Despite positive showings, wrestling falls in three weekend matches


Kent State wrestler Anthony Tutolo grapples with Arizona State’s Ali Naser during the NCAA Wrestling Championships at Quicken Loans Arena on March 15, 2018. 

Ian Kreider

The Kent State wrestling team (3-4) had a day of mixed feelings.

Senior Kyle Conel wrestled in only one match with his injured shoulder, winning 9-8 against CSU Bakersfield’s Mark Penyacsek.

“At some point Kyle just has to work through the injury bug and go out and wrestle,” coach Jim Andrassy said. “He can’t just do what he’s doing and expect to beat guys. He has to just go out and wrestle and work through the pain, which he will.”

The injury seems like it may be something that extends throughout the season.

“What he has is going to bother him for the rest of the year,” Andrassy said. “His body needs to get used to it a little more, and he needs to embrace it.”

The Flashes had some positive takeaways from the day as well. Sophomore 184-pounder Andrew McNally finished the day 2-1, including a late pin against No. 18 Wisconsin’s Mason Rinehart. Mcnally’s first loss of the season came against No. 3 Iowa’s Cash Wilcke 18-7.

“He’s off to a good start,” Andrassy said of McNally’s performance. “He fought hard against (Wilcke), but that’s a match that he needs to win to keep improving.”

Junior Tim Rooney also had an impressive showing, although finishing the day 1-2. His lone win came against Wisconsin’s Michael Cullen, 9-1. He held his own against Iowa’s Austin Desanto in a tough fought match. Desanto ultimately grabbed the win 8-7.

“His first match was against a guy that I think is ranked 12th or 13th (in the nation) that he wrestled,” Andrassy said. “Our guys just need to get in better shape, and be a little bit more aggressive, be a little bit more physical like Iowa.”

The Flashes ultimately lost all three matches, 17-16 in their first effort against CSU Bakersfield, 37-13 against Wisconsin and 45-0 against the Hawkeyes.

Kent State will continue its season at No.1 Penn State on Sunday at 2 p.m.

Ian Kreider is the sports editor. Contact him at [email protected]