Wrestling’s veterans shine in loss to Ohio

John Hilber, Reporter

Veteran wrestlers graduate student Jake Ferri and redshirt senior Jacob Cover led Kent State’s wrestling team with wins in a 28-9 loss to Ohio University in the “Grudge match.”

Ferri beat OU’s Oscar Sanchez in a 3-2 decision in the 125-pounder match.

“Jake kept going at him and was pretty consistent with it,” coach Jim Andrassy said. “He just kept chopping until he got his takedown. He was never really a threat to him and he beat him.”

Ferri is 14-5 this season following the win and is third on the team in wins. He leads the team in win percentage with 73.6%.

Cover won the final match of the day in the heavyweight match-up. Cover won on an 8-1 decision over Jacob Padilla.

This was Cover’s ninth win of the season. Andrassy said that Cover “Wrestled well and did a good job.”

Kent State lost its 10th consecutive game to start the season after falling to the Bobcats on Friday.

“Their team was really good and we didn’t step up to the occasion,” Andrassy said. “We didn’t wrestle our best and maybe we aren’t as good as I thought we were.”

The Flashes remain winless against Mid-American Conference opponents. They have a 0-5 record in conference play and remain in last place in the MAC Western Division.

KSU is one of three teams in the MAC without a conference win this season.

Ohio stays in fourth place in the MAC Western Division with a 3-2 conference record following the win. The Bobcats have a 4-7 overall record this season.

Big losses

The dual started with the 149-pounder matchup, where graduate student Kody Komara lost to Alec Hagan in a 3-1 sudden victory.

This gave OU a 3-0 lead.

Despite the result, Andrassy said Komara “wrestled a really good match.”

“He’s one of the guys who always turns up at the MAC tournament,” he said. “Hopefully, he can try to figure something out at the MAC tournament.”

Ferri’s win in the 125-pounder match gave Kent State three points.

KSU’s freshman Jacob Houpt added to that with a 4-2 decision against Paul Woo in the 133-pounder match.

Andrassy mentioned that Houpt, who is listed at 125 pounds, wrestled up a weight class today.

“He did a really good job starting at 133 pounds or so,” he said.

Andrassy added that this was Houpt’s last match of the season because he wants to redshirt him.

A player can only wrestle in five events to keep his eligibility for a redshirt, according to NCAA rules. This was Houpt’s fifth match this season.

In the 141-pounder match, OU’s Kyran Hagan shut out freshman Pablo Castro IV 6-0 for a 3-point decision.

Freshman Keegan Knapp lost by a major decision to Peyten Keller by a 12-2 score in the 157-pounder match, which gave OU four more points.

Keller was the No. 23 wrestler in the country weighing in at 157 pounds.

“Keegan’s a true freshman wrestler,” Andrassy said. “The opponent just has more experience in him right now and outmatched him.”

Knapp was coming off a 2-0 weekend after getting wins against Southern-Illinois Edwardsville and Clarion and has an 8-7 overall record in his first year.

Sophomore Enrique Munguia was back in the lineup after missing the dual against Clarion on Sunday rehabbing an undisclosed injury. He lost to Jordan Slivka in the 165-pounder match on an 18-1 technical fall, giving OU six points.

Andrassy said he “Doesn’t think the injuries bother him anymore.”

“I don’t know if he’s kind of in a rut, right now,” he said. “He has to come back and try to wrestle better on Sunday. I’m worried about him a little more than anything. I thought he wasn’t doing some things right, now it’s more than that. It isn’t for a lack of effort and a lack of practicing hard, it’s just that things aren’t going very well for him right now.”

Munguia had beaten Slivka earlier this season 6-0 in the Navy classic, but Andrassy said the match Friday was “a complete turnaround.”

One hundred seventy-four pound sophomore Michael Ferree lasted only one minute and 51 seconds on the mat, losing to Garrett Thompson by a fall. OU earned six points for the victory.

“He just took it to him and ended up pinning him,” Andrassy said. “I was lost for words on that one.”

Redshirt senior Tyler Bates was defeated by a 9-3 decision from Zayne Lehman in the 184-pounder match. OU gained three points.

In the 197-pounder match, freshman Blake Schaffer lost to Carson Brewer by a 12-2 major decision, which gave OU its final four points.

“He’s long and lanky and needs to get stronger,” Andrassy said. “He just wrestled an older, much more mature kid.”

Cover’s win in the heavyweight match earned Kent State’s final three points of the night.

The final score was 28-9.

Kent State lost seven of the 10 matchups and was held to a single-digit score for the fifth time this season.

The Flashes did not receive a win between the 141-pounder and the 197-pounder matches.

Looking ahead

Kent State will wrestle Central Michigan (4-8) on Sunday 2 p.m. in Mount Pleasant.

The Chippewas are 3-1 against MAC competition this season, with its most recent win this season being against the Bobcats.

Central Michigan has an even 4-4 record in its last eight games and has scored less than 10 points twice this season.

Kent State is 2-7 all-time against Central Michigan and has lost four out of the last five matchups. The team’s last win came in the 2017 season.

“Down in the lower weights we have a pretty good chance of winning some matches, and they’re really good at the upper weights,” Andrassy said. “From 157 pounds and up, they’re really good. And we’ve struggled with our upper weight so hopefully we can try to do better at the upper weights.”

The only projected wrestler for Central Michigan above 157 pounds that is younger than a junior is heavyweight Bryan Caves, who is a redshirt freshman.

Redshirt freshmen Spencer Steiner and Chandler Amaker are available to wrestle as well in the 184- and 165-pounder matches, respectively, for Central Michigan, but the match could go to more experienced wrestlers.

“It’s all about matchups and who we’re wrestling,” Andrassy said. “We’ll work on some things tomorrow that we didn’t do very well today, but it’s in their hands to execute the game plan and see if they can win individually.”

John Hilber is a reporter. Contact him at [email protected].