It’s the holiday season, and what better present could the MAC conference give us then new rankings? The Panthers find themselves tied for fourth place in the conference, once again with Old Dominion, while adding a new face to ranks.
UNI continues to be led by Dylan Peters and Blaize Cabell, both of whom claimed the top spot at 125 and 285 pounds. Peters defeated the number two wrestler in the poll, Missouri’s Barlow McGhee, 7-5 in a dual between the two teams. Cabell has yet to wrestle anybody from the MAC in the top 4. Both men are coming off disappointing results from the Cliff Keen Invite, where Peters injury defaulted out, and Cabell did not place, losing his last match by pinfall.
The Panthers other number one wrestler fell to the new number one. Cooper Moore dropped a 8-2 decision to Missouri’s Daniel Lewis, after Moore beat Lewis’ teammate Nick DeLoach a few weeks ago. Moore dropped to number two in the poll after the loss.
At 133 pounds Josh Alber makes his debut in the rankings, securing the fourth spot after a fifth place finish in Las Vegas. Alber defeated #12 Josh Martinez of Air Force along the way to fifth, and has gone 12-4 so far in this young season.
157 saw a new face as well for the Panthers, with Bryce Steiert breaking through for the first time. Steiert has had a really nice start to his UNI career, going just 9-5, but securing a pinfall win over Missouri’s Luke Fortuna in their dual meet matchup, and then nabbing 6th at the Cliff Keen after medically defaulting. Steiert also took out two top-ranked wrestlers in Vegas.
You’ll see UNI wrestle again at the UNI Open, Saturday starting at 9 AM in the UNI-Dome, followed by an appearance at The Midlands later this month. Fans are encouraged to bring toy donations for the Toys for Tots Program Saturday. The complete December MAC poll can be found below.
2015-16 MAC December Weight Class Rankings:
125 – 1. Dylan Peters (Northern Iowa, Junior); 2. Barlow McGhee (Missouri, Sophomore); 3. Brent Fleetwood (Central Michigan, Sophomore); 4. Brandon Jeske (Old Dominion, Junior).
133 – 1. Zach Synon (Missouri, Junior); 2. Mack McGuire (Kent State, Senior); 3. Corey Keener (Central Michigan, Junior); 4. Josh Alber (Northern Iowa, Redshirt Freshman).
141 – 1. Chris Mecate (Old Dominion, Senior); 2. Zach Horan (Central Michigan, Senior); 3. Matt Manley (Missouri, Junior); 4. Steve Bleise (Northern Illinois, Redshirt Freshman).
149 – 1. Alexander Richardson (Old Dominion, Senior); 2. Lavion Mayes (Missouri, Junior); 3. Mike DePalma (Kent State, Senior); 4. Colin Heffernan (Central Michigan, Sophomore).
157 – 1. Ian Miller (Kent State, Senior); 2. Lucas Smith (Central Michigan, Senior); 3. Spartak Chino (Ohio, Senior); 4. Bryce Steiert (Northern Iowa, Freshman).
165 – 1. Daniel Lewis (Missouri, Redshirt Freshman); 2. Cooper Moore (Northern Iowa, Junior); 3. Shaun’Qae McMurtry (Northern Illinois, Junior); 4. Austin Reese (Ohio, Redshirt Freshman).
174 – 1. Cody Walters (Ohio, Senior); 2. Blaise Butler (Missouri, Senior); 3. Mike Ottinger (Central Michigan, Senior); 4. Jacob Davis (Eastern Michigan, Junior).
184 – 1. Jack Dechow (Old Dominion, Junior); 2. Willie Miklus (Missouri, Sophomore); 3. Austin Severn (Central Michigan, Junior); 4. Andrew Romanchik (Ohio, Senior).
197 – 1. J’Den Cox (Missouri, Junior); 2. Phil Wellington (Ohio, Senior); 3. Anthony Abro (Eastern Michigan, Senior); 4. Shawn Scott (Northern Illinois, Junior).
285 – 1. Blaize Cabell (Northern Iowa, Senior); 2. Jesse Webb (Ohio, Sophomore); 3. Jake Gunning (Buffalo, Redshirt Freshman); 4. Newton Smerchek (Central Michigan, Sophomore).
2015-16 MAC December Rankings
1. Missouri (26.0)
2. Central Michigan (16.0)
3. Ohio (14.0)
t-4. Northern Iowa (13.0)
t-4. Old Dominion (13.0)
6. Kent State (9.0)
7. Northern Illinois (4.0)
8. Eastern Michigan (3.0)
9. Buffalo (2.0)