November 18, 2011
BUFFALO, NY - Senior Kevin Smith became just the seventh wrestler in program history to win 100 career matches, but the 6th- ranked Michigan Wolverines (1-0) proved to be too tough to overcome as Buffalo (0-5) fell 27-13 Friday afternoon at Alumni Arena. UB won three of the first four matches, but Michigan used two pins and a tech fall to mount a comeback.
Max Soria started the match on a high note with an easy 8-3 win over Grant Pizzo, extending his unbeaten streak to five in dual meets. The redshirt freshman missed out on numerous attempts to turn his opponent, but scored five points and added riding time in the third period to start the team out on a high note.
After Michigan responded with a major decision, it was up to Smith to respond. As the elder statesman of the youthful Bulls lineup, Smith entered the day with a 99-38 career record and a possible matchup against national number-one ranked Kellen Russell. An injury to Russell, the defending national champion, erased the intriguing matchup, and Smith's road to 100 wins now ran through Donnie Watkins. The match was never in doubt, and Smith nabbed a last-second takedown to earn an 11-3 major decision and put Buffalo ahead 7-4.
"I came into the season knowing it would happen pretty early," Smith said about reaching 100 career wins. "And to be able to do it at home in front of all these fans and against a top-10 team is just awesome."
Facing an early momentum swing, freshman Blake Roulo was next up with the chance to extend the overall lead. Facing James Hillock, Roulo locked horns for a tense, defensive match and grabbed a takedown to win the bout 3-1.
The Wolverines responded to the adversity though, and won the next three matches with decisions at 157 (Brandon Zeerip over Wally Maziarz 4-0) and 165 (Daniel Yates over Mark Lewandowski 3-2) and a critical pin in the 174-pound bout.
Now trailing 16-10 heading into the final three matches, freshman Jake Waste came through in what head coach Jim Beichner described as "his best match to date" in his 184 bout against Chris Heald. Waste got an early 2-1 lead after one period, and took advantage of a passive opponent to get an escape and riding time point to take a 4-2 win.
Still down only 16-13 and with a chance to win, Buffalo was unable to come through. Justin Heiserman was pinned in the first period and Tyler Peter lost by tech fall to finish out the match against a pair of nationally ranked Wolverine wrestlers.
There will be little rest for the team, as it will head out to Ithaca for the Body Bar Invite tomorrow morning at Cornell. The tournament will run all day and will feature many of the top teams in New York state and the country as a whole.
125- Max Soria (Buffalo) DEC over Grant Pizzo (Michigan) 8-3
133- Zachery Stevens (Michigan) MAJ DEC over Justin Farmer (Buffalo) 11-2
141- Kevin Smith (Buffalo) MAJ DEC over Donald Watkins (Michigan) 11-3
149- Blake Roulo (Buffalo) DEC over James Hillock (Michigan) 3-1
157- Brandon Zeerip (Michigan) DEC over Wally Maziarz (Buffalo) 4-0
165- Daniel Yates (Michigan) DEC over Mark Lewandowski (Buffalo) 3-2
174- Justin Zeerip (Michigan) FALL [1:46] over Matt Dehney (Buffalo)
184- Jake Waste (Buffalo) DEC over Christopher Heald (Michigan) 4-2
197- Maxwell Huntley (Michigan) FALL [2:26] over Justin Heisermen (Buffalo
285- Benjamin Apland (Michigan) TECH FALL [7:00] over Tyler Peter (Buffalo) 20-5