Eastern Michigan University’s wrestling team came up short in their dual meet against Mid-American Conference opponent Old Dominion University on Friday at the Convocation Center, losing by a score of 25-13. Old Dominion is ranked 21 in the country.
Eastern took an early lead in the match after Vincent Pizzuto faced off against Michael Hayes of Old Dominion in the 133 lb. contest. The matchup started off slow as Pizzuto maintained a 1-0 lead going into the second period, but that would not be the case for long. Pizzuto would cruise his way to a 10-2 major decision and give Eastern the early 4-0 lead.
Old Dominion’s Monarchs would responded quickly in the 141 lb. match between Chris Mecate and the Eagle’s Michael Shaw. Things were tied at 1-1 with the second period closely approaching when Mecate was able to pick up a takedown on Shaw to go up 3-1. Shaw would fight his way back with the help of a stalling point called on Old Dominion, but Mecate would hold on to win the match by a 5-3 decision and bring the Monarchs back to within one.
EMU’s lead would be relinquished shortly after without anyone even having hit the mat. In the 149 lb. match Eastern forfeited, giving Old Dominion’s Alexander Richardson the win by default. This forfeiture added six points to Old Dominion’s overall score and put them in the lead for the first time on the night at a score of 9-4.
Eagle Brandon Zeerip and Monarch TC Warner were tied 2-2 in the 157 lb. weight class going into the third period, but Zeerip was able to pull away to gain a hold of the 5-3 decision. Eastern was now back to within two only trailing Old Dominion 9-7.
In the next match at 165 lbs., the Eagles found themselves suffering a prominent setback. EMU’s Austin Geerlings took on ODU’s Tristan Warner, and at first things seemed to be evenly matched between the two with Geerlings only trailing by two at the end of the first period. Beginning in the second period though, the match took a dramatic twist and Warner blew out of the gates to take a commanding lead. Warner went on to win 17-1 to pick up the technical fall for Old Dominion, improving their lead over Eastern to 14-7.
An evenly exchange of victories would take place over the course of the next four matches. Eastern would go on to pick up decisions in the 174 lb. and 197 lb. weight classes, and Old Dominion gained decisions of their own in the matches in the 184 lb. and Heavyweight classes, bringing the score to 20-13.
The night ended with EMU’s Blake Caudill taking on ODU’s Brandon Jeske in the 125 lb. match. Jeske would go on to win 17-2, picking up the technical fall for his team and giving Old Dominion the 25-13 win.
Eastern drops to 7-11 on the year with the loss to Old Dominion, their eighth in a row this year. The Eagles also are riding a six meet losing streak against MAC opponents this year, leaving them with Buffalo as the only teams yet to have a conference win this season.
That will change on Sunday as Eastern takes a trip to New York to take on a Buffalo team in their final road meet of the regular season before the MAC Championships in Missouri. Things are set to get underway Feb. 15 at 1 p.m.
133: Vincent Pizzuto (EMU) maj. dec. Michael Hayes (ODU), 10-2 (EMU, 4-0)
141: No. 9 Chris Mecate (ODU) dec. Michael Shaw (EMU), 5-3 (EMU, 4-3)
149: No. 9 Lenny Richardson (ODU) wins by forfeit (ODU, 9-4)
157: Brandon Zeerip (EMU) dec. T.C. Warner (ODU), 5-3 (ODU, 9-7)
165: No. 12 Tristan Warner (ODU) tech. fall Austin Geerlings (EMU), 17-1 (ODU, 14-7)
174: Kayne MacCallum (EMU) dec. Austin Coburn (ODU), 3-1 (ODU, 14-10)
185: No. 2 Jack Derchow (ODU) dec. Mike Curby (EMU), 4-2 (ODU, 17-10)
197: Anthony Abro (EMU) dec. Kevin Beazley (ODU), 3-1 (ODU, 17-13)
HWT: Jake Henderson (ODU) dec. Gage Hutchison (EMU), 6-1 (ODU, 20-13)
125: Brandon Jeske (ODU) tech. fall Blake Caudill (EMU), 17-2 (ODU, 25-13)