ELMHURST, Ill. — Trailing 11-7, Elmhurst won the final five matches, including four by pinfall to upend North Central (Ill.) 34-11.
The Bluejays upped their dual meet record to 10-2 while North Central fell to 5-9. Elmhurst finished the CCIW portion of its schedule with a 3-0 record.
The Cardinals opened up an 11-7 lead by winning three of the first five matches before the Bluejays got rolling in the last five matches.
North Central’s Nathan Fitzenreider, ranked number one in the NWCA poll, opened with a 9-0 major decision against Elmhurst’s Mark Johnson at 125 pounds. The Cardinals’ lead didn’t last long, as the Bluejays’ Dalton Bullard scored a 10-2 major decision against Brayan Gonzalez at 133 pounds.
The Cardinals grabbed an 8-4 lead after fifth-ranked Andrew Zobac defeated the Bluejays’ Jake Denhof by a 17-7 major decision. The Bluejays pulled to within one point after Ryan Earley upended Eric Oyster 10-5 at 149 pounds. North Central pushed its lead up to four points (11-7) after Joby Bodi downed Tom Jung 11-6 at 157 pounds.
The turning point of the dual came at 165 pounds. North Central’s Devin Milheim was leading the Bluejays’ Mike Ryan 11-1 late in the first period when Ryan scored a reversal and pinned the Cardinals’ wrestler with 20 seconds left in the period. Ryan’s victory gave the Bluejays a 13-11 lead in the dual.
Elmhurst’s Danny Balderas edged Andrew Bradley 7-5 at 174 pounds to give Elmhurst a 16-11 advantage. At 184 pounds, the Bluejays’ Joe Rau, ranked third in the nation, needed only 1:47 to pin Andrew Hiller and give Elmhurst a 22-11 cushion.
Danny Vargas pinned the Cardinals’ Dylan Mahler in 2:02 at 197 pounds and Brian Brooks followed by pinning NCC’s Chris James in 1:39 at 285 pounds.