Flashes look to reverse, correct recent problems

Colin Harris

Kent State began to tumble Jan. 14 and haven’t stopped since

Junior Ben Rings wrestles against Northern Illinois’ Derek Hunsinger Jan. 14. The wrestling team heads to Buffalo tonight.

Credit: Andrew popik

Junior Ben Rings took the mat as the final competitor against Northern Illinois with a chance to beat the then No. 24 Huskies.

What has resulted since that moment has been a continuous fall for the Flashes. Kent State lost the match and the meet and have only won once since the Jan. 14 loss.

The Flashes battled back to take a lead toward the end of the meet against the Huskies, but they couldn’t capitalize. A win would have matched both Kent State’s conference and overall win total from the 2003-2004 season. The Flashes have fallen on hard times since losing five of their last six matches. Their only win coming to Div. II Slippery Rock.

The Kent State men’s wrestling team looks to put an end to their recent losing streak tonight at 7 at Buffalo and against Ohio 1 p.m. Sunday at the M.A.C. Center.

The Flashes (7-12, 1-1 Mid American Conference), coming off of a tough loss at the hands of Ashland, are hoping that they can get a victory over the Bulls (1-10, 0-4 MAC) to put an end to a recent rough stretch of the schedule and avenge last year’s home defeat by a score of 21-13.

Buffalo might be just what the Flashes need. The Bulls have won only one meet all season and haven’t won a conference meet yet.

Then again, the Flashes haven’t had nearly any luck as of late.

Injuries, disciplinary problems and poor performances by the players forced into the lineup have hampered the team’s performance all season who, when healthy, have shown the ability to compete on the same level as the tougher teams on their schedule, beating then nationally-ranked Tennessee-Chattanooga and coming close to beating Northern Illinois earlier in the season.

Kent State coach Jim Andrassy has said his team is running out of opportunities to impress and generate some momentum going into the MAC championships, which will be hosted at Kent State this year.

Andrassy said after the Ashland meet the backups who have been forced to see significant playing time, need to step up their overall efforts, and the regular starters who are contributing need to play with more of a sense of urgency, need to go for a dominating performance rather than settle for just a win.

Contact wrestling reporter Colin Harris at [email protected].