Shuster and Newburg Give Flashes Record Seven NCAA Qualifiers
Wednesday, Kent State juniors Casey Newburg (Union, Ohio) and Mallie Shuster (Newville, Pa.) were given at-large bids to the 2012 NCAA Championships, giving the Golden Flashes a school-record seven NCAA qualifiers. Brackets for the three-day tournament (March 15-17) were also released.
“I think our body of work and strength of schedule over the season prove that Mallie and Casey deserve to be in,” Andrassy said. “Getting to the NCAA tournament is a goal for everybody on this team and to get seven is another big step for us.”
The seven qualifiers marked another new milestone during the Jim Andrassy era, as the Flashes’ No. 13 ranking in the final NWCA Coaches Poll was the highest in program history. Kent State (14-5, 5-0) also recently won its second outright Mid-American Conference regular season title in the last four years and have won a share of that title three times in four years.
Newburg (29-11) ranks second on the team with 29 victories and has 17 bonus-point wins. He won both the Cleveland State Open and Mat Town Invitational in December. Newburg will take on No. 2 seed Robert Hamlin (Lehigh) in his opening bout.
“We thought Casey should have gotten in last year,” Andrassy said. “I feel he’s got a chance to upset some guys and really help us next week.”
Shuster (26-15) recently finished third at the MAC Championships and placed fourth at the Mat Town Invitational. Shuster will be in the pigtail round facing Ohio State’s Josh Demas.
“Mallie’s got four wins over Top 20 guys,” Andrassy said. “And he’s worked to be in this position for a long time.”
Senior Nic Bedelyon (Lewistown, Pa.) and freshman Ian Miller (Oak Harbor, Ohio) each earned No. 5 seeds. Bedelyon opens with Iowa State’s Cory Finch, while Miller will take on Eric Terrazas of Illinois. Sophomore Tyler Small (Littlestown, Pa.) claimed the No. 12 seed and will battle Princeton’s Richard Krop in his opener.
Senior Brendan Barlow (Westerville, Ohio) opens against Northwestern’s Michael McMullan, who is the No. 10 seed. Junior Keith Witt (Oak Harbor, Ohio) will have a rematch against Dan Rinaldi of Rutgers.