Friday, April 12, 2024

MSU wrestling stunned by Indiana 23-18, drop final six bouts in meet

February 4, 2024
<p>Freshman Josh Terill greets his opponent Greg Kervliet at Jenison Field House on Jan. 21, 24.</p>

Freshman Josh Terill greets his opponent Greg Kervliet at Jenison Field House on Jan. 21, 24.

Photo by Fatih Gorkem Imamoglu | The State News

After winning the first four bouts of the meet on Sunday against the Indiana University Hoosiers, the Spartans went on to drop their next six straight to fall by a score of 23-18. With the loss, the No. 25 Spartans move to 2-4 in Big Ten Conference play.

The first action of the night took place in the 157-pound weigh-in, with No. 21 senior Chase Saldate (18-4), who faced off against Indiana's redshirt sophomore Zack Rotkvich (1-5).

Saldate got to work instantly and secured his first takedown of the bout in the opening 30 seconds. He continued his aggressive approach and tagged on another takedown to see out the first period with a 6-1 lead. In the second period, Saldate closed out the bout and added another seven points for an escape and two more takedowns before Saldate pinned Rotkvich with just over 50 seconds in the second. With the pin, Saldate has had three pins in his last three bouts and ten on the season.

The 165-pound weigh-in followed as Michigan State's No. 9 senior Caleb Fish (19-6) won by forfeit due to his opponent not making weight. With the forfeit, the Spartans took a commanding 12-0 lead after just two bouts.

In the 174-pound weigh-in, redshirt senior DJ Shannon (7-13) took on No. 15 redshirt senior Donnell Washington (13-2) of Indiana.

Shannon and Washington went back and forth the whole bout, and the pair only scored one escape point each. The game was tied until the final ten seconds of the third period when, all of a sudden, Shannon secured a last-second takedown to upset Washington dramatically.

After the meet, Michigan State's head coach Roger Chandler gave praise to Shannon for his playing today in the meet.

"He's a dangerous guy that can be in every single match and pull off a big win, you saw that today," Chandler said. "I think this being his first full season in his college career and being healthy is paying dividends, and now you're starting to see what he’s really capable of."

The Spartans continued to dominate the meet and secured a decision victory in the 184-pound weigh-in because of No. 15 graduate student Layne Malczewski's (8-5) 6-2 decision victory. 

The Hoosiers finally got on the board in the 197-pound weigh-in when redshirt freshman Gabe Sollars bested the Spartans' No. 29 redshirt freshman Kael Wisler by decision with a score of 8-5. The bout went down to the wire as Wisler nearly secured a takedown to force a sudden victory had he not run out of time.

Redshirt freshman Josh Terrill (25-9) represented the Spartans next in the heavyweight division as he faced graduate student Nick Willham (6-6). The pair took a 1-1 score into sudden victory where Willham earned the sudden victory via riding time, adding to a second victory in a row for the Hoosiers.

Indiana University continued its reinvigorated form and secured another win in the 125-pound weigh-in. Redshirt senior Michael Spangler (5-7) bested Michigan State's senior Tristan Lujan (14-10) with a 10-8 decision. Lujan was able to battle back from a 7-0 deficit, but it was not enough for Spangler's skills.

In the 133-pound weigh-in, the Hoosiers secured their fourth straight win due to senior Cayden Rooks's (8-7) dominating performance throughout the bout. Rooks tallied up a 20-3 victory, adding fire to Indiana's confidence as they stormed back from an 18-0 deficit to bring the meet within four points at 18-14.

In the 141-pound weigh-in, No. 30 redshirt senior Jordan Hamdan (16-6) represented the Spartans and looked to close out the meet as he faced No. 24 graduate student Dan Fongaro (17-3) of Indiana in a top-30 matchup.

The first period saw minimal action as the pair spent the majority of it sizing each other up. In the second period, Fongaro took the lead due to an escape point, while Hamdan earned himself just under 30 seconds of riding time. In the third period, Hamdan tied the bout up with an escape of his own with just under 20 seconds left. Hamdan secured a takedown to take a 4-3 lead with three seconds left, virtually winning the bout. Until Fongaro shot a last-second attempt that, after review, was given as a takedown with under a second left, Fongaro was awarded a 6-4 decision victory and brought the Hoosiers within one point of the meet score at 18-17.

The final bout of the night took place in the 149-pound weigh-in, where Michigan State's redshirt freshman Clayton Jones (8-6) faced off against No. 15 graduate student Graham Rooks (13-6). 

Rooks took a 3-0 lead at the end of the first period after a late takedown and continued to add to his lead with another takedown just over 30 seconds into the second period. Then with just under 30 seconds left, Rooks secured the pin on Jones and stunned the Spartans to earn the Hoosiers their sixth straight win of the bout as they completed their comeback with a score of 23-18.

After the match, Chandler emphasized the importance of "wrestling all the way through the match" and the need for his team to stay present through the whole seven minutes.

"There were five or six really close matches that could've gone either way and we came up on the short side of all of it," Chandler said.

The Spartans will now get a week of rest before returning to action away against the University of Maryland. The start time for the meet is set for 1 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 11, with streaming available on Big Ten Plus.

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