By Logan VanDine
The Rider wrestling team looked to finish off its disappointing season on a high note, but could not secure a late-season win in both of their matches, falling to Drexel and No. 1 Penn State to conclude the regular season.
The Broncs came to Drexel on a two-game winning streak and were looking to make it three in a row. Unfortunately, the Broncs could not get it done against the Dragons, as they fell 23-17 on Feb. 18 to begin their two-match weekend.
The Dragons came out dominating the Broncs winning the first five bouts of the night and were up 17-0.
The Broncs showed some grit and toughness and did not want to go down easily as they won four of the five final bouts to close the night with a respectable 23-17 defeat.
“I think they wrestled hard, we knew it was going to be a close match there was little margin for error and just one match didn’t go the way we expected and when you’re in a tough match it’s really important you hold them and don’t give them any bonus points,” Head Coach John Hangey said.
One of the bright spots in the match against the Dragons was redshirt sophomore No. 25 Quinn Kinner, who closed out the match on a high note for the Broncs, defeating Drexel’s Jared Donhue by tech fall over 14-0.
Hangey spoke highly of Kinner and said, “He has definitely hit his stride and we expected that from Quinn because he’s got a lot of potential and puts in a lot of time and effort into it.”
The Broncs turned around quickly after their loss to Drexel and headed to College Park to take on the undefeated and top- ranked team in the country Penn State to close their season. They did not stand a chance against the Nittany Lions and suffered a brutal loss to end their season 45-0 on Feb. 20.
It was not going to be an easy matchup going up against a team as talented as Penn State and it showed as Broncs could not stay close in most of their bouts and failed to win a single one of them.
The loss sent the Broncs home with a shutout loss for the first time since a match against the same Nittany Lions in 2013.
Despite the lopsided score, Hangey thought he saw some fight in his guys and wished others did a bit more.
“Some kids did, some kids didn’t do enough, obviously you’re going in against the No. 1 team in the country so you’re definitely outmanned but I liked how Mike Wilson fought and I definitely liked the way Quinn Kinner represented himself and wrestled the defending national champion really well,” Hangey said.
Wilson, who is a junior, and Kinner were the only Broncs who put up a decent fight against Penn State with them losing by a score of 76 and 6-3 respectively.
“I was impressed, (Wilson) just needs to have a little more sense of urgency on the bottom just him and Quinn [Kinner] both when you get out you gotta put yourself in a position to win a match, you can’t let a kid shorten a match or take away your riding time and that’s just the one thing those two missed but I was impressed with their fight,” Hangey said.
Wilson gave his thoughts on how he thought he performed too along with his team’s performance.
“I believe that we set our expectations too high and we train too hard as a team to get ever beat like that by any team,” he said.
The Broncs finished the regular season with a disappointing record of 4-10 after going 4-1 in the shortened 2020-2021 season the year before.
“It was not what we expected but we made the best of what we could out of what we had, I guess the bleeding is over sort of speak but now it’s on the conference tournament and the national tournaments and hopefully things can only go up from here,” Hangey said
With the regular season now officially in the books, the Broncs will now have time to prepare for the MAC Championships which are scheduled to take place in Athens, Ohio beginning Mar. 4.