With a pin from Phillip Joseph in the final bout of the Sunday’s duels, the Eastern Michigan University wrestling team pulled off an 18-16 upset of No. 23 Stanford, improving to 5-1 on the season.
The last time EMU beat a ranked opponent was on Nov. 24, 2012, when EMU defeated then-No. 24 North Dakota State, 18-17.
After a tough 24-9 loss to Michigan State, EMU took an early 3-0 lead over Stanford when Nick Whitenburg took a 6-2 decision. Stanford would eventually tie the score when Khodor Hoballah fell in an 8-1 decision.
The Eagles would go on to regain the lead over the Cardinals when Jared Germaine took a 9-3 victory to give the Eagles a three-point cushion. Stanford would answer right back with a 12-5 defeat to EMU’s Vincent Pizzuto in the 133 lb. division to even the score for the second time in the dual.
“Coming off a disappointing loss at Michigan State, we needed to refocus and stick to our game plan, which is being aggressive, continuously trying to score points and making sure we finish the match,” coach Derek DelPorto said. “I don’t think we wrestled to our potential against Stanford, but
I am not going to downplay this win. This was a great win for us.”
Meanwhile, Nicholas Barber picked up his fifth dual win of the season when the redshirt freshman secured a 12-6 victory, giving EMU a 9-6 lead halfway through the match.
EMU’s lead didn’t stay long as Stanford fired back by winning three straight matches for Stanford’s first lead Sunday afternoon. with a scoreless 4-0 defeat to Jacob Davis, extending the Cardinals’ lead to 16-9. EMU battled back into the match when Mike Curby secured a 4-3 decision to bring the Eagles within four of Stanford heading into the final bout on Sunday.
EMU went into the final match needing at least a major decision from Joseph in order to tie the dual. The redshirt senior led his team to victory by aggressively pinning Stanford’s Thomas Kimbrell
in just 59 seconds to secure Eastern Michigan’s 18-16 victory over Stanford.
“We didn’t wrestle ‘through’ the match against Michigan State,” DelPorto said. “If we had, we would have won some of the tight matches and the dual meet could have had a different outcome. Last night [Sunday] we did a better job completing the task at hand. In our sport and with our schedule, we can’t afford not to wrestle as hard as we can for as long as we can.”
The Eastern Michigan University wrestling team will take a week off before hitting the road for its first Mid-American Conference dual. EMU will take on Old Dominion University on Dec. 6 in Norfolk, VA.
The duel is set to start at 7 p.m.
DelPorto didn’t expect this break to slow down his team preparation for the next duel.
“We have trained hard since the pre-season, and we can afford and deserve a little break of action,”
DelPorto said. “I know my coaching staff and this team is looking forward to a little down time over the break to spend with friends and family. I have always told my team nothing comes before friends and family – nothing. We will release our team on Wednesday and take four days off the mats and get back here on Monday ready to roll again. ODU is a very tough team that is physical and well-conditioned. Our main goal is to be ready mentally and remain healthy.”