Senior day at UB was spoiled by a nationally ranked Central Michigan squad as UB said goodbye to six seniors. The lineup was without several usual starters due to injury and the need to give the banged up wrestlers a break and the Chippewas, with five nationally ranked grapplers took advantage and earned a 3x-x win over the Bulls.
Justin Patrick, wrestling in place of the injured Kyle Akins, started things off strong against former national qualifier Brent Fleetwood. Patrick got an ankle pick shortly after the starting whistle and rode Fleetwood hard to a 2-1 first period. Patrick followed up with another takedown in the 2nd and took a 4-2 lead heading into the 3rd. Fleetwood earned an escape early and scored a takedown and rode out Patrick to earn a narrow 5-4 decision.
Things didn’t get any easier at 133 pounds as Blake Retell, replacing nationally ranked Bryan Lantry. Corey Keener pinned Retell halfway through the 3rd period and gave the Chippewas a commanding 9-0 lead after two bouts. Jason Estevez battled Mason Smith hard and was down only 3-0 in the final stanza, however, Smith earned a late takedown and 4 back points to earn the major decision victory.
Top-10 ranked Justin Oliver of Central Michigan spoiled Colt Cotten’s final match in Alumni Arena with Oliver earning a dominant 19-5 major decision. Central Michigan’s second top-10 ranked grappler earned a 20-4 technical fall victory over true freshman Kobe Garrehy and put the match out of UB’s reach at the halfway point with a 22-0 lead.
Tyler Rill would break the shutout earning a spectacular 8-7 decision over Logan Parks. Down 7-6 with less than 20 seconds to go Rill dove in for an ankle pick and earned the takedown to seal the narrow victory.
Muhamed McBryde, wrestling in his final match at Alumni Arena gave #20 CJ Brucki all he could handle but ultimately fell to the nationally ranked grappler. McBryde earned two takedowns in the first period but was unable to escape from the bottom position in both the 2nd and 3rd periods giving Brucki the 7-4 decision.
Then, #16 ranked Jordan Ellingwood earned a major decision victory over Brett Perry and 184 pounds putting the CMU lead to 29-3 heading into the final two bouts.
#20 James Benjamin fought hard against #14 ranked Austin Severn but couldn’t earn a takedown in the final period to earn the victory. The loss was only his 3rd on the entire season.
Jake Gunning did all of the work through two overtimes against Newton Smercheck but was ultimately undone by 2 escapes that gave Smercheck the victory. Gunning was aggressive on is feet and had several deep shots but Smercheck countered and forced overtime.
The loss is a black eye to be sure, but Central Michigan is the second best team in the MAC behind Missouri and UB was without Kyle Akins, Bryan Lantry and Alex Smythe in the lineup.
The Bulls fall to 9-5 on the season and will be on a roadtrip next weekend to close out their MAC schedule at Northern Iowa and Northern Illinois.
This was the final match at Alumni Arena for seniors Ryan Therrien, Mike Silvis, Muhamed McBryde, Tyler Rill, Colt Cotten and James Benjamin. Congratulations to all of the seniors on outstanding careers, we wish you all the best the rest of this season and after graduation!
Buffalo 3, Central Michigan 35
125: Brent Fleetwood (CMU) dec. Justin Patrick (UB), 5-4
133: Corey Keener (CMU) pinned Blake Retell (UB)
141: Mason Smith (CMU) maj. dec. Jason Estevez (UB), 10-0
149: #8 Justin Oliver (CMU) maj. dec. Colt Cotten (UB), 19-5
157: #7 Colin Heffernan (CMU) tech. fall Kobe Garrehy (UB), 20-4
165: Tyler Rill (UB) dec. Logan Parks (CMU), 8-7
174: #20 CJ Brucki (CMU) dec. Muhamed McBryde (UB), 7-4
184: #16 Jordan Ellingwood (CMU) maj. dec. Brett Perry (UB), 16-3
197: #15 Austin Severn (CMU) dec. #20 James Benjamin (UB), 4-3
285: Newton Smercheck (CMU) TB-2 Jake Gunning (UB), 2-1