Preview: Wrestling hosts Buffalo and Kent State

Dansville redshirt junior Dresden Simon prepares to takedown Tecumseh redshirt sophomore Drew Marten during a scrimmage Oct. 28 in McGuirk arena.

Central Michigan's wrestling team picked up a victory over Cleveland State on Feb. 2 to earn its third-straight dual win. 

In those victories, the Chippewas (5-4, 5-2) defeated Mid-American Conference foes Southern Illinois-Edwardsville, Ohio and CSU. 

With three dual meets left of the season, CMU hosts Buffalo on Friday and Kent State on Sunday in McGuirk Arena. 

Junior Dresden Simon, who is in the 141-pound weight class, is ranked No. 15 nationally and No. 2 in the MAC. Simon owns a 6-3 record with two falls, a technical fall and 10 major decisions. To continue his momentum, Simon said he has to focus and improve on the things he can work on.

“I think I’m going to win both (matches)," Simon said. "Hopefully I get two majors." 

Simon is currently tied for No. 13 in the country with 10 major decisions. 

Going into this weekend, Buffalo's heavy hitters are junior Derek Spann in the 133-pound weight class and Troy Keller in the 165-pound weight class. Both wrestlers qualified for the NCAA Tournament last year.

Spann finished second at the MAC Championships at 133. So far this season, Spann is 15-4 and ranked No. 20 in the class. Keller was the MAC champion at 165 and went 7-3 in duals and 4-2 in MAC duals last season. 

“These are tough match up for us, so we’ll see how we do and those guys are pretty quality guys,” coach Tom Borrelli said.

On the Kent State side of the mat, the team's top wrestlers are 197-pound Colin McCracken who CMU had a close match up in the Cleveland State Open in January. Additonally, 174-pounder Andrew McNallley qualified for the NCAA Tournament last season at 184. 

Junior Landon Pelham is scheduled to face McCracken on Sunday. The two wrestled at the Appalachian State Invitational with Pelham earning the victory. 

"He's having a really good season," Pelham said of McCracken. "I'm excited to wrestle him again." 

Both teams wrestle to slow their opponents down and win by one or two points where as the Chips like to score points in a hurry. 

Coming toward the end of the dual season, the team wants to continue to head in the right direction without injuries.

Borrelli said several of his guys were injured over the weekend at Ohio and Cleveland State. 

With the MAC Championships approaching, Borrelli said the Chippewas may have a different look to their lineup as some of the starters will be held out to heal their injuries. 

"I think we're getting better, we're improving," Borrelli said. "Mentally, we're in a good spot. I wish we were a little bit better conditioned. Health-wise, last weekend was rough on us — we have some guys dinged up."

As the end of the season is drawing near, Pelham said he has been focusing on preparing himself to compete in critical matches down the stretch of the regular season. 

"Lots of aches and pains," Pelham said. "So, being crisp in practice and getting a lot of rest." 

Central Michigan takes on Buffalo at 7 p.m. Friday and Kent State at 2 p.m. Sunday both in McGuirk Arena.