Kent State wrestling kicked off Mid-American Conference competition on Saturday with a tri-match against Southern Illinois-Edwardsville and Clarion University. The Flashes managed SIUE in the first double 25-15 but lost to Clarion 30-10, drawing their season record at 3-3.
Juniors Colin McCracken and Kody Komara both won major decisions in the first doubles, with McKracken pinning to 197 to boost Kent’s lead to 25-11. Komara won a tight match over Edwardsville 6-5 and subsequently beat Clarion Junior Seth Koleno with a 5-4 decision, recovering from a tough fight on Wednesday night.
“I thought in the first game we went out and fought very well, we went out and attacked all positions,” said coach Jim Andrassy. “The second game – we just didn’t face them like we did in the first game, so that’s something we need to improve at.”
Senior Jake Ferri went on to prove why he is the leader of the Flashes, winning his sixth and seventh consecutive games on Saturday, 15-5 and 16-7 respectively. The Flashes led 8-0 two games in doubles against Clarion, but the Golden Eagles came back to win their last five straight games.
Andrew McNally had to give up against Clarion due to an injury he suffered 14 seconds in the match. The loss of the senior proved to be a turning point in the meeting.
“Our score looks a bit lopsided because of that,” Andrassy said. “Whenever McNally doesn’t win, it will be difficult for our team to win.”
Among the other players, Patrick Gould stood out in his second year on Saturday, winning both of his games, 13-5 and one by forfeit. Redshirt sophomore year Tyler Bates split his contests to 174. McCracken fought hard against nationally ranked Clarion junior Greg Bulsak, despite dropping the game 9-5.
“He did a great job,” Andrassy said. “It’s probably normally a ten-point game if McNally doesn’t get hurt, but it’s part of wrestling.”
The Flashes will return home to face Missouri at Kent State Fieldhouse on January 31 at noon. The Tigers are undefeated in seven fights so far this season.
Mason is a sports journalist. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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