GVSU club wrestling defeats Toledo 35-19
It was one of the few home meets for the club this season
GVL / Archive - Brendan Hazelton works to hold his opponent down during the club wrestling match on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016 in Allendale.
The Grand Valley State men’s club wrestling team began the second semester with a convincing win at the GVSU Fieldhouse over the Toledo Rockets Sunday, Jan. 15.
The Lakers captured an early lead but the Rockets would not go back to Ohio without a fight. The Rockets pulled within 10 points of the Lakers with just a few bouts remaining.
With key wins from Derek Desloover and freshman Langston Mitchell, the Lakers were able to regain control of the dual, ultimately winning 35-19.
Mitchell picked a climactic time to win his first ever collegiate bout.
“It was exhilarating,” Mitchell said. “It gave me confidence that I can win at this level.”
This was no small feat for the Lakers. The Rockets have several nationally ranked wrestlers and as a team they are the No. 1 ranked Division II team in the NCWA according to TheOpenMat.com rankings.
“We beat a pretty good team today,” said GVSU coach Rick Bolhuis. “They don’t have a lot of depth but they have a bunch of really scrappy guys so we knew we would have to show up and compete hard.”
While the Rockets struggled depth issues, the Lakers had nearly 20 wrestlers participate, and for the most part, they all wrestled well—exactly what Bolhuis wanted to see from his team following a long winter break.
“We wanted to get a chance to get everyone a match and we wanted to win the dual and we did both those things,” said Bolhuis.
It is a rare occasion the Lakers compete at home. They are mostly on the road when they compete in dual, a reason the Lakers were having participation issues in the first semester.
Certainly competing at home helps with team participation. Forfeits were a major issue just a month ago, but according to Bolhuis after some team discussion, “a new process was made crystal clear.”
The process that the club has been emphasizing lately consists of doing the right things at the right times, properly fueling their bodies and meeting the teams expectations. If the process is followed the product will be satisfactory.
Sophomore Daisuke Jimenez, who wrestled well versus a nationally ranked opponent, believes the whole team has bought in to the process.
“We work really well together as a team and we push each other all the time,” Jimenez said. “We just keep continuing to grow and improve and keep getting these ‘W’s.”
The win improves the Lakers record to 8-3 on the season but more importantly, this win will help the Lakers come nationals. This dual had crucial seeding implications for the national championships at the end of the season. The Lakers are putting themselves in a prime position for that tournament.
The Lakers still have a couple months until then, and in the meantime, plan to improve day by day.
Next up, the Lakers will compete again Friday, Jan. 27 and Saturday, Jan. 28, at No. 3 ranked Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, for the NCWA National Duals.