Kent State wrestlers confident heading into weekend tournament


Brendan Barlow pins Dakota Greenhaw in Friday’s match against Northern Illinois University. Barlow, junior exploratory major, won against Greenhaw 4-1. Photo by Valerie Brown.

Tim Dorst

The wrestling team is looking to have a very successful weekend as they prepare to compete in the Virginia Duals tournament starting Friday morning. The Flashes hold the No. 3 seed in the tournament and will face The Citadel in the first round.

The Flashes came close to receiving the No. 2 seed, which would have given them a first-round bye. However, coach Jim Andrassy sees the early matchup as a good warm-up for his team.

“I’m actually glad that we have a match first because we’ve had a 16-day layoff,” Andrassy said. “Going in and having a match against a team like The Citadel will be good for us.”

Andrassy has full confidence that his team will make it through to the second round, where the Flashes would face the winner of the matchup between Bucknell and Buffalo. Bucknell, the No. 6-seeded team in the tournament, is the favorite to win its first-round match.

“Bucknell is a scrappy team,” Andrassy said. “We’ve faced them in the past, and I feel we’re better than them across the board. We have a better team and better personnel.”

If the wrestlers get past the first two rounds, they will move on to the second day of the tournament, where a potential semi-final match with No. 2-seeded Rutgers awaits them. The Scarlet Knights are ranked No. 20 in the National Wrestling Coaches Association team rankings.

Once again, Andrassy said he is confident in his team’s ability to beat Rutgers if the matchup comes to fruition. He also sees the benefits of competing in tournaments such as the Virginia Duals.

“The idea is to go to an event so that you have the opportunity to wrestle a team like Rutgers,” Andrassy said. “It gives us the opportunity to go there and beat a team we haven’t beaten.”

With a win in the semi-finals, the Flashes could go on to face No. 1 Missouri in what would be a highly anticipated rematch. Missouri defeated Kent State 34-12 in a dual meet on December 9. The coaching staff and many of the wrestlers are hoping to get a chance to avenge their early season loss.

Senior Nic Bedelyon said he is really hoping to get that rematch against Missouri.

“As a team, we weren’t ourselves when we wrestled Missouri, and we got beat up,” Bedelyon said. “So we’re excited to get a rematch, and we believe we can beat them this time.”

Bedelyon lost to Missouri’s Alan Waters back on Dec. 9. Waters and Bedelyon are ranked No. 3 and No. 4 respectively in the 125-pound weight class, according to InterMat.

Freshman Ian Miller is also looking forward to seeing what his performance can do for the team.

“It could move me higher in the rankings,” Miller said. “I just want to win all my matches and pick up points for the team.”

The Flashes aren’t planning on a third- or fourth-place finish. They expect to return to Ohio on Monday as Virginia Duals champions.

“If we wrestle like we have the capability of doing, we can beat Rutgers,” Andrassy said. “Our goal is to make it to the finals against Missouri and do a lot better than we did the first time.”

Contact Tim Dorst at [email protected] and @TimmyD_DKS.