ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The No. 18-ranked University of Michigan wrestling team won seven individual matches, including five in a row at the middle and upperweights, to roll to a 22-12 win in its Big Ten Conference opener against No. 20 Purdue on Friday evening (Jan. 10) at Cliff Keen Arena.
The Wolverines trailed early in the dual after Purdue took two of the opening three bouts. Sophomore/freshman Conor Youtsey (Parma, Mich./Mason HS) was U-M's lone win at the lowerweights, rallying to earn a solid 7-4 decision over Camden Eppert in a wild match at 125 pounds. Eppert struck first on a first-period single, but Youtsey escaped quickly and finished on a single of his own late in the period. He rode out the second and earned a reversal in the third -- the latter period saw a full 90-second Purdue injury timeout and both teams unsuccessfully use their challenges. Eppert gained two points on a pair of locked-hands calls, but Youtsey capped the victory with a riding-time point (2:37) at match's end.
After back-to-back Boilermaker wins, fifth-year senior Eric Grajales (Brandon, Fla./Brandon HS) and freshman Brian Murphy (Carol Stream, Ill./Glenbard North HS) earned decisions at 149 and 157 pounds, respectively, to give U-M a three-point lead at the intermission break. Grajales, ranked 12th, cruised to a 7-3 decision over Brandon Nelsen, scoring three takedowns -- one in each period -- and 3:53 in time advantage. Murphy, ranked 16th, also finished on three takedowns and rode for 1:46 en route to an 8-3 decision over Kyle Mosier.
Michigan continued its momentum after the break with straight wins to all but clinch the team victory. Fifth-year senior Dan Yates (Hesperia, Mich./Hesperia HS), ranked seventh, just missed out on a bonus point against Chad Welch at 165 pounds, scoring three early takedowns before giving up a counter in the waning seconds of his 8-4 win. Fellow Hesperia native, senior/junior Collin Zeerip (Fremont, Mich./Hesperia HS), broke open a scoreless match at 174 pounds with a four-point takedown in the second period and added another single leg in the third to claim a 6-3 decision over Patrick Kissel.
Freshman Domenic Abounader (Gates Mills, Ohio/St. Edward HS) also narrowly missed earning bonus with a 7-1 decision over Tanner Lynde at 184 pounds. He scrambled out of a deep Boilermaker single-leg shot to score early in the first period and then spent most of the match's remainder on top, earning a reversal in the second, riding for 3:52 and drawing a pair of stall points.
Purdue earned a pin at 197 pounds to pull within six on the scoreboard, but freshman heavyweight Adam Coon (Fowlerville, Mich./Fowlerville HS) put an exclamation point on the Wolverine win, rolling to a 14-4 major decision over Alex White in the final bout. Coon, ranked second, used a headlock to score five points early in the first before adding two more takedowns and two more back points in the final two frames. He improved to a perfect 21-0 in his collegiate career.
The Wolverines (4-2) will continue Big Ten competition next weekend, traveling to Champaign, Ill., to face Illinois at 7 p.m. CST on Friday (Jan. 17) before returning home to Cliff Keen Arena to host Minnesota 2 p.m. on Sunday (Jan. 19).
125 -- Conor Youtsey (U-M) dec. Camden Eppert, 7-4 U-M, 3-0
133 -- Cashe Quiroga (Pur) dec. #20 Rossi Bruno, 6-5 TB Tied, 3-3
141 -- Danny Sabatello (Pur) dec. Angelo Latora, 6-1 Pur, 6-3
149 -- #12 Eric Grajales (U-M) dec. Brandon Nelsen, 7-3 Tied, 6-6
157 -- #16 Brian Murphy (U-M) dec. Kyle Mosier, 8-3 U-M, 9-6
165 -- #7 Dan Yates (U-M) dec. Chad Welch, 8-4 U-M, 12-6
174 -- Collin Zeerip (U-M) dec. Patrick Kissel, 6-3 U-M, 15-6
184 -- Domenic Abounader (U-M) dec. Tanner Lynde, 7-1 U-M, 18-6
197 -- #16 Braden Atwood (Pur) pinned Chris Heald, 6:19 U-M, 18-12
Hwt -- #2 Adam Coon (U-M) major dec. Alex White, 14-4 U-M, 22-12