Eastern Michigan University wrestling fell to Northern Illinois University in a Mid-American Conference meet, by a score of 21-9. Saturdays loss marks the Eagles fourth straight dropped on what was Senior Day at the Convocation Center.
Eastern Michigan (7-6, 2-4) only managed to win three individual matches as the Huskies (6-6, 1-3) dominated from the start to win its first Mid-American dual of the season. Every match in the dual was close, as all matches were won by decision.
“We expected to win the dual, I think we are a better team than we wrestled today,” said head coach David Bolyard. “We lost a bunch of close matches, we came up on the short end on more of those then we needed to."
The Eagles got off to a slow start as redshirt freshman Armondo Torres fell in a 4-2 decision to give the Huskies a 3-0 lead. Junior Shayne Wireman looked to help the Eagles rebound from its loss but fell in a 10-3 decision to make the score 6-0 in favor of the Huskies.
Kyle Springer, a redshirt freshman, came out hoping to put some points on the board for the Eagles. Springer kept fighting but the match ended 4-4 decision, but nationally ranked wrestler Steve Bleise of Northern Illinois held the riding time advantage, winning the match 5-4.
With the score at 9-0, redshirt junior Nicholas Barber fought hard and gave the Eagles its first points of the day when he won in a 8-3 decision.
Redshirt junior Devan Marry wrestled at 157 lb. and fell in a 8-2 decision to make the score 12-3 for the Huskies.
Dakota Juarez, a redshirt freshman, put the Eagles back on the board with his 10-3 decision to cut the lead to six. Redshirt Junior Jacob Davis allowed too many big takedowns in his 7-2 defeat.
“We need to figure out how to win those tight, close matches and they (Northern Illinois) did,” Bolyard said.
With the score at 15-6 the Eagles needed to win the last couple of matches to have a chance to sneak away with a victory. Redshirt freshman Derek Hillman was up to the task and won in a 10-6 decision to put the Eagles in a better position with two matches left.
No. 20 ranked wrestler Shawn Scott of Northern Illinois was put up against no. 17 ranked Anthony Abro at 197. Abro, a redshirt senior, was unable to give the Eagles the attempt at a comeback, losing 6-1 in his final home meet of his career,
With the match all but over, and the score at 18-9, redshirt sophomore Gage Hutchinson was all that was left. Hutchinson fell in a 7-1 decision as the Eagles lost 21-9.
After the dual, five seniors were honored for their last home dual at the Convocation Center. Anthony Abro, Derek Davison, Vincent Pizzuto, Chris Rau and Michael Shaw were honored for their commitment, academics and performance at Eastern Michigan University and its athletic department.
“We need to go to work, get back in the room and put them in tough situations to get them to figure out how to win these tight matches,” Bolyard said. "We need to figure out how to win those tight, close matches and they (Northern Illinois) did."
The Eagles now head to face their in-state rivals, the Central Michigan Chippewa’s, on Friday Feb. 5 in Mount Pleasant, MI.