ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) -- The Michigan wrestling team tested Minnesota Friday night, giving the Wolverines hope they can get to the level of the top-ranked Gophers.
The Gophers slipped by the Wolverines in the lower weights, which was enough for No. 1 Minnesota to beat No. 6 Michigan, 22-10, in the conference dual meet opener for both teams.
Minnesota has won seven straight against the Wolverines (9-3, 0-1). The Gophers trounced Michigan last week, 26-6, at the National Duals in Columbus.
Michigan coach Joe McFarland said Friday night's close loss brings the "almost there" Michigan "a little closer" to the best team in the country.
"We're a lot closer than last week," said McFarland, who has an 0-4 record against the Gophers.
But Minnesota coach J. Robinson said he's not concerned that his team wasn't at its best.
"We didn't want to get up (with Iowa next)," Robinson said. "We didn't want to put a lot of emphasis on (tonight)."
Minnesota faces archrival Iowa next Friday.
Michigan beat Iowa at the National Duals last week. Despite Minnesota (12-0, 1-0 Big Ten) letting down a bit, the Gophers' now have won a school-record 26 consecutive dual meets dating back to last season.
Michigan hadn't lost a home dual meet in two years. Its last loss was to the Gophers on Feb. 11, 2000.
Michigan fell behind 16-0 after the lower weights, but gave up just one major decision. Four of Minnesota's first five wrestlers rank in the top three. None of Michigan's first five rank higher than fifth.
Minnesota took a 3-0 lead at 125 pounds. Second-ranked Leroy Vega continued his dominance over Michigan's eighth-ranked A.J. Grant, beating him for the seventh straight time with a 5-3 victory.
Michigan's Foley Dowd almost upset top-ranked Ryan Lewis at 133 pounds.
Dowd had opportunities for two takedowns early. But he missed both, and Lewis won in overtime 5-3, increasing the Gophers' lead to 6-0 and his record on the year to a perfect 18-0.
Michigan had trouble finishing its takedowns and often tired out in the third period.
"We need to get in better shape at some weights," McFarland said.
Minnesota led 16-0 after five matches. The teams took a break, and Michigan roared back in the second half of the meet.
Michigan's Charles Martelli (165), Otto Olson (174) and Andy Hrovat (184) won consecutive matches for Michigan. Olson (25-0 this season) won for the 27th straight time.
NOTES: The Wolverines broke a wrestling attendance record with a crowd of 3,292, breaking the old mark of 2,237 against Michigan State two years ago. ... The match was the first Michigan match broadcast live over the Internet on pay-per-view site www.livesports.com.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.