The Eastern Michigan University men’s wrestling team posted their first win in the Mid-American Conference when they defeated the Northern Illinois University Huskies Saturday in DeKalb, Ill.
With the 22-17 win, the Eagles improved to 7-10 overall and 1-2 in the MAC.
“It feels great to finally get a MAC win,” redshirt junior Phillip Joseph said. “We have a young team so for us to finally get a win like this has a huge effect on some of the younger guys on the
The Eagles won the first match with a 4-0 decision by freshman Alexander Calandrino at 125 pounds. Calandrino took down Nick Harrison early in the first period and racked up over two minutes
of riding time before the second period even started.
The 125-pound match put the Eagles in the lead until they lost the next three matches. Redshirt sophomore Jake Byers fell to Nick Smith by an 11-2 major decision at 133 pounds. NIU wrestler Kevin Fanta defeated redshirt junior Seth Schaner with a 7-3 decision to take the 141-pound bout.
The 149-pound match also went to the Huskies as redshirt freshman Mike Shaw lost to Robert Jillard by a 4-2 decision.
Redshirt senior Aaron Sulzer moved to 3-0 in MAC competition when
he earned another first period pin. Sulzer pinned Andrew Morse and brought EMU only one point behind the Huskies, 10-9.
“I’ve been wrestling really well lately and I just want to keep the ball rolling,” Sulzer said.
Following Sulzer’s pin, EMU teammate freshman Jacob Davis beat Dan Burk with a 9-1 major decision to put the Eagles back in the lead, with a 13-10 team score. Davis kept his opponent off the score board until the third period and accumulated five minutes of riding time.
NIU claimed the 174-pound match as redshirt sophomore Jacob Dorulla was outwrestled by a 10-2 major decision from Matt Mougin.
The Eagles won the next two matches before losing the final match. Joseph and redshirt junior Nick Whitenburg both recorded EMU wins; Whitenburg earned extra points.
Joseph led going into the second period of the 184-pound match and increased the gap even more with two take downs and an escape going into the third.
At 197 pounds, Whitenburg continued to score points against Parker Settecase to lead 6-1 going into the third period.
“I knew going into my match that I needed to win with bonus points for the team to win,” Whitenburg said. “What really stood out in my match was out-conditioning my opponent to the point where I broke him mentally and physically and pinned him.”
With a successful attempt to earn EMU extra points, Whitenburg pinned Settecase and made it impossible for the Huskies to take the MAC win from the Eagles.
The final match went to NIU as redshirt senior Chris Eggert fell to Jared Torrence by a 5-2 decision. The score was tied at two at the start of the second period but that went away as Torrence took the 285-pound match.
“I was most proud of our fight,” EMU coach Derek DelPorto said. “We have experienced some bad luck lately and we have stayed focused and our guys continue to fight.”
The Eagles continue their search to improve their MAC score as they take on the Kent State University Golden Flashes Feb. 2 at Bowen Field House. This will also be Senior Night for the team.
“It is going to be a very tough dual, but it’s Senior Night and we hope to send them off on a positive note,” DelPorto said.
EMU will then travel to Central Michigan University Feb. 8 in Mount Pleasant, Mich.