 pounds brought the team scores to 31-6, with EMU in the lead just before Hoballah took the mat. The 184-pound wrestler has been wrestling classes above his normal weight, and defeated the OU wrestler with a 6-0 decision.
Hoballah gained the upper hand in his match and became the second EMU wrestler of the evening to keep his opponent off the scoreboard.
EMU head coach Derek DelPorto’s expectations of the meet matched the results. DelPorto said the wrestlers did well controlling the pace of the meet.
“We had goals,” DelPorto said. “We wanted them all to get riding time but we didn’t do it.”
DelPorto also revealed the reasons for the numerous changes in the lineup.
“There are only two reasons for lineup changes: a lot of injuries or coaches play with the lineup to see who are the best guys,” DelPorto said.