No match: Air Force raids Jacks

John Green

The SDSU Wrestling team had a long afternoon Jan. 29 hosting the U.S. Air Force Academy Falcons in Frost Arena for a league dual meet. SDSU dropped the match to the Falcons 36-6, who took control of the meet early. After Sunday’s meet, SDSU slid back to a 0-2-0 record in the Western Wrestling Conference and a 3-4-0 season record. Air Force improved to a 2-1-0 record in conference and a 7-3-0 overall record.

The Jackrabbits quickly claimed one of their two victories in the first match as freshman Dillon Reid won a 6-4 decision over the Air Force’s Colby Kluesner.  From that point forward, the Falcons claimed victories in the next four matches: two by decision, one by major decision and one by a technical fall.

The Jacks’ final win of the day occurred as junior Aaron Pickrel (125) won a 4-2 decision over the academy’s Greg Rinker.  After Pickrel’s victory, SDSU could not find any momentum and dropped the final three matches, two of which were decided by fall.

Head coach Jason Liles felt the Jacks did not wrestle to their potential.

“Air Force is a good squad, but we made them look better than they actually were.  We had lots of opportunities, and we just didn’t capitalize on them,” said Liles.

Liles emphasized his disappointment with the Jackrabbits’ performance in the down position.

“It was one of our poorest showings in the down position that I’ve seen.  We just couldn’t execute,” said Liles. “We’re coming off of a two-week training period, and we wasted it.”

Unfortunately for the Jacks, the backstretch of their schedule could be the most challenging. SDSU will have their work cut out for them, with upcoming meets at SIU-Edwardsville, the University of Northern Iowa and No. 12 Wyoming.

“Right now, Wyoming is nationally ranked, and UNI is leading the conference, so it’s not going to get any easier.  We’re going to have to step it up quite a bit,” said Liles.

The Jacks will have a chance to regain momentum in the league as they face a tough road schedule in the next few weeks, including two meets this weekend.

The first will be held Friday, Feb. 3, in Edwardsville, Ind., against SIU-Edwardsville. The second follows on Sunday, Feb. 5, in Cedar Falls, Iowa, hosted by UNI.

The Jacks return home for their final meet of the season Feb. 16, in a dual with the University of Wyoming.