Wrestling team gets first victory of the season
Bulls pull through to defeat Eastern Michigan
Senior John Martin-Cannon (above) defeated Jacob Davis of Eastern Michigan 17-5 in a major decision as he returned to the Bulls starting lineup this past Friday night to help lead them to their first MAC victory of the season. Nick Fischetti /// The Spectrum
The clock counted down to the final seconds of the third period as sophomore Justin Heiserman and his opponent stood at a standstill. The buzzer sounded. Heiserman was victorious, having won a 3-1 decision.
The Bulls (1-7, 1-1 Mid-American Conference) had won their first dual meet of the season over MAC rival Eastern Michigan (6-10, 0-2 MAC) at Alumni Arena on Friday night.
Buffalo took an early 16-6 lead against Eastern Michigan. After two straight major-decision losses, it came down to the final match between Heiserman and the Eagles' Khodor Hoballah.
After losing the last two match-deciding events, Heiserman was put in another familiar situation - to fend off the opposition to seal the win.
"[Head coach Jim Beichner] told me to do my ride on top," Heiserman said. "Put him to the mat, try and turn him. If not, try and ride him out for the whole two minutes."
Heiserman pulled through and led his team to a 19-14 victory and its first conference win of the season.
The Bulls had high hopes coming into the season, aiming to rebound from a seven-win season and bringing in four wrestlers who were ranked in the preseason. But the team's starting lineup has been decimated by injuries.
Dominant senior 174-pounder John Martin-Cannon was back in the lineup after missing the Virginia Duals, where the Bulls were swept. Cannon delivered with a major decision in a 17-5 win over Jacob Davis.
"At the beginning of the year, we expected to be making a run for a top-20 spot, so we're really disappointed this year in the results so far, but it hasn't been as much our guys' fault as it has been just bad injuries," Beichner said. "So it's not an indicator of our guys and their ability and all that kind of stuff. It's really just been an unfortunate season full of lots of injuries." Cannon earned seven takedowns throughout the match, moving him into fifth all-time in Bulls' history in that category.
Senior Mark Lewandowski, who recently became a member of UB's 100-win club, was able to earn a 10-3 victory in the 165-pound weight class.
"We had a really good week of practice," Heiserman said. "Everybody bought in and went as hard as they could. That's all we need to do from here on out."
This was the first of four straight conference meets for the Bulls, who will wrestle at Ohio (3-3, 2-2 MAC) next and come back for a two straight home meets against Kent State (6-3, 2-0 MAC) and Northern Illinois (7-5, 0-3 MAC).
Beichner would like to see his team healthy the rest of the way.
"I would like to see 10 starters in the lineup," Beichner said. "If you put 10 starters in the lineup, this would be a whole different season."
The Bulls' next match at Ohio is slated for Jan. 26at 7 p.m.
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