Wrestlers can’t break free from defeat

Colin Harris

Kent State junior Alex Camargo interlocks with an Ohio wrestler yesterday afternoon at the M.A.C. Center. Kent State fell to Ohio 22-9.

Credit: Beth Rankin

It’s been a long weekend for the Kent State men’s wrestling team.

Headed into this weekend, the Flashes (7-14, 1-3 Mid-American Conference) were jumping back into conference play with matches on the road against Buffalo (2-10, 2-4 MAC) and at home against Ohio (10-11, 3-1.)

Heading out of the weekend, the Flashes have two more losses.

Had these meets been scheduled near the beginning of the season, things might have been different, but mired in a long slump, things didn’t turn out how the Flashes hoped.

“Right now, we’re just not wrestling well,” Andrassy said. “We lost to two teams that we were a lot better than just two months ago. Why we’re not anymore, I don’t know.”

Friday night at Buffalo, the Flashes held a 16-9 lead going into the night’s last two contests. Things changed quickly, however, as Buffalo’s Jake Blowers recorded a pin over Nick Brenner at the 165-lb. class and Buffalo completed the come-from-behind victory with a 7-2 win for Nate Rock over Aaron Miller in the 174-lb. class. The Flashes ended up dropping the meet by a heart-breaking score of 18-16.

Sunday afternoon was no better for the Flashes as they played host to Ohio at the M.A.C. Center for senior day. The Flashes endured two separate three-match losing streaks en-route to a 22-9 loss. The majority of Kent State’s losses were by close margins, with losses coming by scores of 4-2 at 165 lbs., 4-3 at 174 lbs., 3-1 at 197 lbs. and 4-3 at 133 lbs.

This weekend didn’t do anything to improve the fortunes of the Flashes; they have now dropped their last five meets and eight of their last nine meets, dating back to their heartbreaking loss to national-ranked Northern Illinois on Jan. 14.

Kent State coach Jim Andrassy said that a lot of the team’s struggles rest on the players.

“The team’s been through a lot,” Andrassy said. “I think a lot of players have to make a decision as to which way they want to head.”

Andrassy went on to say that as a coach, each loss gets harder to handle, but he doesn’t see the same desperation to win from his players. He said that things have gotten to the point where it’s becoming easy to lose and the players aren’t showing the desire to turn things around.

“We can only do so much. We can only coach them,” Andrassy said. “The guys have to control a lot of what goes on. They have to start doing things on their own.”

Going into next weekend’s season-ending meet against Central Michigan, Andrassy said there is no more waiting for the return of key players. The roster the Flashes went with against Ohio on Sunday is what they’ll be sending out for that meet and into MAC tournament play, with the exception of the anticipated return of co-captain Ben Rings.

Contact wrestling reporter Colin Harris at [email protected].