By Ryan Homler
The Maryland Wrestling Team could not turn things around on Friday night as they suffered another close loss to the Indiana Hoosiers.
The Terps and Hoosiers split the first two bouts as Elijah Oliver picked up a win for Indiana in the 125 weight class 3-2 over Maryland’s Michael Beck. However, Maryland was able to rally and tie the score at 3-3 thanks to a 7-2 victory from Billy Rappo at the 133 weight class.
With the score all knotted up Maryland looked for Redshirt Sophomore Ryan Diehl (141) to step up in his first career dual match as he filled in for the injured Jhared Simmons, and Diehl delivered. The West Virginia native recorded a pin against Cole Weaver that sent the crowd into a frenzy and put the Terps up 9-3.
However, the following match between Adam Whitesell and Chris Perez proved to be a turning point for the Hoosiers. Whitesell, who was filling in for the injured Alfred Bannister was able to force a 3-3 tie early in the third and send the bout into overtime. The tide quickly turned the Hoosiers way in the extra period as a quick takedown gave Perez the victory and gave Indiana three points.
From there, Indiana would rattle 16 consecutive points to cap off a 19-0 run in 5 matches and give them a 22-9 advantage and mathematically eliminating the Terps from picking up and dual meet victory. Maryland was hit with an onslaught of tough Hoosier opponents including #20 Devin Skatzka at 174 and #7 Nate Jackson at 184. Both ranked wrestler dominated their bouts with wins of 16 to 4 and 24 to 8 respectively.
Yet, even with the fate of the night already decided, the last two Terps wrestlers would not let the night in on a sour note. Like they have done so many times before, David-Brian Whisler (197) and Youssif Hemida (285) both picked up impressive wins, with Hemida’s coming by an emphatic pin in the third period. This was also Hemida’s eighth win in his last ten matches and his third pin in his last six.
For the Terps, these last two victories were important for the mentality of the team.
“It’s always good to end on a good note,” Redshirt Freshman David-Brian Whisler said postgame. “The only thing that could make a loss worse is ending on a loss.”
As for head coach Kerry McCoy, he believed that wins by Whisler and Hemida were more than some points for Maryland, they were promising signs for the future.
“It is exciting the way we finished,” coach McCoy said after the match. “Disappointing to not get the win, but encouraging that we were close.”
The whole Terps squad will be back in action next Friday at 7pm as they take on Northwestern on Senior Night in College Park.