With losses accumulating rather quickly for the wrestling team, the squad needed something good to turn the tide in its favor. That something came in the form of Wednesday night's dual meet.
The Bulls (8-7, 1-2 Mid-American Conference) topped the Eastern Michigan Eagles (11-8, 0-2 MAC) 20-12 in Alumni Arena. The meet marks the Bulls' first conference win of the season after dropping their first two meets.
"It's always good to get a MAC dual because it is an extremely tough conference," said assistant coach Frank Beasley. "I thought that it was closer than it should have been. We were in a position, if everybody wrestled well, to shut them out."
The Bulls were in top form going into the contest. After dropping the first match of the afternoon, the team won five in a row to take a commanding lead over the Eagles.
Junior Kevin Smith earned the Bulls' first victory of the day with his 10-5 win over Filiberto Colon in the 133-pound weight class. The victory made Smith the team leader in wins, as he is the first Bull to reach 30 wins on the year.
The most dominating performance of the night came from junior John-Martin Cannon in his 165-pound bout with Nicholas Hendrick. Cannon crushed Hendrick 18-8. Hendrick never had the upper hand in the contest as all of his points were awarded for escapes.
Beasley has been looking for more out of his junior and finally saw it in this match.
"Cannon has not been wrestling his best in the last few weeks or so," Beasley said. "He can be an All-American if he wrestled like he did that night. He really allowed himself to go out there and wrestle and stop thinking so much. When he opens up, he's as good as anyone in the country."
Junior Desi Green continued his destructive run through MAC opponents with his 5-3 defeat of Corey Phillips in the 149-pound class. The victory brings Green's career win total to 96. He is undefeated this season against conference opponents and is 9-1 against the MAC in his career.
Senior Jimmy Hamel earned his 116th career win against Khodar Hoballah with a 9-2 decision in the 184-pound match. Sophomores Chris Conti and Mark Lewandowski rounded out the Bulls victories by taking their duals in the 141 and 157-pound classes.
The Bulls will look to take this momentum on the road, as they travel to Central Michigan (5-8, 1-1 MAC). The Chippewas were upset by Ohio in their last meet but in the most recent national rankings, CMU was ranked number 12 in the country.
Central Michigan is always the top squad in the conference. A victory over the Chippewas would be a major accomplishment for the Bulls.
The meet is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. at the Rose Center in Mount Pleasant, Mich.