The Eastern Michigan University men’s wrestling team fell to the University of New York at Buffalo Bulls Friday at the Alumni Arena in New York.
The 19-14 loss brought EMU’s record to 6-10 overall and 0-2 in the Mid-American Conference.
“We knew it was going to be a close match coming in,” redshirt senior Aaron Sulzer said. “We lost the swing matches and that proved to be the difference.”
The Eagles dominated the Bulls last year with a 31-7 home win Feb. 8, 2012. This year, both teams entered competition lacking a MAC win, but Buffalo brought tough competitors, including nationally ranked No. 17 redshirt senior Jean-Martin Cannon at 174 pounds.
The match kicked off at 125 pounds with EMU freshman Alexander Calandrino taking on Buffalo redshirt sophomore Max Soria. The first weight class went to the Bulls.
EMU redshirt sophomore Jacob Byers took down Buffalo wrestler Justin Farmer to take the 133-pound weight class with a 3-1 decision. The first period was scoreless but the second period was opened with Byers on the bottom and earning a one point escape.
The match went into overtime, but Byers took Farmer down with a bear hug to come out victorious. The score was tied at three until Buffalo took the next two weight classes.
The 141-pound weight class went to Erik Galloway from Buffalo with a 3-0 decision over EMU redshirt junior Seth Schaner. Redshirt freshman Michael Shaw lost a 2-1 decision to Blake Roulo from the Bulls at 149 pounds.
Sulzer earned points for the Eagles with his 6-3 decision over Buffalo wrestler Wally Maziarz at 157 pounds. The first period was action packed: Sulzer and Maziarz scored every point within the first three minutes alone, leaving the second and third periods of the match scoreless.
“I gave up the first takedown in my match, but I found a way to get to my best position and that helped seal the match for me,” Sulzer said.
Just before two more EMU losses, the Bulls were ahead 9-6.
Buffalo wrestler Mark Lewandowski won by a 10-4 decision over EMU
redshirt sophomore Jaylyn Bohl. EMU freshman Jacob Davis was overpowered by Cannon for a 17-5 major decision, resulting in 16-6 team scores with Buffalo still in the lead.
The Eagles took the next two weight classes with major decisions from redshirt juniors Phillip Joseph and Nick Whitenburg.
Joseph controlled the first period with a 6-2 lead, adding on more and more points during the next two periods. Joseph toppled over UB wrestler Jarred Lux for a score of 20-7, earning the Eagles extra points and closing the gap between the two teams.
Whitenburg closed the gap even more for the Eagles when he defeated Jeff Palmeri for a 16-5 score. Whitenburg knew bonus points would determine the winning team, so he tried to earn as many as possible for his team.
“As a leader on the team I knew my job was to get bonus points,” Whitenburg said. “I just went out there and wrestled like I do every other match and tried to out tough and outlast my opponent.”
EMU was close to earning their first MAC dual win of the season when the team scores became 16-14; the Bulls still in the lead. The Eagles fell short as the last match of the evening went to the Bulls.
The 285-pound weight class went to Justin Heisermen with a 3-1 decision over EMU redshirt junior Khodor Hoballah.
“We just need to get back in the practice room and work on the small things and come together as a team,” Whitenburg said. “We can be unstoppable.”
The Eagles will travel to DeKalb, Ill. Jan. 26 to compete against the Northern Illinois University Huskies and the University of Missouri Tigers.
EMU will then come home and take on the Kent State University Golden Flashes Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. in Bowen Field House.
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