Freshman Gaven Bell picked up his first career dual win, No. 12 Kyle Cochran continued a strong campaign and King Sandoval picked up his 10th fall-win of the season.
But outside of those three individual performances, nothing else went Maryland wrestling’s way on day two of the Virginia Duals. The Terps were swept in convincing fashion, losing 28-6 to No. 24 South Dakota State and 41-6 to No. 18 Oklahoma.
“We got beat by two teams that wrestled better than us,” coach Alex Clemsen said.
Bell — who has been filling in at 165 for John Martin Best since he tore his ACL against Duke — put on his best performance against the Jackrabbit’s Tanner Cook.
In a back and forth bout, Bell was tied, 5-5, with Cook in the second period. But Bell spun off of Cook in the middle of the mat and got a takedown to go up 7-5 going into the third period. A quick escape by Bell put him ahead 8-5 and prospects were looking great for the talented freshman.
All was not done as Cook fought back and got a takedown to cut the lead to one. Just when things were looking bad for Bell he flipped Cook off his body for a reversal to get a 10-7 lead and that was enough in the end for Bell to win by decision, 12-8.
“[Bell is] always a kid that fights,” Clemsen said. “When you see that, you know, good things are gonna start to happen.”
Despite Bell’s first career dual win, the Terps found themselves trailing 19-0 entering that bout, all but ruining a chance at an upset win before their big four could even wrestle.
A forfeit at 125 put Maryland in an early 6-0 hole and Sandoval lost by decision, 6-4, to Greg Tagg while Danny Bertoni, Michael North, and Lucas Cordio all lost their bouts to create the massive deficit.
Cochran took care of business against unranked Cade King with a 4-0 decision win. After getting an early takedown, Cochran rode out King for 2:47 in riding time, controlling the rest of the bout for his 14th win in his last 15 matches.
Cochran finished 3-0 at the Virginia Duals and moved to 17-2 on the season.
“It feels like I have a target on my back,” Cochran said. “People want to take on a guy that’s higher in the rankings than them and I completely welcome that.”
But outside of Cochran, the rest of the Terps’ big four all lost their bouts. Dominic Solis was unable to build off a solid performance on Friday, losing by decision to No. 10 Cade DeVos, 9-5.
In a rematch from the Southern Scuffle, No. 31 Jaron Smith couldn’t rally in the third period against No. 21 Tanner Sloan, losing by decision, 6-2. To end the first dual, No. 24 A.J. Nevills got enough riding time in the third period to beat No. 26 Zach Schrader by decision, 2-1.
Dual two didn’t fare much better for Maryland. Another forfeit at 125 put the Terps in an early 6-0 hole against a strong ranked opponent in the Sooners.
Sandoval quickly erased that deficit in 32 seconds, pinning Gabe Vidlak after throwing him on his back for his 10th win by fall this season. But that victory by Sandoval was the only bright spot for Maryland in the dual as Oklahoma put up 35 unanswered points.
“[Sandoval] made an adjustment,” Clemsen said. “Once he buried [Vidlak] he made sure he put the nail in the coffin.”
Bertoni, Solis, and Chase Mielnik — filling in for Cochran — all got pinned in their respective bouts. North and freshman Conner Decker, who was making his dual debut, both lost by major decision in their bouts.
Smith faced No. 11 Jake Woodley and couldn’t get anything going on offense, losing by decision, 3-1, and going 0-2 on the day versus ranked opponents. The same could be said for Schrader who, against No. 27 Josh Heindelsman, fell by tiebreaker to lose by decision and also went 0-2 on the day against ranked opponents.
After going 2-0 on day one of the Virginia Duals, Maryland was outscored 69-12 to two ranked opponents, leaving Hampton, Virginia with a 2-2 record on the weekend.
“When we go out and make sure we only wrestle our positions and we force our style. We have positive results,” Clemsen said. “When we don’t do that. Bad things happen.”
Once conference play resumes, the Terps will travel to Indiana and Ohio State for two more challenging matchups.