Wrestling rolls in Ohio Duals

Dan Armelli

The Kent State wrestling team handled every team (and club) in its path Saturday at the Ohio Duals. 

“I think if everything’s going well individually, a win will take care of itself,” said coach Matt Hill. 

This rang true for the Flashes on Saturday, as eight of their ten wrestlers went undefeated, leading to three teams wins.  

The Flashes started with an exhibition dual against the University of Akron’s five-man club team. All five matches ended in pins for Kent State, four of them in the first minute of the match. 

Kent State moved onto the semifinals against 11th ranked Division-II Tiffin University, where the Flashes won 38-3. 

Lake Erie College, ranked eighth in Division-II, was able to give Kent State its best test of the day, winning two matches and losing four without major decision, tech fall, or pin. The Flashes won 36-9.

Including their bouts against Akron, five Flashes went 3-0 on the day: senior 133-pounder Mack McGuire, fifth-year senior 157-pounder Ian Miller, fifth-year senior 165-pounder Tyler Buckwalter, fifth-year senior 174-pounder Mike Vollant, and fifth-year senior 184-pounder Cole Baxter. 

Miller, who finished fifth at the NCAA Championships last year, said he just wanted to get off the mat as fast as he could. 

“The longer I’m on the mat, the more chances I have of getting an injury,” he said. “I just wanted to wrestle, take them down, pin them and get off the mat.”

Miller and McGuire never needed the full three periods in any of their matches, combining for four pins and two technical falls.

McGuire, a three-time NCAA qualifier, said he still didn’t overlook anyone, even though the Flashes didn’t go head-to-head with any Division-I schools. 

“Just because they’re not D-I kids doesn’t mean they’re not good kids,” he said. “They’re still going to put everything out there. You can’t let up on anybody.”

Hill said he wanted his guys to take every match as if it were the first round of the NCAA tournament.

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