In the animal kingdom, an adult badger weighs around 18 pounds while an adult wolverine weighs 30 pounds. At first glance, the wolverine would be the obvious choice to triumph. However, at the UW Field House last Sunday, the wrestling team reversed this animal hierarchy.
No. 18 Wisconsin (3-5 Big Ten, 5-5 overall) beat No. 14 Michigan (4-5, 8-6) in a thriller, winning five individual matches and capturing the dual on a bonus point for a 19-18 victory.
Wisconsin started off strong with freshman Hunter Ritter’s 184-pound match. He recorded 10 points in the first period. Then senior Connor Medbery quickly dispatched of Wolverine Dan Perry in just 1:45 on the mat.
Flashbacks of the Cliff Keen Invite Title reappeared Sunday, when No. 3 Isaac Jordan went against No. 2 Logan Massa. Like his teammates, Jordan attacked early and recorded a down 10 seconds into the 165-pound matchup. Massa fought and clawed his way back, entering the final period with a 6-2 lead. The crowd was excited, but their enthusiasm wasn’t enough to propel Jordan over Massa, as the score ended in a 9-7 decision in one of the most exciting matches of the season.
Freshman Cole Martin rebounded after a scoreless first period and took a 3-1 lead in the 141-pound matchup. As the clock wound down, Martin recorded four near fall points against Sal Profaci to hold an 8-2 decision.
Another bright spot complementing Wisconsin’s win Sunday was junior Andrew Crone. His reversal near the end of the first period evened the score at 2-2. Awarded one penalty point in the second period, Crone had all the insurance he needed to record a 3-2 decision in favor of Wisconsin.
The men’s wrestling team was aggressive right out of the gate against Michigan.
“We looked a lot better than we did on Friday,” UW head coach Barry Davis said. “We had a lot more intensity, more urgency which is good to see.”
Indeed, if the Badgers hope to make noise in the upcoming Big Ten Championships, now would be an ideal time to gain momentum.
Otherwise, they may be the prey instead of the predator.