By: Brandon Simberg
Coming off a tough 26-6 loss against Penn last weekend, the Maryland wrestling team fell once again in a duals match, this time losing to Navy 31-6 on Friday night at the Xfinity Center Pavilion.
The Terps got off to a rough start on the night when Brandon Cray lost the 125 weight class by decision after a third period takedown by Navy’s Jacob Allen. Third period success was a common theme for the Midshipmen throughout the night.
In the 141 weight class, the Terps were again tied going into the third period but a takedown by the No. 18 wrestler in that weight class Nicholas Gil on Michael Doetsch secured another decision for Navy and put them up 12-0 in the dual against their in-state rival.
“Wrestling a military academy it’s kinda that bittersweet thing because these are going to be people that are going to be protecting our country in the future. I would really hate for a serviceman to get dead tired and not be able to wrestle seven minutes,” head coach Kerry McCoy said.
The 157 weight class was another example of late period success by Navy when Quentin Hovis took down Adam Whitsell with under 30 seconds remaining to claim a decision victory.
“Our guys may have put too much emphasis on how good of shape they were going to be in. They were tired, but they wrestled hard when they were tired. They didn’t stop when they were tired,” Mccoy reiterated.
Despite the defeat, there were some positives from the loss. Senior Alfred Bannister won his match by decision 5-4 against 19th ranked Jared Prince. An early, aggressive takedown by Bannister gave him the lead, and then a takedown in the third period helped secure the win.
“All week I was emphasizing more movement, more faking, and more shots throughout the whole match,” said Bannister who is currently ranked 18th.
Kyle Jasenski also secured a victory in the 184 weight class. He is now 2-0 on the season. Jasenski had a takedown 30 seconds into the match to give him an early lead. Each wrestler then escaped from defensive position and Jasenski held on to win 3-2.
Bannister and Jasenski were the only wrestlers on the team to win their individual matches. Despite Navy’s dominant performance, McCoy sees an opportunity for growth with his young team
“We train too hard to go out there and not perform. Not getting caught up in the wins and losses,” McCoy said. “We have been putting in good work in practice. The guys are starting to connect with things, it’s just a matter of letting that transfer over to the competition.”
It is a short break for Maryland who will face Central Michigan in a dual match on Sunday at 2 p.m.
“I’m watching my match and I’m going to see what I did well and I’m going to practice that stuff all day tomorrow,” Bannister said about the quick turnaround before Sunday’s match.