Flashes win two out of three at Boilermaker Challenge

Marus Barkley

Coach says team still has room to improve

After watching his team complete its second match of the season, Kent State wrestling coach Jim Andrassy said the team is making strides in the right direction, but there is still room for improvement.

The Flashes went 2-1 Saturday at the Boilermaker Challenge in West Lafayette, Ind., defeating Tennessee-Chattanooga and Campbellsville but coming out with a painful loss to Northwestern.

“It went pretty well for the first two matches,” Andrassy said. “But we still have a lot of work to do.”

The Flashes’ record now stands at 6-4 after they took fourth place out of eight teams in their first competition of the season, the Oklahoma Gold Tournament in Brockport, N.Y., Nov. 8.

Saturday, the Flashes began against Tennessee-Chattanooga and wrestled to a 32-10 victory over the 28th-ranked Mocs. Though Andrassy said the victory felt good, he was surprised and a bit upset the Mocs did not send out a full roster.

“Chattanooga was a nice win,” he said. “They did not wrestle some of their guys, and I don’t know why. It would have been nice to face some of their guys, but it is what it is.”

Coming off the momentum from its first victory, the team came out strong against Campbellsville and recorded a 30-12 victory over the Tigers. The only points the Tigers scored came when the Flashes forfeited the 174 and 197 weight class matches by not sending out wrestlers.

After recording two easy victories, the Flashes were met with their biggest challenge of the day – the 11th-ranked Northwestern Wildcats – and lost 21-8.

Junior Danny Mitcheff (133 pounds), senior Eric Chine (197 pounds) and senior Jermail Porter (285 pounds) recorded wins for the Flashes in their respective weight classes. Despite the team loss, Mitcheff thought the Flashes did far better than the numbers showed.

“The score didn’t really reflect on how we matched up with (Northwestern),” he said. “(Even with the loss) we still have a lot of confidence on this team.”

Andrassy said while he was pleased with the first two victories and the way the Flashes hung in against Northwestern, he hopes the team can improve on giving up easy points during matches.

“We have to do a better job at not giving up points at the edge of the mat and late in matches,” Andrassy said. “We didn’t do a good job when it came to giving up bad points.”

Mitcheff, who joined Porter as the only Kent State wrestlers to go 3-0 on the day, said it has been hard to be on the road for the first two matches, especially during the end of the school semester.

“It’s real tough,” Mitcheff said. “But you just have to put time in school and wrestling and just stay focused and get things done.”

The Flashes will remain on the road next weekend, as they travel Saturday to the Body Bar Tournament in Ithaca, N.Y.

Andrassy said the upcoming tournament will be a great chance to compete against more of the top programs in the nation and improve individually and as a team.

“We still have a lot of work to do,” Andrassy said. “Because unless we’re No. 1 and our wrestlers are ranked No. 1, there’s always work to be done.”

Contact sports correspondent Marcus Barkley

at [email protected].