Wrestlers miss upset of Missouri

AJ Atkinson

The Kent State Wrestlers dropped to 2-4 on the year as the Flashes lost a close 19-15 dual match to Missouri on Sunday.

The Flashes entered the Hearnes Center with a game plan to pull off an upset against No. 11 Missouri. Instead, one of the Flashes’ top wrestlers was upset.

After No. 3 Nic Bedelyon lost the opening 125 match to the Lions freshman Alan Waters, 3-1, the Flashes could not recover.

“Our match was lost in the 125 match,” Kent State coach Jim Andrassy said. “We’re not a team where we can have one of our better guys get upset and still win. (Bedelyon) came out slow. He went along with it and the kid squeezed out an upset. (Bedelyon) wrestled well in the third period, but at that point it was too late.”

Waters improved to 19-0 with the win over Bedelyon. The loss was Bedelyon’s first this season.

Despite the early surprise, the Flashes hung close in their matches. Seven of the nine matches were decided by three points or fewer.

Kent State’s Tyler Small followed Bedelyon’s upset with an upset of his own. The freshman beat No. 17 Nathan McCormick 8-6 to even the score.

“Everyone fought real hard,” Andrassy said. “Tyler Small upset a ranked kid again, so he’s done a great job for us. Marcel Clopton came up with a big win. I thought Matt Cathell wrestled as good as Matt can wrestle with his style. Kilgore wrestled Kilgore style.”

Andrassy said he just hoped some of those hard fought matches would have turned into victories.

“Everyone had an opportunity to win,” Andrassy said. “We lost six matches today. Five of those guys had an opportunity to win and they didn’t. Learn how to win is something that just happens automatically. Some of our guys haven’t figured it out yet.”

Andrassy said he felt the Flashes should have won the 165, 174, and 184 weight classes.

“Those three matches, we got to win,” Andrassy said. “After the upset we got to win those three. At least win one of them. Not a guy won.”

At 165, Missouri’s No. 12 ranked Zach Toal beat out junior Ross Tice, and Dorian Henderson squeaked past Brandonn Johnson 5-4. Casey Newburg lost the 184 match 4-3 to Mike Larson as Larson scored a takedown in the closing seconds of the third-period buzzer.

No. 1 Dustin Kilgore pinned Jake Glore 35 seconds into the second period to put the Flashes within a point of Missouri.

“Kilgore did everything he could scoring as many points as he could,” Andrassy said of the junior.

Kent State looked to No. 13 Brendan Barlow for a come-from-behind victory. The junior battled the No. 6 ranked Dom Bradley into overtime, but lost 5-3 when Bradley successfully scored on a takedown.

This was the Flashes’ third match they lost that Andrassy said he felt they should have won.

“We’ve had three matches where we had the ability to win and we didn’t,” Andrassy said. “Iowa State we had one of our top guys get upset there — that was Barlow. Virginia Tech, a top-20 team, we had Small get upset, and today Bedelyon got upset.”

Despite the loss, Andrassy said he was happy with his team’s performance against Missouri.

“There’s no doubt they wrestled hard and gave 100 percent,” Andrassy said. “I think we’re in better shape than them and I think we were the better team today. I think if we wrestled this same match tomorrow we would win. But, it doesn’t matter at this point. We’ve got to win those matches.”

Andrassy said the hardest part of their schedule is over after next weekend’s match against Pittsburgh, and he hopes this will boost some team confidence.

“It’s getting easier instead of harder at this point,” Andrassy said. “Our conference isn’t as tough as the teams that we’ve wrestled so far, so I think that will be good for our guys. We just need to keep ‘em focused, keep ‘em going, and try to get a little more urgency on them to get some big wins.”

You can contact AJ Atkinson at [email protected].