Pinned down

Colin Harris

Virginia’s three pins kills Flashes’ meet

Senior Nick Hiller struggles against Virginia’s Scott Smith during Saturday’s 28-12 loss.

Credit: Beth Rankin

In wrestling, like any other sport, momentum can shift as quickly as it was earned.

The Kent State men’s wrestling team can attest to this belief after enduring a hard loss to swallow as they fell to Virginia on Saturday at the M.A.C. Center by a score of 28-12.

The Flashes (7-11, 1-1 MAC) came out strong at the beginning of the meet, grabbing the momentum early by winning three of their first four matches by decision.

Junior co-captain Drew Opfer and sophomore Jason McGee each recorded decisive victories in the 125 lb. and 141 lb. classes, respectively and junior Jason Bake earned his 50th career victory by winning a decision over Paul Dunstant at the 149 lb. class.

The Flashes were not able to keep that momentum going, however, as the Cavaliers (4-6 , 0-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) went on to win five of the last six matches, three of those in dominating fashion, with pinfall victories at the 165 lb., 174 lb. and heavyweight classes. The Flashes’ last victory of the meet was earned by Alex Camargo in the 184 lb. class match.

Kent State coach Jim Andrassy said he was not pleased by the performance of his team on Saturday.

“We just didn’t go out and wrestle,” Andrassy said. “We were not ready to wrestle. There was just no intensity out there. No one was wrestling with much excitement out there.”

Andrassy went on to say that for the team to be successful in the future they are going to have to make some changes to the way they approach things.

“We’re going to have to work harder,” Andrassy said. “It just comes down to having a little bit more heart sometimes and wanting to work a little harder. If you work harder, better things will happen.”

Despite the overall performance of the team, Andrassy said some of the guys on his team did put forth solid efforts.

“Jason Bake’s opponent today was a legitimate guy. Bake had a good day,” Andrassy said. “Drew Opfer and Jason McGee also wrestled well. Those guys had a good day.”

Andrassy said that one of the problems he saw was that the team did not seem to be giving a full effort in their matches and he went on to say that they seemed like they were not where they were earlier in the season.

“I don’t know why that is,” Andrassy said. “I don’t know if they are over-trained, I don’t know if they were pushed too hard in the beginning. I don’t know what it is.”

Contact wrestling reporter Colin Harris at [email protected].