Wrestling moves up rankings with win over Eastern Michigan

Nate Stuart

Sophomore wrestler Danny Mitcheff (right) wrestles teammate Bryce Freeman in the Kent State Intra-Squad wrestling match last semester. The team’s victory over Eastern Michigan Wednesday night propelled the grapplers to 21st in the nation. The wrestlers co

Credit: John Proppe

The Kent State wrestling team began its Mid-American Conference season on the right foot Wednesday night by beating Eastern Michigan 28-10 in Ypsilanti, Mich., and was rewarded by moving up one spot in the national rankings to 21st overall.

Senior Aaron Miller and sophomores Jermail Porter and Danny Mitcheff led Kent State with dominating victories over their opponents. Porter pinned his opponent, Eastern Michigan senior Charlie Walker, in 2:56 and moved up to 20th in the heavyweight class national rankings.

Senior Chad Sportelli moved up to 16th nationally in the 125-pound weight class. He won by forfeit against Eastern Michigan. Sophomore Eric Chine rose to 20th in the 184-pound weight class.

Kent State will travel to Ashland to compete in the Wendy’s Duals at 10 a.m. Sunday, where it will face Air Force and Appalachian State.

The wrestling team had five matches last weekend.

“That’s like a basketball team playing five games in a weekend,” Kent State coach Jim Andrassy said.

Andrassy said Kent State will make sure its back-ups get some experience Sunday, but the team doesn’t want to risk losing and moving down in the national rankings. Therefore, they will use their starters if necessary.

Andrassy also said the team is preparing for a big match next Friday against Northern Illinois.

“They (Northern Illinois) are similar to us,” Andrassy said. “We have a better national ranking, but they have more guys ranked higher individually.”

Kent State is 10-1 this season and 1-0 in the MAC.

“It was a good way to start the MAC season,” Andrassy said.

Contact wrestling reporter Nate Stuart at [email protected].