EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State wrestling team lost to No. 16 Wisconsin 27-9 Sunday at Jenison Field House in the final dual of the season. The Spartans notched three consecutive victories in the middle of the dual as No. 20 Dan Osterman (149), Sean McMurray (157), and Nick Kaczanowski (165) all received decisions in their respective weight classes.
"I thought we battled hard, but Wisconsin is pretty strong where we're pretty strong," said Spartan head coach Tom Minkel. "We have been facing some pretty stiff competition week after week after week. We've got some kids who are developing into some pretty fine wrestlers, but they're challenged (every week), as they were today. Our attitude is good, and we're just trying to learn from these challenges. I think ultimately we're going to be a pretty strong team, but we just have to understand that sometimes the road can be a little bit challenging."
The 125-pound match between Eric Olanowski of MSU and Tom Kelliher of the Badgers (11-6-1, 2-4-1 Big Ten) kicked off the dual. The third period proved to be the difference, as Kelliher recorded three near fall points and added 2:15 of ride time to record the 8-4 decision.
The Spartans (9-9, 1-8) dropped the next two contests. No. 3 Tyler Graff earned a technical fall over Chris Lyon, 22-7 at 133 pounds, while Shane McQuade pinned Levi Stace of Michigan State in the 141-pound match-up in 1:21.
Michigan State got a boost in the 149-pound contest in a close match between two ranked wrestlers. No. 20 Dan Osterman and No. 10 Cole Schmitt were tied at four heading into the third period. Osterman recorded a takedown with just 10 seconds remaining in the match, earning him the 7-4 decision, after 1:11 of riding time was added.
"I pushed the pace and got to my attacks, I felt like that was kind of the key," Olanowski said. "It came down to will power and pushing through the adversity."
"Danny is a resilient kid," said Minkel, as Osterman bounced back from a loss on Friday to post a win over a ranked wrester on Sunday. "We talked a lot on Saturday about the changes he needed to make for today. He's still figuring things out, but (today) is a kind of match we like to see from him."
In the 157-pound match Sean McMurray produced a shutout victory over Shawn Perry of Wisconsin. McMurray had an early takedown in the first and built riding time, and after no scoring in the second period, he managed an escape in the third. He accumulated a total of 1:09 of ride time, accounting for the 4-0 shutout.
"It felt really good to close out the regular season with a W and a shutout," McMurray said. "Right now we just need to get rested up, stay strong, stay focused, and have a good Big Ten Tournament."
"What I love about Sean is that he's so competitive," said Minkel. "It doesn't matter who he's wrestling, he loves the challenge. He's going to be a heck of a Spartan."
Nick Kaczanowski of MSU defeated Ben Cox from Wisconsin in the match-up at 165-pounds. Kaczanowski was aggressive offensively, recording two takedowns and a reversal in the course of the match. After 4:28 of riding time was added Kaczanowski had a 7-1 decision. It was his first career Big Ten dual victory, and the win closed the lead to 14-9 in favor of the Badgers.
No. 14 Ben Jordan defeated Curran Jacobs, 8-6, in the 174-pound match. The score was tied with 1:17 remaining after Jacobs was able to escape from Jordan, but a late takedown by Jordan with just 38 seconds remaining was the difference.
The Badgers won both the 184 and 197-pound matches. No. 3 Travis Rutt recorded a 5-1 decision over Ian Hinton at 184-pounds, then at 197 pounds, No. 2 Trevor Brandvold earned a major decision in his 8-0 win over Tyler Dickenson.
In the heavyweight match, No. 10 Eric Bugenhagen defeated Joe Rizqallah, 9-4. Wisconsin won the final four matches bringing the final score to 27-9.
Prior to the dual, the Spartans recognized seniors Ben Boudro and Joel Trombly for Senior Day. Both Boudro (165) and Tromby (141) started a majority of the season for the Spartans but their careers ended short due to suffering injuries this season.
"Our primary goal now will be to get physically refreshed," Minkel said of the upcoming Big Ten Championships on March 5-6. "We need to get away from it a little bit, so we can come back to the Big Tens really enthusiastic and fresh and give a great effort."
No. 16 Wisconsin 27, Michigan State 9
125: Tom Kelliher (UW) dec. Eric Olanowski (MSU), 8-4; UW leads 3-0
133: No. 3 Tyler Graff (UW) tech. fall Chris Lyon (MSU), 22-7; UW leads 8-0
141: Shane McQuade (UW) pinned Levi Stace (MSU), 1:21; UW leads 14-0
149: No. 20 Dan Osterman (MSU) dec. No. 10 Cole Schmitt (UW), 7-4; UW leads 14-3
157:Sean McMurray (MSU) dec. Shawn Perry (UW), 4-0; UW leads 14-6
165:Nick Kaczanowski (MSU) dec. Ben Cox (UW), 7-1; UW leads 14-9
174: No. 14 Ben Jordan (UW) dec. Curran Jacobs (MSU), 8-6; UW leads 17-9
184: No. 3 Travis Rutt (UW) dec. Ian Hinton (MSU), 5-1; UW leads 20-9
197: No. 2 Trevor Brandvold (UW) maj. dec. Tyler Dickenson (MSU), 8-0; UW leads 24-9
HWT: No. 10 Eric Bugenhagen (UW) dec. Joe Rizqallah (MSU), 9-4; UW wins 27-9