Nick Simmons Advances to NCAA Semifinals with 3-0 win
March 16, 2007
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - Spartan senior Nick Simmons used a second-period takedown to key a patient 3-0 win over ninth-seeded Jimmy Kennedy of Illinois in Friday afternoon's 133-pound NCAA Wrestling quarterfinals at The Palace of Auburn Hills. With the win, Simmons advances to the semifinals for the third straight year and will face fourth-seeded Coleman Scott of Oklahoma State Friday night. Simmons defeated Scott on Nov. 16 in a dual meet in Stillwater, 4-0. Overall, Simmons owns a 4-0 career record against Scott, including a 7-5 victory in last year's NCAA Championships.
"I expected a match like that for the most part," Simmons said of Kennedy's defensive strategy. "I was happy with it - I felt a lot better than I did yesterday. If I wrestle the way I know I can wrestle, everything will be fine."
Simmons remained patient throughout the match, systematically wearing down the Illinois freshman. The match was scoreless midway through the second period, but Simmons was the clear aggressor. His patience was rewarded with a takedown at the 55-second mark, giving him an insurmountable 2-0 lead. Simmons chose the down position to start the final period, and Kennedy's only chance to comeback was to record a takedown of his own. Simmons immediately earned an escape point, and Kennedy was unable to score the takedown he needed.
Nick's brother, Andy, suffered a hamstring injury in yesterday's second-round match, and was forced to forfeit his 141-pound consolation bout against Wisconsin's Kyle Ruschell. Andy closes his Spartan career with a 115-29 record. He was a two-time All-American, won the 2006 Big Ten title, and his 115 wins are tied for seventh in MSU history.
The semifinal matches, televised on ESPNU, begin at 7 p.m. Friday night at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
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