Wrestlers have sweep on mind for MAC meet

Caleb Raubenolt

Team hopes to achieve coach’s goal of shutouts in conference

When the Kent State wrestling team hosted Northern Illinois two weeks ago, coach Jim Andrassy’s goal for the Flashes was for them to shut out their Mid-American Conference opponent by winning all 10 of the meet’s matches.

Andrassy and his team settled by winning eight, dominating the Huskies 31-10 in their first conference meet of the season.

With Kent State preparing for its four remaining meets of the season- all against MAC opponents – Andrassy said he doesn’t want that mentality to change.

“We want to go out there and not lose a match,” Andrassy said. “We’re trying to sweep them. That’s been our motto in the MAC, and we’re going to keep it going for this week.”

When the Flashes travel to Buffalo to face the Bulls at 7 p.m. tomorrow, it will be the first time since Jan. 10 that they will be wrestling out of state. The Bulls (9-6, 1-2 MAC) are returning to Alumni Arena following a 32-3 loss at No. 9 Central Michigan last Saturday.

In Kent State’s dual meet with Pittsburgh last Saturday, the No. 16 Flashes (9-4, 1-0 MAC) handled the Panthers 27-3.

After Saturday’s victory, Andrassy allowed the team three days of rest, giving the wrestlers time off to prepare for the Bulls.

“We get breaks now and again, and it definitely helps out a lot – especially with our legs,” redshirt freshman Dustin Kilgore said. “(Our) legs probably get tired more than anything else. And then mentally you get tired too, so it helps out a lot to get a little break.”

Kilgore, ranked fifth in the nation at 184 pounds, will face Buffalo’s 27th-ranked Mickey Moran in one of the meet’s key matches for the Flashes.

At 197 pounds, senior Eric Chine will take on the Bulls’ sophomore Jimmy Hamel. Chine, coming off his 100th-career victory Saturday, beat Hamel 3-2 back in November.

“I feel real confident,” Chine said. “I think I’ve grown a lot since then. I feel that if I can get my takedowns going, I can beat him pretty well this match.”

Looking to avenge his last two losses, junior Jeremy Depoy will challenge No. 21 Buffalo freshman Desmond (Desi) Green. Green was voted MAC Wrestler of the Week after defeating Central Michigan’s Steve Brown, the No. 10 149-pounder in the nation.

“Jeremy has the ability to beat anyone if he wrestles like he does in a match how he does in practice,” Andrassy said. “In practice, he’s as good as anyone on our team.”

Last season, the Flashes defeated the Bulls 23-9 with victories by seniors Chine, Jermail Porter, Drew Lashaway and Clint Sponseller.

“We think that if we wrestle up to our ability, we can breeze through Buffalo,” Andrassy said. “That’s our mentality here: Try to sweep them-10 matches.”

Contact sports reporter Caleb Raubenolt at [email protected].