Well it is the start of another great season, and I am happy to be back bringing you previews and recaps this year. Tomorrow at 4pm Mizzou will open their season against Illinois at the women’s softball stadium that is adjacent to the Hearnes Center. Before I get into the match-ups all rankings utilized are courtesy of Flowrestling.
Barlow McGhee vs. #17 Travis Piotrowski
McGhee had an up and down season last year in a year in which expectations were pretty high. He showed flashes of the well rounded chain offense he had flashed the year prior, but he often seemed hesitant to pull the trigger. McGhee at his best can be a very solid wrestler on his feet with some limitations in his mat wrestling. Piotrowski is a bit longer for the weight and is pretty tough to finish cleanly on. He is also fairly tough on top. Keys for McGhee in this match are being aggressive throughout and building a lead, because he may struggle some on the mat. I look at this match as a toss-up and will go with McGhee starting his year off right with the slight upset and taking this by a 5-4 type score.
Prediction: McGhee 5-4 (MIZZ 3-0)
#9 John Erneste vs. #15 Dylan Duncan
This match is a great early test for Erneste. He split extremely close decisions with Duncan last season, and this is the type of match Erneste will have to win if he is to achieve AA status in March. Erneste is a hammer on top who favors a cross body ride to a spladle or cross body cradle. On his feet Erneste is an extremely tough hand fighter who typically goes to a russian tie to set up his slide by and his low single. He is also a very talented scrambler. Duncan is a little more aggressive on his feet with his shot volume, but is also a tough top wrestler and scrambler. I like Erneste to get a first period takedown and really set the tone with a tough ride and take this match in a stingy low scoring affair.
Prediction: Erneste 4-2 (MIZZ 6-0)
#4 Jaydin Eierman vs. Mike Carr
Eierman wrestled a lot this summer and recently finished third at the U23 Freestyle trials. He is very battle tested and ready to go. I expect to see him look to go big early and I believe he will either throw or utilize his top work to grab a crowd pleasing fall here.