No. 12 wrestling enters its longest home stretch of the season Sunday when it welcomes in Kent State to McGuirk Arena.
Since the Virginia Duals, where CMU placed third, the Chippewas have been on a tear. With a dominating win against Northern Illinois to keep their Mid-American Conference record unblemished, they then went on to upset No. 7 Missouri in the Tigers’ own house.
“These were real important wins,” said head coach Tom Borrelli. “If we use these in the right way, it could give us a lot of momentum moving into the last part of the season.”
On an individual note, sophomore 165-pounder Mike Ottinger was named MAC Wrestler of the Week. Ottinger earned himself key victories in the last two matches to earn this accolade. In the NIU dual, Ottinger gained a major decision, 13-5, to stay undefeated in MAC duals. Then in the Mizzou dual, Ottinger upset No. 10 Zach Toal with a takedown in the first 39 seconds of sudden victory.
“I had a tough week in the Virginia Duals, so it felt real good to beat that kid,” Ottinger said. “I just need to wrestle as hard as I can and keep improving.”
CMU remains unbeaten in MAC duals this year; however, Kent State handed the Chippewas their only MAC loss last year. Over the past four years, the Golden Eagles and CMU have split 2-2. In last year’s dual, senior Jarod Trice, No. 6 at heavyweight, and senior Scotti Sentes, No. 8 at 133 pounds, did not wrestle for the Chippewas.
Aside from Kent State, in the past four years, the Chippewas have dominated the MAC. CMU is currently riding an 11-year MAC Championships run, which is the longest in conference history. With the team at full strength and no health issues, the Chippewas look to continue their domination in the MAC.
“I think our record in the MAC gives our guys confidence,” Borrelli said. “But, not only in the MAC, but against good competition.”
After their dual against Kent State, CMU will have a full week to prepare for the next home dual against Old Dominion on Sunday, Feb. 3. The Chippewas will finish up the home stand with another conference meet Feb. 8 against Eastern Michigan.