For the first time since 2014, Maryland wrestling secured a victory in its season opener.
In head coach Alex Clemsen’s debut as the leader of the program, the Terps came away with a 42-6 victory over Southern Virginia before falling to Virginia, 34-6 at the Cavalier Duals in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Southern Virginia: 42-6
The Terps’ first matchup was against Southern Virginia. It was obvious that Maryland wrestling was thirsting for glory after its dominant performance leading them to a 42-6 victory over the Knights.
Not only was this the Terps’ largest margin of victory since 2015, but it was also their first season-opener win since 2014.
Hunter Baxter, Michael Doetsch, Jahi Jones and Kyle Jasenski all secured falls in their individual matchups against the Knights. The 141, 149, 157, and 184 pounders, respectively, showed their urgency on the mat by putting their opponents to their backs.
165-pounder Kyle Cochran managed to light up the scoreboard to win by technical fall in the third period after 5:34 of wrestling. A 17-7 major decision by 133-pound King Sandoval and a forfeit for 125-pound Jarod Kosman also helped rack up the points for the Terps.
Maryland’s only two losses came from the 197-pound and heavyweight matches. The Terps were up 42-0 over the Knights going into the 197-pound match, but Niko Cappello was defeated by a 9-4 minor decision. In the heavyweight match, Parker Robinson was defeated 11-4 to close out the dual.
After their impressive victory against Southern Virginia, the Terps went on to battle No. 24 Virginia. The Cavaliers defeated Maryland in a 34-6 victory. Although the score seems rough, the actual match was very close and could have gone in favor of either team. A majority of the individual matchups were decided by a slim margin.
“They controlled the center of the mat and dominated positions better than us today,” Clemsen said.
The Terps had a tough start after Kosman lost by fall against No. 2 nationally ranked Jack Mueller and Sandoval lost by a 10-2 major decision. Maryland did not see its first win until 149-pound Doetsch clinched a 4-2 tiebreak victory in overtime against Virginia’s Denton Spencer.
“[Doetsch] did a really good job trusting our staff, he responded well and he executed. That is what a coach-athlete relationship should look like,” Clemsen said.
Doetsch was not the only Terp to come out with an overtime win, 184 pound Jasenski secured a 6-4 sudden victory after battling back and forth for the lead against Virginia’s Tyler Love.
“Jasenski really wrestled through his positions and fought hard… He stayed calm as a cucumber,” Clemsen said.
Doetsch and Jasenski were the only victors for Maryland in the matchup against Virginia.
The Cavaliers finished off the dual with two falls in the 197 and heavyweight matches. In the 197-pound bout, Cappello had a tough matchup against Virginia’s No. 9 nationally ranked Jay Aiello.
Next weekend Maryland will travel just down the road to American University on Nov. 9 and compete in the American University Round Robin.
“We saw a lot of things that we can tweak. We got smart kids that won’t make the same mistake twice, they will grow and evolve,” Clemsen said.
Three Things To Know:
1. It’s the Terps’ first season-opener victory since 2014. The Terps’ victory over Southern Virginia came with an update to the stat books. The last time Maryland wrestling won in its season-opener was in 2014 against Johns Hopkins. The Terps defeated the Blue Jays 49-0, an impressive victory. Today, the Terps were able to put points up on the board and start their season on a dominant note in a 42-6 win over Southern Virginia. This feat shows promise as Maryland’s wrestling season begins to unfold.
2. Maryland’s close matchups against Virginia could have changed the outcome. Four of Maryland’s eight individual losses against Virginia were by a margin of two or less. The Terps were unable to finish and come out with a victory in very close battles. If these matches went a little different and each wrestler had at least one more take down each, Maryland could have built momentum and came out victorious over the Cavaliers.
“When you get in close battles and one position matches, that happens sometimes,” Clemsen said.
3. Michael Doetsch and Kyle Jasenski stand as the only undefeated Terps. After their first two matchups, the 149-pound Doetsch and 184-pound Jasenski remain undefeated. Every other Terp suffered at least one loss today. Doetsch and Jasenski also both came out victorious in their overtime matches against Virginia. These two wrestlers showed their perseverance out on the mat and their ability to fight longer than the seven minute regulation time.
“Says a lot about those guys’ grit and heart. They wrestled through really tough positions and came out with a win,” Clemsen said.