Wrestling Senior Day - Postgame Quotes

Chattanooga Wrestling - Postgame Quotes
Chattanooga 30 - Appalachian State 9
Chattanooga 16 - Northern Iowa 15
Northern Iowa 30 - Appalachian State 9
Maclellan Gym - Chattanooga, Tenn.
Feb. 6, 2010

Chattanooga Head Coach Heath Eslinger
On Jason McCroskey winning the final match against UNI:
"He lost his first match and didn't hang his head. He came back and found a way to win the duel for us. We want to have gut checks. That was a gut check and he responded, so congrats to him."

What it means to beat UNI:
"It means more to beat Appy because they're in our conference. But to have a team from the Midwest come in us find a way to beat them, it's important. I thought we could have beat them a lot worse, so I'm a little frustrated."

What do you need to do going forward?
"We've got to get our guys mentally healthy. We've got to be strategic as coaches. They've got to be disciplined as athletes and we've got to find a way to get our minds to be focused and energized and ready to roll for the Southern Conference Tournament. Our bodies are ready. These guys are doing a great job. We're not where we want to be right now, but we're headed in the right direction."

On losing the first two matches against UNI, and falling in a 6-0 hole:
"That's not okay. That's my fault. I didn't have those two guys ready. We've got to have those two guys ready. We've got to find a way to have those guys win those matches every time. A match like that could keep you from being in the NCAA tournament and that can't happen."

On the seniors:
"What a rough year for seniors, with injuries and things like that. Really, three of them are injured, but they've done a good job. They've responded to our coaching staff well, and helped us push this team in the right direction."

Chattanooga Sophomore Jason McCroskey:
What were you thinking about headed into the final match with UNI?
"Really, I didn't think about [being down three] at all. The bad thing is, I was thinking about the before and how bad that was. I had to redeem myself somehow and finally get a good match in. I didn't even think about that was for the win until the end. That made it a little better. That was pretty cool."

Bouncing back after the loss to Appalachian State's Troutman:
"Every time I lose it's mental. It's not about skill or anything like that, it's all about mental. I've just got to get mentally stronger right now."

Were you thinking about the team score at all?
"I didn't even think about it. That would have made it worse if I had thought about it. I'm not good with the pressure stuff. But it was fun."

About the first few matches against UNI:
"We should've been 12-0, 15-0 before we started losing any matches. But sometimes the matches don't go the way you want. You have to adapt, and we showed that we can adapt right here."

Appalachian State Head Coach JohnMark Bentley
Thoughts on the two matches as a whole:
"It wasn't a real good day for us. We didn't perform the way we're capable of performing. That's disappointing, but we're a young team. We've had some hard fought matches the last month or so, we just didn't attack enough to get the win."

On staying close with Chattanooga:
"We were in a lot of matches, but we lost a lot of close matches. And at the end of the day, that makes for a lopsided score. The bottom line is, we knew there were going to be a lot of close matches, they just did what it took."

What is the difference in Appalachian State and UTC?
"[Chattanooga] is a young team too, their guys just stepped up there in a couple of key matches. When it was a pivotal match they did the job they needed to. That's the bottom line. They were the better team today. They wrestled harder than we did. They competed harder than we did."

What does this match mean for your team going forward?
"We've got to be more aggressive. We can't stand around and let teams control the ties and attack us and do the things they want to do if we're going to win wrestling matches. It's as simple as that. We've got to take our style to them, control the ties, and attack. If we do that, we're a pretty good team. But if we stand around and be defensive, we're vulnerable."

On Austin Troutman, who won both of his matches at 184:
"Troutman's a good kid and he's getting better with confidence. He recently moved up to 184, it's just a better weight for him."

Northern Iowa Head Coach Brad Penrith
"They wrestled well. They came out and they competed. We didn't pull the trigger at 125 and 165 and that's why I'm frustrated right now. I mean, I can't do anything, my starting 125-pounder and starting 184-pounder are not here, and I've got a ranked 149-pounder who's not here, but that's part of the game. You wrestle who you have. We'll accept the loss and go back to work. But I'm frustrated we didn't have the offense. That would have changed everything. I thought UTC wrestled well. They came out and they had fire in their belly. They wanted the win."

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