Rayvon Foley Punches Ticket To NCAA Wrestling Championships At Big Tens
Freshman wins in the first round of winner's bracket to qualify.
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State, the host of the 2018 Big Ten Wrestling Championships, began the first day of the tournament with a guaranteed NCAA qualifier and the chance to qualify two more after a day full of grappling with the best wrestlers in the country on Saturday at the Breslin Center.
"This tournament is very relentless in so many ways. When our team has lost that many matches, it's an eye opener for me and you hope that they grow from it," Michigan State head coach Roger Chandler said. "I know that the experience of all these freshmen going through this is going to pay dividends to our program down the line. Everybody out there battled, sometimes they were just out-classed a little bit and they have to adjust in order to be at the elite level, and I know every one of those guys want to be. They have to experience first-hand and make adjustments along the way."
With a win in the championship bracket, freshman 125-pounder Rayvon Foley secured one of the Big Ten's 10 allocations at NCAA Championships. Foley handed a major decision,15-3, to Indiana's Elijah Oliver in a rematch from the regular season, garnering bonus points for the Spartans.
In the second round of the championship bracket, Foley took on No. 3 Spencer Lee of Iowa for the second time this season. With just 17 seconds left in the first period, Lee pinned Foley.
"Rayvon, win or lose, this is something I always say: don't worry about the wins and losses worry about how you compete, and Rayvon competes the way that we want everyone in our program to compete," Chandler added. "He competes the entire time, for the entire match. He's always looking to score points, but you know what, nobody likes to lose, but at the same time I know you can have no regrets with how you competed if you compete like that."
After a bye in the first round of consolation, Foley took down No. 12 Drew Mattin with a 3-2 decision for his second win of the season over Mattin. After going down 1-0, Foley got the escape and followed with a takedown with just 50 seconds left in the match to earn the win. Foley's following match was another rematch against No. 18 Luke Welch. The Spartan took the Boilermaker to sudden victory, but Welch got the first takedown of overtime to win, 6-4.
"I definitely came up there with the mentality to win," Foley said. "I think I probably should have wrestled a bit better, made a couple adjustments, because guys like Drew (Mattin) and (Spencer) Lee, all these guys are really good, and I know I'm good too, there's just things I have to do better in order to beat these guys consistently. For somebody like Lee or (Nathan) Tomasello (of Ohio State), I have to be able to beat them in every single position, so I have to make that adjustment."
Foley will wrestle in the seventh-place match in Session III on Sunday against Oliver of Indiana, who he majored in the first round of Saturday's championship bracket.
"I think it's going to be a tough one," Foley added. "I think it's going to be a little more difficult to deal with him, probably because I've wrestled him already and the next day I'm going to wrestle him again. So, he's picked up a little bit and I have to really be able to deal with him differently. I have to stay mentally focused and really stay in his face and keep fighting, hand-fighting and get to my shots."
At 149 pounds, redshirt freshman Jwan Britton won his first match in the extra bracket, fighting another day for a chance at one of the Big Ten's nine allocations for NCAA Championships. In a rematch with his opponent from the first round of consolation, Britton collected an 8-5 decision over Eric Barone from Illinois.
Britton is set to wrestle against Cole Martin of Wisconsin at the start of Session III on Sunday.
While redshirt freshman 157-pounder Jake Tucker fell in the first round of the championship bracket to No. 1 Jason Nolf of Penn State, the Spartan came back to win in the first round of the consolation bracket with a 7-3 decision over Kyle Langenderfer of Illinois. Tucker lost in the second round of consolation matches to John Van Brill of Rutgers, 5-2, but came back with a sudden victory win in the extra bracket against Jake Danishek, 9-7.
Tucker also has a rematch on Sunday against Langenderfer of Illinois in Session III, whom he faced off with in the first round of consolation.
"We have two other freshmen that can still have a chance to punch their ticket to the NCAA Championships, and that's important," Chandler said. "They know how important this is. Jwan (Britton) came back and beat a guy that he lost to earlier in the day, that shows that he made the mental and technical adjustment."
Session III begins Sunday, March 4, at 12 p.m. at the Breslin Center and will be streamed on BTN2Go.com. Session IV with the championships is set for 3 p.m. and will be broadcast on Big Ten Network.
Michigan State's 2018 Big Ten Wrestling Championships - Saturday Results
125 First Round: No. 17 Rayvon Foley (MSU) major dec. Elijah Oliver (IU), 15-3
125 Quarterfinals: No. 3 Spencer Lee (IOWA) pinned No. 17 Rayvon Foley (MSU), 2:43
125 Consolation Second Round: No. 17 Rayvon Foley (MSU) dec. No. 12 Drew Mattin (MICH), 3-2
125 Consolation Third Round: No. 18 Luke Welch sudden victory No. 17 Rayvon Foley, 6-4
133 First Round: Jason Renteria (NEB) pinned Logan Griffin (MSU), 3:56
133 Consolation First Round: Jens Lantz (UW) dec. Logan Griffin (MSU), 3-0
141 First Round: No. 4 Joey McKenna (OSU) pinned Javier Gasca (MSU), 2:12
141 Consolation First Round: Eli Stickley (UW) dec. Javier Gasca (MSU), 7-0
141 NCAA Allocation Match: Mike Van Brill (RU) dec. Javier Gasca (MSU), 3-0
149 First Round: No. 9 Colton McCrystal (NEB) major dec. Jwan Britton (MSU), 17-5
149 Consolation First Round: Eric Barone (ILL) dec. Jwan Britton (MSU), 7-2
149 NCAA Allocation Match: Jwan Britton (MSU) dec. Eric Barone (ILL), 8-5
157 First Round: No. 1 Jason Nolf (PSU) pinned Jake Tucker (MSU), 2:34
157 Consolation First Round: Jake Tucker (MSU) dec. Kyle Langenderfer (ILL), 7-3
157 Consolation Second Round: John Van Brill (RU) dec. Jake Tucker (MSU), 5-2
157 NCAA Allocation Match: Jake Tucker (MSU) sudden victory Jake Danishek (IU), 9-7
165 First Round: No. 11 Evan Wick (UW) pinned Austin Hiles (MSU), 0:32
165 Consolation First Round: Brendan Burnham (UMD) dec. Austin Hiles (MSU), 11-4
165 NCAA Allocation Match: Brendan Burnham (UMD) dec. Austin Hiles (MSU), 6-4
174 First Round: No. 2 Mark Hall (PSU) pinned Logan Ritchie (MSU), 5:34
174 Consolation First Round: Logan Ritchie wins over Chris Pfarr (MINN), medical forfeit
174 Consolation Second Round: Joey Gunther (IOWA) dec. Logan Ritchie (MSU), 2-1
184 First Round: No. 7 Emery Parker (ILL) dec. Shwan Shadaia (MSU), 5-1
184 Consolation First Round: Buddy Conley (IU) dec. Shwan Shadaia (MSU), 8-4
197 First Round: Eric Schultz (NEB) dec. Nick May (MSU), 3-2
197 Consolation First Round: Bye
197 Consolation Second Round: Zack Chakonis (NU) major dec. Nick May (MSU) 13-2
HWT First Round: Rylee Streifel (MINN) dec. Christian Rebottaro (MSU), 3-0
HWT Consolation First Round: Bye
HWT Consolation Second Round: No. 17 Shawn Streck dec. Christian Rebottaro (MSU), 10-4