Porter redeems self, team

Nate Stuart

Familiar situation yields different results for heavyweight

The Kent State wrestling team came from behind to win 19-16 against Mid-American Conference rival Ohio University yesterday. The win kept the team’s MAC Championship hopes alive.

Heavyweight wrestler Jermail Porter stepped up in the final and decisive match, something he couldn’t do against Pitt two weeks ago. Porter said he was embarrassed by that loss and decided he needed to change his approach.

Yesterday, he dominated his match against Ohio sophomore Joe Ellwood, winning by major decision, 9-1.

“It feels great to get this win,” Porter said. “I was more prepared this time.”

He said he spent the last two weeks preparing and conditioning for this situation because he was so upset with the outcome against Pitt.

Kent State (15-2, 4-0 MAC) got off to a fast start with senior Chad Sportelli’s 7-4 win over freshman Seth Morton. Sophomore Danny Mitcheff followed that with a 3-1 win over Ohio’s Terry Jackson. Kent State built a 9-4 lead.

The Bobcats then made a run. Sophomore Jake Frerichs defeated Kent State junior Kurt Gross in quadruple overtime, 3-1, and Ohio freshman Jacob Ison defeated freshman Sli Bostelman, 8-2, giving OU a 10-9 lead.

Things started to look bleak for the Flashes when Ohio junior Antoine Love pinned senior Aaron Miller in 1:35 to give OU a 16-9 lead.

But the Flashes came through in the clutch. Sophomore Eric Chine controlled senior Nick Terbay for a 6-3 win, and senior Ardian Ramadani won by a takedown in overtime, 3-1.

With Kent State trailing 15-16, Porter got his chance for redemption. He played the role of closer, clinching the match for the Flashes to keep them undefeated in the MAC.

“We did what we had to do to win,” coach Jim Andrassy said.

Sportelli said he was excited about the team coming from behind to win.

“It was a good way to win,” Sportelli said. “It was awesome.”

It was senior day for the wrestling team. Before the match, the team honored its five seniors: Sportelli, Miller, Ramadani, Jason McGee and Willie Leonard who were escorted on the floor by their parents.

“I’m glad I went out on top,” Sportelli said. “It was a good atmosphere and a big win with our recruits here.”

Now Kent State will prepare for one of their toughest matches of the season Sunday afternoon against fifth-ranked Central Michigan.

“They will be ruthless,” Andrassy said. “All you can do is go out and wrestle.”

Central Michigan features seven wrestlers – five juniors and two sophomores – ranked in the top 20 in the nation; four of them are in the top 10.

Contact wrestling reporter Nate Stuart at [email protected].