After spending nearly the first month of the season on the road and wrestling their way to 4-3 record, second year head coach John Stutzman and the Buffalo Bulls (4-4, 0-1 MAC) wrestling squad took to the mat in Alumni Arena for the first time to take on MAC rival the #25 Kent State Golden Flashes (2-3, 1-0 MAC).
After losing his first match of the season last weekend at the Northeast Duals to #10 Tyler Cox of Wyoming, redshirt-senior #13 Max Soria dominated Del Vinas of Kent State in a 12-2 major decision; improving his season record to 14-1 and giving the Bulls a fast 4-0 lead over the Flashes. Then, after freshman sensation Sean Peacock lost a hard fought 7-2 decision to #15 Mack McGuire at 133 pounds, redshirt-freshman Jason Estevez took to the mat at 141 pounds. After a quiet first period and a grueling back and forth through the final two stanzas, Estevez was able to hold on and eke out a huge 2-1 decision over Kyle Bauer, giving the Bulls a 7-3 lead heading into the 149 pound bout.
Then, at 149 pounds freshman Justin Cooksey was pinned in the second period by Mike DePalma giving Kent a 9-7 advantage, and they would hold on to the lead for the rest of the dual. At 157 pounds, captain Wally Maziarz took on #3 Ian Miller, an All-American who finished 4th in the nation last year and had upset reigning national champion Derek St, John of Iowa; Miller pinned Maziarz after a quick takedown put Maziarz on his back giving Kent a 15-7 advantage.
At 165 pounds Rrok Ndokaj had a huge takedown of Tyler Buckwalter in the 3rd period to give him the upperhand in securing a 7-4 decision, the Bulls' final points of the night. At 174 pounds Austin Weigel came out with a head of steam and went after #13 Caleb Marsh, but was unsuccesful in his attempts at a takedown, and Weigel was taken down with about 20 seconds left in the first period to give Marsh a 2-0 advantage. After some great scrapping in the second and third periods, Weigel ultimately fell in a 6-0 decision.
At 184 pounds Tony Lock took on Cory Campbell, and after looking visibly in pain for much of the final two periods, a last second reversal was not enough to overcome the 4 point deficit and fell 8-6, giving Kent a 21-10 advantage heading into the final two matches.
Joe Ariola, and Mike Silvis both needed victories by pinfall to give the Bulls a team victory, but both ultimately fell to their respective opponents. Ariola was pinned after Cole Baxter had a quick reversal and put Ariola on his back, and Silvis lost a 7-3 decision to Mimmo Lytle in the heavyweight bout, giving Kent the final 30-10 advantage.
The Bulls had an uphill battle from the start of the meet, given that the vast majority of Kent State's lineup were upperclassmen, with heavyweight Mimmo Lytle the only underclassman in the lineup, and the Bulls featured 6 freshman in their starting lineup, giving Kent a huge experience advantage over the youthful Bulls.
That aside, the team wrestled very well today, and each man that stepped on the mat gave a full effort against their opponent and fought hard to the whistle. I have long sang the praises of John Stutzman and his coaching staff and fellow editor Matt, who was in attendance with myself at the match also jumped on the Stutzman bandwagon after tweeting this:
Twenty minutes into my first wrestling bout and Stutzman and his staff are quickly rising my favorite UB coaches list pic.twitter.com/wUee4jW3q5— Bull Run (@UBBullRun) December 7, 2014
Stutzman and the whole Buffalo bench were energetic and getting into each an every match, with Stutzman's imposing voice barking out orders to his wrestlers on the mat.
It was a tough loss, but a great learning experience for the Bulls who will take to the mat in Alumni Arena next Sunday, December 14th when they host MAC foe Central Michigan (1-4, 0-0 MAC).
Buffalo 10 - Kent State 30
125: #13 Soria (UB) maj. dec. Vinas (KSU) 12-2
133: #15 McGuire (KSU) dec. Peacock (UB) 7-2
141: Estevez (UB) dec. Bauer (KSU) 2-1
149: DePalma (KSU) pinned Cooksey (UB) 4:29
157: #3 Miller (KSU) pinned Maziarz (UB) 5:40
165: Ndokaj (UB) dec. Buckwalter (KSU) 7-4
174: #13 Marsh (KSU) dec. Weigel (UB) 6-0
184: Campbell (KSU) dec. Lock (UB) 8-6
197: Baxter (KSU) pinned Ariola (UB) 3:42
HWT: Lytle (KSU) dec. Silvis (UB) 7-3
Updated Season Records:
|#13 Max Soria (125)||14-1|
|Sean Peacock (133)||12-7|
|Jason Estevez (141)||8-4|
|Justin Cooksey (149)||6-7|
|Wally Maziarz (157)||6-7|
|Rrok Ndokaj (165)||7-5|
|Austin Weigel (174)||7-7|
|Tony Lock (184)||3-5|
|Joe Ariola (197)||10-6|
|Mike Silvis (HWT)||2-5|