Even a move from the Big Ten regular season to the first round of the National Duals couldn’t slow down the Ohio State wrestling team.
The Buckeyes (13-3) topped the Edinboro Fighting Scots (13-5), 30-7, on Sunday to move on to the quarterfinals of the National Duals in Iowa next weekend. OSU has now won nine straight matchups.
OSU redshirt-senior Logan Stieber, who is ranked No. 1 at 141 pounds, and Edinboro’s redshirt-senior Mitchell Port (ranked second) wrestled to a 6-3 Steiber win. Afterward, Stieber said he feels confident when facing such tough competition.
“I felt good. I keep feeling better every weekend, I felt like I was in control the whole time,” Stieber said. “It’s good to wrestle a good opponent like Mitchell, as it will only help me prepare for the big matches to come.”
The Buckeyes will look to use the momentum from their winning streak — including senior Ray Gordon’s first win of the season — heading into Saturday’s National Duals finals in Iowa City.
“It was a good team performance, especially seeing our heavyweight (Gordon) win a match,” Stieber said. “Now we just have to focus on continuing to improve as well as getting in better shape and keep doing what we’re doing.”
Redshirt-junior Johnni DiJulius (133) said the team has what it takes to win in the postseason.
“We’re getting in a groove at the right time and that is helping with confidence and momentum,” DiJulius said.
Coach Tom Ryan agreed that his team is hitting its stride at the right time and added that OSU could continue to get even better after facing Edinboro.
“That was a tough team that brought some big matches, and overall, we looked good,” Ryan said. “We’re looking better as the season progresses.”
The three freshmen in the lineup continued their dominance and all gained the team bonus points for their efforts.
Redshirt-freshman Nathan Tomasello won via majority decision (four points) to get the meet going at 125 pounds, while fellow redshirt-freshman Bo Jordan earned a pin (six points) that gave the Buckeyes a 20-4 advantage. Freshman Kyle Snyder used 11 takedowns in route to a 25-9 technical fall (five points) at 197 pounds.
The last match featured Gordon pulling off a 3-1 decision to capture his first win of the season. The senior has been wrestling in place of injured redshirt-sophomore Nick Tavanello, who has been out with a knee injury. Tavanello is expected to make his way back next week, so Gordon’s first senior victory likely ended his OSU career.
The Buckeyes are set to take on Lehigh University in the quarterfinals Saturday at noon.