The Eastern Michigan wrestling team (7-7, 2-5 MAC) lost its fifth straight meet on Friday to in-state rivals Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant in a 22-12 rout.
The Eagles started the dual off with a 12-4 lead but failed to win a match the rest of the dual. Three of Eastern Michigan’s coaches either coached or wrestled for Central Michigan (7-4,4-1) in the past as they traveled back to Mount Pleasant, head coach David Bolyard and assistant coaches Luke Smith and Scott Mattingly being the coaches.
“They [CMU] are a great program, we had multiple chances to win but we just couldn’t win those close matches that we are capable of winning,” EMU Coach David Bolyard said.
The dual started with EMU redshirt freshman Derek Hillman gaining a 10-2 major decision loss that would set the score at 4-0 Chippewa’s. EMU redshirt senior Anthony Abro won a match in a 4-3 overtime thriller to set the score at 4-3 as the Eagles looked to take the lead in the third match.
Redshirt sophomore Gage Hutchinson gave Eastern Michigan the lead with a 3-1 decision. The score by Eastern Michigan was doubled due to a forfeit by Central Michigan that set the score at 12-4, Eagles.
Junior Shayne Wireman fell in a 3-1 decision that kick started the Chippewa’s comeback at a score of 12-7. Kyle Springer, a redshirt sophomore, fell to no. 16 ranked CMU wrestler Zach Horan in a 4-3 decision to put the team score at 12-10, advantage Eagles.
Redshirt junior Nicholas Barber looked to extend the lead but fell in a 4-1 decision that allowed Central Michigan to take its first lead since the second match. EMU redshirt junior Devan Marry fell to no. 8 ranked Lucas Smith in an 8-3 decision.
“We need to improve in small positions. Mostly, what we need to learn is how to finish close matches.We could also get in better shape,” Bolyard said.
Redshirt freshman Dakota Juarez faced off against one of his former high school teammates, Jordan Atienza of Central Michigan. Juarez fought hard until the end where Atienza won in a 7-6 decision that was determined by riding time.
The dual finished off with EMU redshirt junior Jacob Davis who was up against no. 12 ranked Mike Ottinger. Davis fell in a close 3-2 decision that gave Central Michigan the 22-12 victory.
“We had this match, and we let it slip. This was not a bad effort by us, we just need to keep improving,” Bolyard said.
This was Eastern Michigan’s fifth consecutive loss, all against Mid-American Conference opponents.
The Eagles now head down to Norfolk, Virginia to finish off their MAC regular season schedule against Old Dominion. The dual is set for Sunday Feb 14.