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Central Michigan rolls in season opener

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. -- Central Michigan won all 10 matches and scored bonus points in six of them on Sunday in topping Olivet, 44-0, in a nonconference dual wrestling meet at McGuirk Arena.

It was the season opener for the Chippewas, who are ranked 21st nationally by the National Wrestling Coaches Association.

CMU coach Tom Borrelli mixed in several young faces with his veterans against the Division III Comets, who were also wrestling their season opener.

The Chippewas got pin victories from Mason Breece (157 pounds), Landon Pelham (197) and Matt Stencel (285), technical-fall wins from Drew Hildebrandt (125) and Alex Cramer (165), and a major decision from Drew Marten (133).

Hildebrandt is ranked seventh nationally, Stencel is fourth, and Marten is 19th. Dresden Simon (141), CMU's other ranked wrestler, did not wrestle against the Comets.

It was Cramer's first match as a Chippewa after transferring from Old Dominion.

The Chippewas got decision victories from Drew Marten (133), Hunter Watts (141), Corbyn Munson (149), Jake Lowell (174) and Sage Castillo (184). It was the first career dual-meet victories for Watts, a redshirt freshman, and for Castillo, a senior.

"I think the important thing for our guys is getting into a routine, making weight for the first time, having to wrestle a different, not someone that you practice with on the mat," Borrelli said. "Also seeing how your body feels after making weight, making sure you make adjustments from week to week if you don't feel quite like you should. Those things are real important."

Munson's 10-8 win at 149 was the most-competitive match of the dual. Munson, a redshirt sophomore, built an early 7-0 lead and appeared well in control before Olivet's Hunter Murphy rallied. Munson suffered an injury in the match and fell behind, 8-7, before staging a late comeback to secure the win.

"I think any time you have to overcome adversity it's good for you," Borrelli said. "I think you gain confidence from that because you're in a tough situation and you figure out how to be successful. He was up 7-0 and then put himself in a bad situation and had to take injury time. He figured out how to win. Those are good things for us. Sometimes you're looking for those types of matches and to see how people respond and that's good for him."

The Chippewas go to Missouri on Friday, Jan. 8, for a tri-meet with Mid-American Conference rival Missouri and non-league foe Wyoming. The Tigers, the perennial MAC champions, are ranked 10th, while the Cowboys are 24th.

"We're really excited for that dual," Pelham said. "We try to approach every single week the exact same way … but it's one we've had on the calendar for a long time and we feel pretty confident in our abilities and in our lineup that we're going to go out there and make some noise and take care of business.

"We've got to have a good week of training, everyone's got to take care of their weight, take care of their bodies and get ready to wrestle."

Said Borrelli: "We know they're the team to beat in our league, so we know we're going to need a really good performance and we think we're capable of it. That's why you do this; you do this to compete against the best people and that's what we want."

Results:
125 pounds: Drew Hildebrandt (C) tech. fall Cameron Mahlich, 18-2, 5:53
133: Drew Marten (C) major dec. Reese Wallis, 8-0
141: Hunter Watts (C) dec. Dylan Phelps, 10-5
149: Corbyn Munson (C) dec. Hunter Murphy, 10-8
157: Mason Breece (C) pinned Gabe Guerrero, 1:29
165: Alex Cramer (C) tech. fall Jerry Hall, 16-0, 6:04
174: Jake Lowell (C) dec. Owen Guildford, 12-10
184: Sage Castillo (C) dec. Adam Hall, 5-0
197: Landon Pelham (C) pinned Devlen Kuschel, 2:12
285: Matt Stencel (C) pinned Donovan King, 1:05

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