MOUNT PLEASANT - Central Michigan's wrestling program makes its final appearance of the season at McGuirk Arena on Thursday night when the No. 25 Chippewas host Michigan State.
The nonconference dual begins at 7:30 p.m.
The Chippewas enter Thursday's dual meet 13-8 overall after dropping a pair of matches at the NWCA National Duals on Sunday. CMU's young squad, which can feature as many as seven freshmen or sophomores in the lineup, has dropped six of its last seven duals after starting the season 12-2. The Chippewas have split their four previous home matches this season, defeating Ohio and Northern Illinois in Mid-American Conference action and falling to No. 4 Minnesota and No. 14 Lehigh.
Michigan State enters the dual on a six-match losing streak. The Spartans are 3-10 overall, with wins over Lock Haven, Bucknell and Indiana. Anthony Jones is MSU's top individual. The two-time NCAA Championships qualifier is ranked No. 9 nationally at 157 pounds with an overall record of 18-6.
Senior Night at McGuirk Arena: CMU will recognize its two seniors—Chad Friend and Peter Sturgeon—prior to the start of Thursday's dual. Friend is a two-year starter for the Chippewas after transferring from Muskegon Community College, while Sturgeon is 25-10 in his first season as a Chippewa after transferring from UNC-Greensboro.
Follow the Action: Thursday's dual will be streamed live through the CMU Sports Zone. Subscription rates apply. Live scoring also will be available through trackwrestling.com, and match-by-match updates will be posted on the CMU Wrestling page on Facebook and on Twitter @CMUWrestling.
CMU Athletics Sponsoring Red Wings Tickets Giveaway: All fans in attendance at Thursday's dual meet against Michigan State will be eligible to win four lower-level seats to a Detroit Red Wings game at Joe Louis Arena. Fans will receive a raffle ticket upon entering McGuirk Arena, and the winner will be announced at the conclusion of the dual meet.
The Series: CMU has won 10 straight dual meets over the Spartans to tie the all-time series at 13-13. Last season, CMU won five bouts—getting bonus points from a Scotti Sentes pin at 133 pounds and a Scott Mattingly major decision at 141—to claim a 19-18 victory at Michigan State.
CMU vs. the State of Michigan: CMU has won 15 of its last 17 dual meets against in-state opponents. The Chippewas' lone losses during that stretch are a pair of defeats against Michigan during the past two seasons. CMU has won 21 straight duals over Eastern Michigan, 10 straight over Michigan State and had won three straight against Michigan prior to last season's loss.
The Lineups: Probable lineups for Thursday's dual (rankings by InterMat):
|Weight||Central Michigan||Michigan State|
|125||Joe Roth (So., 29-7)||Eric Olanowski (Sr., 8-8) OR Brenan Lyon (So., 12-11)|
|133||Zach Horan (Fr., 12-9) OR Tyler Keselring (R-Fr., 12-9)||Brandon Fifield (Fr., 12-15) OR Terry Turner (Fr., 9-6)|
|141||Scott Mattingly (So., 11-18)||Brian Gibbs (Fr., 16-16)|
|149||Joey Kielbasa (Fr., 18-15)||Dan Osterman (Jr., 22-13)|
|157||Donnie Corby (Jr., 12-7)||No. 9 Anthony Jones (Sr., 18-6)|
|165||Mike Ottinger (Fr., 17-8)||David Cheza (Sr., 14-7)|
|174||Anthony Bill (R-Fr., 7-11)||No. 18 Curran Jacobs (Sr., 21-8)|
|184||Ben Bennett (Jr., 26-3) or Craig Kelliher (So., 2-3)||Ian Hinton (Sr., 18-9)|
|197||Chad Friend (Sr., 9-20)||Nick McDiarmid (R-Fr., 19-12)|
|285||Peter Sturgeon (Sr., 25-10)||Mike McClure (So., 16-9) OR Steve Andrus (Jr., 20-11)
NCAA Releases Second Coaches' Panel Rankings: The NCAA released the second of three coaches’ panel rankings and the first Rating Percentage Index (RPI) for the 2011-12 wrestling season last week. The final rankings and RPI will be two of the tools used as part of the selection process to determine the qualifiers for the 2012 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships. To be eligible for an RPI ranking, a wrestler must have a minimum of 17 Division I matches at a given weight class.
Five Chippewas were listed in the rankings:
Joe Roth, 125 Pounds: No. 15 Coaches' Rankings / No. 7 RPI
Donnie Corby, 149 Pounds: No. 24 Coaches' Rankings / NR RPI
Mike Ottinger, 165 Pounds: No. 24 Coaches' Rankings / No. 27 RPI
Ben Bennett, 184 Pounds: No. 5 Coaches' Rankings / No. 7 RPI
Peter Sturgeon, 285 Pounds: No. 17 Coaches' Rankings / No. 14 RPI
Coming Up: The Chippewas close the dual meet season with a neutral site dual meet against Purdue at Oregon Clay High School in Ohio on Sunday at 2 p.m.