Wrestling beats Edinboro, falls to Kent State at tri-meet

For the fourth straight year, the Central Michigan wrestling team will not win the Mid-American Conference regular season title.

No. 20 CMU fell to No. 17 Kent State and defeated Edinboro at the KSU tri-meet on Sunday in Kent. The loss to the Golden Flashes ended any hope the Chippewas (9-5, 5-2 MAC) had for a regular season conference championship.

“I feel like our guys wrestled real hard today. I’m pretty excited about the effort,” Head Coach Tom Borrelli said. “For us to have to forfeit a match and still be as competitive as we were was a pretty good showing.”
CMU and Kent State entered Sunday as the second and third-best teams in the MAC standings. The Golden Flashes are 15-3 overall and 7-1 in MAC play. The two wins on Sunday extended KSU's winning streak to eight.

Central Michigan started out against Kent State in a dual that pinned the No. 2 and No. 3 MAC teams against one another. The Chippewas looked to extend their two-meet winning streak and keep their conference championship hopes alive, but faced a KSU entering on a six-meet winning streak.

Match-by-Match Breakdown

Central Michigan 17, Kent State 18

149: Justin Oliver (CMU) dec. Mike DePalma, 7-4

157: Casey Sparkman (KSU) dec. Luke Smith, 4-2

165: Tyler Buckwalter (KSU) dec. Jordan Atienza, 11-9

174: Mike Ottinger (CMU) dec. Jariod James, 1-0

184: Jordan Ellingwood (CMU) dec. Cole Baxter, 5-0

197: Kyle Conol (KSU) dec. Jackson Lewis, 6-3

HWT: Devin Nye (KSU) dec. Newton Smerchek, 7-1

125: Drew Dickson (KSU) won by forfeit

133: Corey Keener (CMU) tech. fall Del Vinas, 17-2

141: Zach Horan (CMU) dec. Anthony Tutolo, 8-2

Central Michigan 20, Edinboro 15

149: Colin Heffernan (CMU) dec. Patricio Lugo, 4-2

157: Luke Smith (CMU) pin fall Austin Matthews

165: Casey Fuller (EU) dec. Jordan Atienza, 6-5

174: CJ Brucki (CMU) dec. Patrick Jennings, 8-3

184: Vic Avery (EU) dec. Jordan Ellingwood, 3-2

197: Vince Pickett (EU) dec. Austin Severn, 8-1

HWT: Billy Miller (EU) pinfall Adam Robinson

125: Both teams void

133: Corey Keener (CMU) major dec. Anthony Riviera, 10-0

141: Zach Horan (CMU) major dec. Tyler Vath, 12-3

After going down 14-3 early, CMU rallied back to get within a point, but lost 18-17 to Kent State. Central Michigan was forced to forfeit sophomore Brent Fleetwood’s match for the third straight meet as the 125-pounder is still out with a foot injury he suffered Jan. 29 at Northern Iowa.

“(Fleetwood) just got back on the mat Friday and we really need to see him practice for a full week before we have enough confidence to go with him in a competition,” Borrelli said.

CMU got off to a fast start against the Fighting Scots of Edinboro, winning three of the first four matches. Edinboro won the next three matches. The last of which ended in a pinfall, which gave Edinboro a 15-12 lead.

Despite the change in momentum, CMU won the final two matches — both by major decision — to clinch the 20-15 victory. Senior Zach Horan had four takedowns in the match. He dominated both of his matches winning by a combined 15 points. He has now won seven of his last eight matches and said he feels like he’s finally found his groove.

“It had a little bit to do with the competition," Horan said. "I’ve been on a roll lately getting ready for the end of the season. I’ve been wrestling better than I was all year. (I'm) just trying to put it together for the postseason.”

The tri-meet was originally scheduled as a quad-meet, but Kent State was unable to find a fourth team to join.

Preparing for the future

CMU will lose five wrestlers to graduation, four of which are full-time starters, at the end of this season.

Borrelli gave a handful of younger wrestlers, Sunday. It was his first real chance to do so against the Fighting Scots. After the match against KSU, the head coach put in three of his reserves and said he was pleased with the results.

“I was real impressed with (redshirt sophomore) CJ Brucki, who’d been backing up (senior) Mike Ottinger,” Borrelli said. “Even Adam (Robinson) towards the end of his match was wrestling real well. He was actually winning his match, but he got reversed to his back and got pinned, but all of our young guys gave a real good effort today.”

For Brucki, it was his first dual match of the season, but a moment he was prepared for.

“I had seen the guy a couple times earlier in the year. I figured I just had a nice, swift dance with him,” Brucki said. “I knew my offense would work against him. I knew just had to get by him and get to his legs and finish it.”