Rider halts three-game skid in Pennsylvania

By Logan VanDine

On a three-match slide and in need of some kind of spark, Rider wrestling headed to the commonwealth of Pennsylvania for their final roadtrip of the regular season. In dominant fashion, the Broncs won both of their matches decisively, 28-6 against Edinboro on Feb. 10 and 25-12 over Clarion on Feb. 12.

Losing streak snapped

Rider wrestling was able to snap its three match losing streak and take down the Edinboro Fighting Scots 28-6 in the first of two weekend matches on Feb. 10. 

The match began strong for the Broncs thanks to junior Tyler Klinsky winning the first bout of the night at 125 pounds, thanks to a 23-8 win by technical fall which set the tone for the rest of the match.

  “I just did my job, I try to go out and score as many points as possible every match. With the post season coming up the main goal is to be 100% for the conference tournament and be wrestling my best in March. I’m hoping I can build off the win tonight and carry my efforts into the remainder of the season,” Klinsky said.

Later in the match, after back to back bout losses, the push for Rider to end its recent skid did not slow down as they won the last five bouts of the night and took eight of the 10 bouts of the night to win 28-6.

Rider Wrestling Head Coach John Hangey expressed how great it felt for his team to snap their three match skid and how a win like this will give his team lots of confidence.

“It feels good, I think the kids needed it. I think the kids can gain confidence coming out of here. It was just what we needed, we weren’t losing because we were not trying, we were just not finishing matches and I thought tonight we controlled the pace, we controlled the action and I thought our kids wrestled well,” Hangey said.

 Graduate student Ethan Laird, who grew up in nearby McKean, Pennsylvania described his feelings being back in his hometown and how he felt he wrestled in his bout.

 “It was a fun match for me being able to compete in my hometown for the first time since my freshman year in 2018. I was lucky to have a great turn out of family and friends come to support me, and to get the win in front of all of them was a really cool experience,” Laird said. “It was a good win for the team after a tough stretch of matches.The guys wrestled hard and got back on track. Winning the match gave us some much needed momentum heading into the final stretch of the season and should set us up for a strong finish in the final month of the season.”

They got back to themselves

Looking to close the weekend out strong, the Broncs had another convincing victory taking down the Clarion Golden Eagles 25-12 on Feb. 12 in their final road regular season match.

Klinsky lost the first bout of the afternoon, but it did not faze the Broncs as they went on to win five of the next six bouts to take control of the entire match, and only lost two bouts the rest of the day.

“They got back to being themselves today and that’s the expectation that we have everytime they go out there, they need to provide that kind of energy, put that kind of pressure on people and those would be the kind of results we get so we got back to our true identity,” Hangey said.

With the Broncs getting back to that “true identity” Hangey emphasized, he gave props to those he thought competed very hard and wrestled great.

“Mike [Wilson] wrestled great today, that kid is ranked pretty high in the MAC [Mid-American Conference] and he’s beaten several good kids this year so that was a very important win for Mike’s confidence,” Hangey said. “Richie [Koehler] is getting back on track and we need that as a team, Quinn Kinner got back on track this weekend and McKenzie Bell just looked dominant, he’s got five major decisions in his last seven matches and at the end of the day, it’s nice to have Ethan Laird on the top to close out a dual meet at anytime I need him so that was great to have.”

Senior Michael Wilson gave his input on how the team performed overall which he described as having lots of ‘high energy’ and ‘lots of pressure’ on them.

“The team wrestled great today. High energy, lots of pressure. We were in their face every match for seven minutes and made them wanna quit. I kept it simple and stuck to my game plan, wrestled tough and got my hand raised,” Wilson said.

The Broncs now have three more matches this weekend to close out their regular season with George Mason visiting on Feb. 17 at 2 p.m. and two Saturday matches beginning at 10 a.m. with Cleveland State up first following with Drexel at 2 p.m. on Feb. 18.

“We have to keep training hard, we have to keep adjusting so we can keep continuing to improve and we also have to keep our expectations high so our training matches those expectations so that’s our goal now and our last week here and two weeks of preparations before the MAC Conference,” Hangey said.

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