Two Friday matches to be test for Kent State wrestling


Tyler Small, Junior from Kent State, faces off with Zach Horan, sophomore from Central Michigan, during the match Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014.

Michael Mann

The Kent State wrestling team will face stiff competition at home this Friday against Missouri and Edinboro in the final meet of the regular season.

The Flashes, ranked 23rd in this week’s team rankings, will hope to improve a record evened to 11-11 last week in the National Wrestling Coaches Association Duals against two top 10 teams.

Caleb Marsh was a bright spot for the Flashes in the National Duals, earning Mid-American Conference Wrestler of the Week after an undefeated weekend. Marsh, a 174-pounder, beat ninth-ranked Michael Moreno of Iowa State 8-7 after three takedowns in the first two periods. Marsh also earned a major 12-1 decision against Ohio State’s Jacob Bresciani and a 9-6 decision against 25th-ranked Tony Dallago of Illinois.

The continued form of Marsh will be vital for the Flashes against eighth-ranked Edinboro and 10th-ranked Missouri.

The return of Ian Miller to the starting lineup this past weekend is also a piece that will help the Flashes when facing such tough opponents.

“With Missouri, it’s just finding a way to win,” Coach Jim Andrassy said. “If the guys that should win do win, and we maybe get an upset somewhere, I think we’ll be all right.”

Conference rival Missouri holds the top-ranked wrestler in the 149 class, junior Drake Houdashelt. The other nine spots in the Tigers’ lineup all sit within the top 30 in the nation, including No. 2 ranked J’Den Cox of the 197 weight class.

“As far as Edinboro, we don’t match up with them the best,” said Andrassy. “And that’s an out-of-conference match.  We’re just going to play it by ear, to be honest.”

The Fighting Scots have won five straight matches heading into Friday, including a critical victory against sixth-ranked Pittsburgh last week. Edinboro has only three recorded losses this year, with two of them coming in the opening week of the season.

The back-to-back matches will feature a spread of ranked wrestlers for the Flashes to face in addition to Missouri’s lineup. Edinboro’s roster contains eight top-30 wrestlers including top ranked 141-lb. class Mitchell Port and second-ranked A.J. Schopp of the 133-lb. class.

The Flashes faced Edinboro last year and came up short with a final score of 20-19 in favor of the Fighting Scots.

The Flashes will host the Missouri Tigers starting at 6:30 p.m., followed by a match against Edinboro slated for 8:05 p.m., both taking place in Kent State’s M.A.C. Center.

Contact Michael Mann at [email protected].