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Nebraska, Pittsburgh sweep wrestling in ‘Buckeye Duals’

The 12th-ranked Ohio State wrestling team opened its home season on a sour note Sunday, dropping both of its matches in the “Buckeye Duals” at St. John Arena.

“I thought the biggest concern of all, up and down the lineup, was lack of effort,” coach Tom Ryan said.

The Buckeyes lost to No. 20 Pittsburgh (18-17) as their last wrestler on the docket, senior Colt Sponseller, recorded a win with a 15-9 decision but couldn’t get the fall that would have sealed the match for the Buckeyes.

Along with Sponseller at 157 pounds, 125-pound freshman Logan Stieber (technical fall), 133-pound sophomore Ian Paddock, 141-pound redshirt freshman Collin Palmer and 149-pound redshirt junior Sean Nemec also recorded victories over Pitt.

The Buckeyes’ second match of the day came against No. 14 Nebraska — the Buckeyes fell 24-11. Only Stieber (technical fall), Paddock and Sponseller were victorious for the Buckeyes.

Ryan said that, along with effort, the Buckeyes need to work on their size and strength, as they have a lot of athletes who are light in their weight classes and some returning from injury who are still getting used to competition.

“There’re so many things right now that this team needs, but nothing more than the will to be a program that represents Buckeye nation the way it should,” Ryan said.

It’s the first time the Buckeyes have opened with consecutive losses since the 2000-01 season.

The Buckeyes return to action Dec. 3 for the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Collegiate Wrestling Invitational in Las Vegas.

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