Kent State enjoys weekend home meet

Colin Harris

For coach Jim Andrassy and the Kent State wrestling team, life as road warriors is rough and can be very taxing.

“No one understands how hard traveling is,” Andrassy said. “When you travel a lot and you don’t get a good night’s sleep, and you’re staying in a hotel, it just isn’t the same and that’s why they call it a home field advantage.

“People look from the outside and wonder what is so hard about traveling, but it’s the sitting around and waiting in areas that you’re not comfortable with.”

After wrestling 10 of their last 11 meets on the road, the Flashes (7-10, 1-1 Mid-American Conference) are looking forward to enjoying their own home field advantage as they host the Virginia Cavaliers

(3-6, 0-2 ACC) 11:00 a.m. tomorrow in the M.A.C. Center.

Andrassy said that, for his already banged-up roster, it was a conscious decision to keep some of his more experienced players at home last weekend against Michigan State to allow them to rest up and be spared the headaches of a long road trip.

With co-captain Ben Rings nursing a torn MCL and not expected back for a few more weeks and countless other players dealing with various injuries, Andrassy says he wants to focus on the bigger picture, namely the last few conference meets and the upcoming MAC tournament.

“The way our schedule is set-up, we have five matches over the next four weeks, so we have enough time to train and get healthy,” Andrassy said. “We want to be able to get guys matches who will be wrestling in the MAC tournament.”

Andrassy said that while beating a nationally-ranked team like Michigan State would have been good for the overall squad and team rankings, at this point in the season, allowing his players to get healthy and rested heading into the finish of conference competition and also nationals is vital to their future success.

Andrassy isn’t sacrificing the present for the future just yet, however. He said he feels there is reason to be confident going into this weekend’s meet.

“(Virginia) has one player who is ranked at 174-lb., but we should win this match,” Andrassy said. “Obviously, if we wrestle poorly, we’re not going to win. However, if everyone goes out and wrestles to their ability, we should win this.

“With these matches (Virginia and next week’s meet against Ashland), as long as we wrestle well and our guys continually get better, we’re going to win these matches.”

Contact wrestling reporter Colin Harris at [email protected].