Flashes Batter Bulls for Ninth Straight Victory
KENT, Ohio – Kent State (11-4, 4-0 MAC) clinched a share of a Mid-American Conference regular season title Friday night with a 25-9 victory over Buffalo at the M.A.C. Center. The Golden Flashes won the first four weight classes and the last three, dropping three close matches in-between. Kent State will go for a MAC sweep on Sunday against Eastern Michigan to secure an outright conference crown.
"If we wrestle like we did today on Sunday…we'll lose" a concerned Jim Andrassy said afterward. "But I think Eastern's style of wrestling could improve our wrestling too."
The most dramatic finish came in the highly-anticipated 141-pound match as Tyler Small (Littlestown, Pa.) trailed Kevin Smith 3-2, before a scramble ensued in the final five seconds. The result was a discussion between the two officials after the final horn and two points awarded to Small.
"I took a shot and he sprawled," Small said. "He's really good defensively, so I knew it would be hard to get in on a leg…So I just sat out and rolled around trying to get something."
Small's win extended Kent State's lead to 9-0 after senior Nic Bedelyon (Lewistown, Pa.) and junior Stevie Mitcheff (Lorain, Ohio) each earned convincing decisions. Bedelyon was never threatened in a 5-0 victory and Mitcheff scored takedowns in each period to down Taylor Golba 8-2.
"Stevie probably wrestled better than anyone on the team today," Andrassy said. "He's moves a lot, doesn't give up bad points and scores. We were a little flat today, but he was a bright spot in our lineup."
Despite being without freshman Ian Miller (Oak Harbor, Ohio), the Flashes extended their lead at 149, behind a 3-2 victory by senior Marcel Clopton (Shaker Hts, Ohio). Wrestling in his first dual of the season, Clopton's first period takedown made the difference.
"Marcel knows what he's doing," Andrassy said. "He looked like he hadn't missed a beat."
Trailing 12-0, the Bulls came charging back with three straight wins. Junior Mallie Shuster (Newville, Pa.) surrendered a second period takedown, which made the difference in a 3-2 loss to Wally Maziarz. Senior Ross Tice (Brookfield, Ohio) scored an opening takedown and nearly scored escapes on several occasions in a 5-2 setback. And sophomore Brandonn Johnson (Middletown, Md.) led 1-0 after two periods, before dropping a 4-3 decision.
"If we want to finish the finish the way we think we can, we've got to get those three wrestling a little better," Andrassy said of Shuster, Tice and Johnson.
Junior Casey Newburg (Union, Ohio) swung the momentum back the Flashes' way with a dominant 11-3 major decision over Dominic Montesanti. Newburg tallied five takedowns, but could only record one-counts when he turned Montesanti from the top.
Junior Keith Witt (Oak Harbor, Ohio) used his head-and-arm throw to put Justin Heiserman on his back and eventually pin him in the first period.
"That's one of my go-to moves and if I feel it, I'm going to hit it," Witt said.
Senior heavyweight Brendan Barlow (Westerville, Ohio) improved to 3-1 in the MAC this season with a 7-4 victory over Jedd Mason.
The Flashes have won nine straight dual meets and look to make it 10 Sunday against Eastern Michigan at 2 p.m.
Kent State 25 Buffalo 9
125 - Nic Bedelyon (Kent State) over Max Soria (UB) Dec 5-0
133 - Stevie Mitcheff (Kent State) over Taylor Golba (UB) Dec 8-2
141 - Tyler Small (Kent State) over Kevin Smith (UB) Dec 4-3
149 – Marcel Clopton (Kent State) over Blake Roulo (UB) Dec. 3-2
157 – Wally Maziarz (UB) over Mallie Shuster (Kent State) Dec 3-2
165 –Clay Reeb (UB) over Ross Tice (Kent State) Dec 5-2
174 – Jake Waster (UB) over Brandonn Johnson (Kent State) Dec 4-3
184 –Casey Newburg (Kent State) over Dominic Montesanti (UB) Maj. Dec 11-3
197 – Keith Witt (Kent State) over Justin Heisermen (UB) Fall 2:04
HWT - Brendan Barlow (Kent State) over Jedd Mason (UB) Dec 7-4