The Bob Del Rosa Duals presented the John Carroll University wrestling team with an interesting situation to open up the 2014-2015 season. The duals started the final year for head coach Kerry Volkmann, who announced his 28th year will be his last, and kicked off a season with high expectations.
After beating St. Catherine University, the College of Mount St. Joseph and Niagara County Community College, the Blue Streaks started the new year with 3-1 record and gave Volkmann his career 300th victory as head coach.
St. Catherine offered the first challenge for the Blue and Gold to start the new season. Beating the Patriots 35-7 gave JCU its first win of the season. Sophomore Thomas McNulty started off his 4-0 day with a fall at 1:45 in the 157-pound division. Senior Terner Gott also started his perfect 4-0 day with a 17-0 technical fall in the 165 bracket.
Sophomore Steven Schmitz and senior Todd Gaydosh each scored a victory in their respective 184 and 197 pound divisions.
On the afternoon, JCU featured three 4-0 wrestlers. McNulty, Gott and sophomore Sal Corrao all earned the honor.
Carrao marks the preparation as the reason for the success at the duals,
“We wanted to get into the first meet and see how in shape we were for cutting weight for this first time this season.” Carrao went on to mention the 300th win for Volkmann saying, “It felt great to be apart of that milestone.”
Alma College offered the only mishap for the Blue and Gold, losing to the Scots by a 9-30 decision. Carrao (133 pounds), Gott and McNulty were the only winners for the Blue Streaks in the Alma dual.
JCU quickly responded with a win, a 44-9 mark over Mount St. Joseph. JCU posted wins in every weight class besides the 125 and 184 classes. Carrao recorded the only fall of the dual, earning a pin at 2:55.
The 300th victory for Volkmann was recorded with a 34-11 victory over Niagara County Community College. After the 141-pound division, the Blue Streaks were trailing, but did not give up another class.
Corrao, Mirman, and juniors Tyler Hardtke and Kyle Kraftman all scored non-forfeit wins to keep the Blue Streaks ahead and secure the milestone win for their head coach.
Volkmann’s career started in 1987, becoming the second coach in the program’s history after Tony DeCarlo completed his 23rd year in the position. Volkmann, a 10-time Ohio Athletic Conference Coach of the Year, led the Blue Streaks to four OAC dual meet championships since the conference started to recognize a regular season champion in 2000.
Volkmann was named captain for the Blue Streaks his senior season both on the wrestling and football teams. In his wrestling career, he earned 57-11 record, earning him a spot on the JCU Athletics Hall of Fame. With the 3-1 start to this season, Volkmann has a 300-139-5 record throughout his tenure.
The JCU wrestling team returned to action on Tuesday, Nov. 11 at 7 p.m., facing off against Case Western Reserve University.
Big days from the likes of Carrao, Mirman and Hardtke propelled the Blue Streaks to an impressive 40-12 victory despite forfeiting match points due to the lack of a wrestler in 125-pound weight class.
The victory leaves JCU with a 4-1 record on the season as they take the mat next on Saturday, Nov. 15 when they travel to Angola, Ind. for the Trine Invitational.
A few victories there would have the Blue Streaks in prime position as conference play approaches.