Wrestling to start MAC duals at home versus Buffalo


Freshman Shane Mast practices during the third annual outdoor Kent State Wrestling practice in Risman Plaza. Oct. 12, 2015.

Dan Armelli

After traveling as far east as Maryland and as far west as Las Vegas, the Kent State wrestling team will finally be able to stay home for a couple weeks as they prepare to start Mid-American Conference dual play.

As many wrestling teams do, the Flashes started the year on the road for the first month. Senior 133-pounder Mack McGuire is glad Kent State will be able to start its home stretch a little bit earlier than last year.

“We traveled more than I ever have (last year),” he said. “When you’re not going on a bus all the time, it makes a big difference. When you’re on the bus, it really kind of takes a toll; being on the bus for eight hours and having to get off and lose weight and then wrestle and go home. So it’ll be nice, especially because your family can come and see you wrestle.”

McGuire, who’s coming off a seventh-place finish at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational, said he’s just putting that performance behind him and focusing on the next task at hand.

“You don’t really look at how you do in one tournament to carry over to the next weekend,” McGuire said. “Anybody can beat anybody any weekend. You kind of take it how it is and go back in the (wrestling) room and start over.”

Head coach Jim Andrassy has said he thinks he has a good tournament team. However, with some questions at different weight classes, he hasn’t been sure how good of a dual meet team the Flashes have.

One of those weight divisions he included was at 174 pounds, which has been fifth-year senior Mike Vollant’s starting position this year.

After spending some time at 184 pounds last year, Vollant said he’s been working to solidify that spot.

“I’ve been going out there and working hard,” he said. “I keep getting good matches with a lot of the better guys in the country right now, the guys that I need to be competing with. I’m continuing to improve. 174 is definitely the better spot for me.”

Vollant, who went 2-2 at the Vegas Invitational, said being at home for the next couple weekends isn’t the only positive about the start of the MAC duals.

“Having the starting spot definitely makes you focus more on wrestling and making sure you’re coming in every day and working your hardest at practice to improve to help out your team as much as possible,” Vollant said.

Kent State has a big challenge in a couple weeks against three-time defending MAC champion Missouri. But this week the Flashes will take on Buffalo at 2 p.m. Sunday at the M.A.C. Center.

“It’s our opening dual,” Vollant said. “Coming out with a MAC win in our conference would be a really big deal to me to kind of set the standard for the rest of the year with all of the other MAC opponents coming up.”

Dan Armelli is a sports reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected]