The Eastern Michigan University men’s wrestling team completed its regular season at home Feb. 17 with a 30-0 loss to the No. 22 ranked Iowa State University Cyclones. The Eagles finished the season with a 7-13 overall record and 1-4 in the Mid-American Conference.
On their way to competing at the MAC Tournament, the current team honored the last set of Eagles to take the MAC championship: The 1995-96 squad. The team also honored former EMU head coach Willie Gadson (1992-97). Gadson was represented by his son, ISU wrestler Kyven Gadson, who is ranked No. 7 in the nation.
The meet kicked off at 184 pounds with redshirt junior Khodor Hoballah followed by the 197-pound match featuring redshirt junior Nick Whitenburg.
EMU’s Hoballah suffered an 11-1 major decision from No. 17 ranked Boaz Beard, and Cyclone wrestler Gadson pinned Whitenburg to bring the team score to 10-0 with ISU in the lead.
The 285-pound match went before the lower weight classes started. Redshirt senior Chris Eggert was able to hold off No. 18 ranked Matt Gibson the first period, but Gibson pushed forward to win by a 3-0 decision.
The next three matches went to the Cyclones with major decisions: EMU freshman Alexander Calandrino lost the 125-pound match 12-1; redshirt sophomore Jake Byers was defeated with a score of 10-2; and redshirt junior Seth Schaner lost 12-2.
Redshirt freshman Michael Shaw lost the 149-pound match but kept it to 7-2, bringing the team scores to 28-0 with EMU still not on the scoreboard.
There was hope for the Eagles to score points when redshirt senior Aaron Sulzer took to the mat for the 157-pound match.
Sulzer started the match slowly gaining control, but ISU wrestler Logan Molina turned the tables with a two point takedown with one minute left in the first period.
Sulzer got a one point escape just as the two were going out of bounds. Sulzer started the third period down and eventually earned a one point escape. The match was over when Molina took down Sulzer with less than 20 seconds left in the match.
EMU freshman Jake Davis lost the 165-pound match by a 13-4 major decision against No. 18 ranked Michael Moreno only to be followed by the final match of the night.
Redshirt senior Philip Joseph started the 174-pound match in the lead with the first takedown. He kept the small lead until ISU wrestler No. 16 ranked Tanner Weatherman tied the score 4-4 at the beginning of the third and final period.
With less than a minute left, Weatherman took complete control of the match and earned multiple points to win the match by a 12-4 major decision for the Cyclones.
With this final dual meet, EMU will travel March 10 to Buffalo, NY., for the chance to claim the team’s first MAC championship since the 1995-96 season.
Stick with The Echo for the results of the MAC tournament and be sure to check us out on the web as well.