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Central Michigan knocks off Rider

LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. -- Central Michigan got back-to-back pins from Matt Stencel and Drew Hildebrandt to take control on Sunday as the Chippewas posted a 28-10 Mid-American Conference wrestling dual-meet victory over 20th-ranked Rider.

The victory was CMU's second of the weekend as it improved to 2-1, 2-0 MAC. Rider is 3-1, 2-1. On Friday, the Chippewas topped No. 25 Lock Haven, 24-12. Just as they did on Friday against Lock Haven, the Chippewas scored bonus points in three of their seven wins against Rider.

"We worked really hard the last couple of weeks and our guys really responded," CMU coach Tom Borrelli said. "It paid off in both meets this weekend, and it really paid off more so today. We told our guys before these two matches that the way they trained over the past couple of weeks that no one would wrestle with them the full seven minutes. It was really tough for those teams to match our conditioning."

The two weekend victories came over two MAC newcomers. The fact that both were ranked by the National Wrestling Coaches Association and that both victories came on the road is a confidence boost to CMU, which dropped its dual-meet opener two weeks ago at Michigan, 22-12.

"I think we're gaining confidence," Borrelli said. "The biggest thing is being able to wrestle with composure in tough environments. Some of our guys are pretty young and every time you do that and you start having some success you gain confidence."

One of those youngsters, redshirt freshman Tracy Hubbard, got the Chippewas off to a good start on Sunday with a 3-2 win as the meet began at 165 pounds. Hubbard won with a bonus point for riding time.

Rider, which earlier this season knocked off sixth-ranked Minnesota, 21-17, in a nonconference dual, won the next three matches to seize a 10-3 lead.

It was all CMU after that.

Stencel, ranked seventh nationally at 285, drew the Chippewas to 10-9 with a pin, his eighth of the season as he improved to 13-3. Hildebrandt, ranked ninth at 125, followed with a pin, his second of the year, to up his record to 13-1. His win put CMU in front for good, 15-10.

"Both (Stencel and Hildebrandt) got taken down in their matches so they had to come back," Borrelli said. "Hildebrandt was actually losing in the third period by a point. He took (his opponent) down twice and turned him twice and then he pinned him.

"He and Stencel responded really well. Both of those guys being good on top, that really helped them."

The Chippewas then got decision victories from Brock Bergelin (133), Dresden Simon (141), Corbyn Munson (149) and Logan Parks (157) to close the dual and win going away.

Simon, who is ranked 23rd, posted a 14-5 major-decision win, his second major win of the weekend. On Friday, he scored an 18-5 win over 12th-ranked Kyle Shoop of Lock Haven. Simon is 12-4 on the season; five of his victories have come by major decision.

Simon had lost his previous two matches before the weekend, 11-5 to third-ranked Nick Lee of Penn State, and 11-8 to Michigan's Cole Mattin. Simon led early in the match with Mattin.

"He had two big majors and the one on Friday night was really big," Borrelli said of Simon. "He's made some changes since that disappointment at Michigan. I think he decided he wants to wrestle for seven minutes and not worry about winning and losing and if you get that mindset you're dangerous."

Munson, a redshirt freshman, won his match with graduate student Gino Fluri, scoring a takedown as time expired, while Bergelin overcame a 2-0 deficit to score eight unanswered points.

Munson, Parks, Hildebrandt, Stencel and Hubbard along with Simon went 2-0 on the weekend. They scored bonus points in six of their combined 12 victories in the two duals.

The Chippewas go to the Midlands Championships in Hoffman Estates, Ill. on Sunday and Monday, Dec. 29-30.

Results:
125: Drew Hildebrandt (C) pinned Jonathan Tropea, 6:35
133: Brock Bergelin (C) dec. Chris Wright, 8-2
141: Dresden Simon (C) major dec. Robert Cleary, 14-5
149: Corbyn Munson (C) dec. Gino Fluri, 3-1
157: Logan Parks (C) dec. Gary Dinmore, 6-3
165: Tracy Hubbard (C) dec. Georgio Poullas, 3-2
174: Dean Sherry (R) dec. Jake Lowell, 8-3
184: George Walton (R) major dec. Ben Cushman, 20-7
197: Ethan Laird (R) dec. Landon Pelham, 3-2
285: Matt Stencel (C) pinned Ryan Cloud, 2:14

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