Wrestlers drop two in opening weekend

Alex Atkinson

Despite three perfect individual performances at the Hershey Duals, the Kent State wrestlers dropped two of its three matches this weekend.

The Flashes fell to 2-3 the year after losing to Virginia Tech 25-12, and Virginia 18-13, before beating North Carolina 25-10.

“We’re young and just trying to get better,” Kent State coach Jim Andrassy said. “I think Virginia Tech was better than us. I don’t think Virginia was better than us. We just lost some matches I think we could have won. We should be 4-1 with the loss being against Virginia Tech.”

Junior Nic Bedelyon started the match strong by picking up a 15-0 technical fall for Kent State against Virginia Tech’s eighth ranked Jarrod Garnett. Unfortunately, no momentum carried over to the following matches, as the Flashes were swept in the 133 through 184 weight classes.

Kilgore and Barlow beat their opponents to finish the 25-12 loss to Virginia Tech. Kilgore beat Chris Penny 13-4 in a major decision, and Barlow defeated David Marone 3-1, the 13th ranked wrestler in the nation.

In his second match of the day, Bedelyon took down Virginia’s Matthew Snyder 7-2. Except for junior Ross Tice’s takedown on Charles Miller in the 165 weight-class, the Flashes were swept once more in the 133 to 184 weight-classes.

“We have to mature a little faster if we want to have a better year,” Andrassy said. “I feel like those guys are just spectators.”

Kilgore picked up his second major decision of the day by beating 12th ranked Michael Salopek 9-1. Barlow followed suit with a narrow 3-2 win over Virginia’s 18th ranked John Danikowicz.

The Flashes’ four wins were not enough, as Virginia took the match 18-13.

Andrassy said with the exception of Bedelyon, Kilgore and Barlow, the other seven need to show some improvement.

“They need to get tougher,” Andrassy said. “Just outright more tough. More physical. Go and try to push kids and try to push the pace and take control the match rather than letting (their opponent) take control of the match. (My) guys are trying to hang on instead of trying to win matches. They’re trying not to lose rather than trying to win.”

The Flashes finished the day beating North Carolina 25-10. In this match, Kent State lost only three matches in the 133 to 184 weight classes.

North Carolina’s Michael Rappo defeated sophomore Sean Collins 9-2, Sli Bostelman fell to the Tar Heels’ 18th ranked Thomas Scotton, and Nick Tenpenny dropped Kent State sophomore Keith Witt in the 184 weight class.

Bedelyon, Kilgore and Barlow all tallied 3-0 records on the day. The perfect performance for Barlow was appreciated after his disappointing results in last weekend’s action.

“Brendan Barlow didn’t really have a great week last week, but had a great weekend this week,” Andrassy said. “He had two guys that were ranked in the top 20, and he had a great weekend. He put us back in the place we needed to be.”

Barlow said he was happy with his turnaround from last week.

“I had a really horrible week last week and I came back and just got my mind right this week and did what I knew I could do,” Barlow said. “Last weekend, my mind just wasn’t right. I just didn’t show up there mentally ready to wrestle that weekend. This weekend I was ready. I was just way more prepared this weekend.”

Bedelyon and Kilgore kept solid winning streaks alive with their 3-0 performances. Bedelyon currently holds a five game winning streak this season, while Kilgore holds a nine game winning streak.

Kilgore has a 35 game winning streak in match play that extends from last season.

The Flashes return to the mat to defend their 2009 title for the Body Bar Invitational in Ithaca, New York, Nov. 20.

Contact Alex Atkinson at [email protected].