Kent State wrestling makes statement in 25-9 win

Tim Dorst

The Kent State wrestlers went into their meet Friday night as the first-place team in the Mid-American Conference, and they showed exactly why they belong there.

The Flashes won their first four matches en route to a 25-9 win over Buffalo. The win marks their ninth straight dual meet victory and eighth straight against the Bulls.

Junior Keith Witt put in an impressive performance, scoring a pin on Buffalo’s Justin Heiserman at 2:04 in the first period and earning six points for his team. In the match before, junior Casey Newburg scored five takedowns, three of them in the third period, on his way to an 11-3 major decision over Dom Montesonti.

The Flashes (11-4, 4-0 MAC) had a strong start, kicked off by Senior Nic Bedelyon’s 4-0 shutout over UB’s Max Soria. Junior Stevie Mitcheff continued his recent success with an 8-2 win over Taylor Golba. Mitcheff has now won his last five matches.

Sophomore Tyler Small pulled out a 4-3 victory over Buffalo’s Kevin Smith in a match that went down to the wire. With Smith leading 3-2 and time ticking down in the third period, Small made his move and took Smith down as time expired. After a discussion by the referees, Small was awarded a two-point takedown and the win.

Senior Marcel Clopton filled in for injured freshman Ian Miller and earned a 3-2 win over Blake Roulo. Coach Jim Andrassy said Miller has a concussion and will be out of Sunday’s meet against Eastern Michigan.

With Kent State up 12-0 after four matches, Buffalo started to battle back with three straight wins of their own. Junior Mallie Shuster and sophomore Brandon Johnson both fell with tough one-point losses, and senior Ross Tice suffered a 5-2 loss against UB’s Clay Reeb.

The Flashes pulled away in the final three matches. Along with Newburg’s major decision and Witt’s pin, Brendan Barlow looked solid in a 7-4 win over Jedd Mason.

Andrassy said the team could’ve done better and will have to do better in Sunday’s match.

“We need to wrestle better than we did tonight if we want to win that match, “Andrassy said. “We’ll get different competition on Sunday. They’re going to come at us more, and that’s what we like. It fits our style better. If they come at us a lot, it’ll improve our wrestling.”

Eastern Michigan (13-5, 2-1 MAC) is currently third in the MAC standings.