Flashes Struggle in MAC Dual Meets


Kent State sophomore Isaac Bast fights against Northern Illinois sophomore Bryce Steiert at the M.A.C. Center on Jan. 29, 2017. Kent State lost 16-31.

Samantha Ross

This weekend proved to tough for the Kent State Wrestling team (2-11, 0-5 Mid-American Conference), as they fell to both Northern Illinois and Northern Iowa.

“I thought that as a group we did better (against Northern Illinois), but there’s still so  for our team and so much more that we need to do not on a regular everyday basis,” said head coach Jim Andrassy. “We have to make wrestling a lifestyle and not all our kids are doing that,” he said.

Northern Illinois 30 Kent State 12

Kent State opened their weekend with a 12-30 loss to Northern Illinois (6-5, 2-3 MAC). The Huskies dominated in the wire to wire meet, securing wins in all but three of the matches.

Junior 141-pounder Chance Driscoll snuck past the Huskies Anthony Rubino by a 3-0 score for the Flashes first win, but they wouldn’t taste victory again until the 184-pound weight class when junior Jerald Spohn claimed a victory via pin. Spohn pinned Northern Illinois’ Bryce Gorman four minutes into the second period of their match to add six points onto the Flashes score.

The Flashes final win came in the 285-pound weight class when sophomore Devin Nye dominated in his match against Northern Illinois’ Caleb Gossett, winning 5-1.

Northern Iowa 31 Kent State 16

Driscoll opened up the scoring Sunday for Kent State by defeating Northern Iowa’s Tyler Willers. Driscoll got off to a hot start against Willers and found himself up 2-0 after a first period takedown. Driscoll didn’t slow up the rest of the match and eventually won 5-2.

“During situations when you’re put on your back, you have to fight harder,” said Andrassy. “You have to give more effort in situations when you’re getting ready to go to your back and when you’re on your back and you can’t give up pins at this level. It’s the bottom line.”

Sophomore Casey Sparkman, a 157-pounder, took down Northern Iowa’s Paden Moore in the waning seconds of the first period. Sparkman added an escape and a takedown over the next two periods and won by a final score of 7-3.

Junior Stephen Suglio and Northern Iowa’s Jacob Holschlag, scored no points in the first period. Suglio got a reversal and then a four-point tilt bringing the score to 6-1 after the second. Suglio did the same thing in the third period, winning his match 12-1 in the 197-pound weight class.

“I watched some film on the guy,” Suglio said. “I knew he was pretty good on top so I figured I could control the rest of the match and just be really solid on the mat. My go to move on top is the tilt. I went immediately to that and got the four points.”

The Flashes will host Oklahoma State Saturday at 2 p.m. in the M.A.C. Center.

Samantha Ross is a sports reporter, contact her at [email protected]