Ohio Wrestling Hosts Kent State in “The Grudge Match”< < Back to
“The Grudge Match” returns to Athens this Friday as Ohio (5-2, 1-2) will take on Kent State (8-3, 1-1) for only the second time in the last 12 years.
Last year’s match was not much of a contest; the Golden Flashes defeated the Bobcats 24-12 while winning six of ten overall matches. Redshirt freshman Austin Reese took to Twitter on Wednesday, publicly voicing the importance of this match.
— AMLR (@AustinnReese) January 14, 2016
The Bobcats come into Friday’s match with a 15-15 loss, the tiebreaker being individual points scored to Central Michigan, on their mind.
“Coming from Central, a loss as a team, obviously that stung a little bit because we were pretty much dead even,” redshirt senior Andrew Romanchik said. “I feel like we wrestled really well in the Central match and that’s going to play into our wrestling on Friday for sure.”
Kent State travels to Athens with a little bit of momentum after winning three of four matches to place fifth at the Virginia Duals Tournament.
The Golden Flashes top wrestler is senior Ian Miller, ranked second in the country in the 157-weight class, partly because of a 14-0 record to start the season. The Bobcats will counter with redshirt senior Spartak Chino, ranked 20th in the country with a 14-6 record.
Overall, however, the Bobcats have the advantage. Ohio is ranked 19th in the country by InterMat’s rankings, while Kent State is unranked.
Beyond the obvious bragging rights, this match holds deep implications for both schools. Kent State sits one spot ahead of Ohio in the Mid-American Conference standings; a win for Ohio would push them back to .500 in conference play and ahead of the Golden Flashes.
The last time Ohio wrestling won “The Grudge Match Trophy” was in Athens, something Romanchik made sure to point out.
“This is a big match,” Romanchik said. “No one wants them to win.”