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Wrestling: Bobcats compete in first home match, defeat Mountaineers

Following a tough road loss to Missouri last weekend, Ohio saw a chance to regain its momentum when the Bobcats came home to face Appalachian State on Sunday.

It was an opportunity the Bobcats were able to take advantage of by defeating the Mountaineers 27-12 to improve Ohio's record to 4-1 on the season.

Ohio started its day off strong, gaining a 6-0 lead in its first two matches. No. 19 redshirt sophomore Spartak Chino started the competition with a 12-9 victory over Nick Hall. Redshirt junior Harrison Hightower followed with a 4-0 victory against Zack Strickland.

Xoach Joel Greenlee said that Hightower's match stood out the most from the dual.

"That was a three or four point loss last  year to the same guy," Greenlee said. "Harrison got low on that guy and got a takedown early. That's huge for him that he was able to get that win and turn that around."

After a loss in the following match, Ohio rattled off three consecutive wins in its 184, 197 and 285-pound classes to blow open the dual 20-3.

"Without a doubt, today was important," Greenlee said. "We accomplished a lot of things that we've been working on in practice the last couple of weeks, and for the most part, we looked pretty good."

Towards the end of the match, the Bobcats saw a pair of their lower-weight class wrestlers experience some much-needed success. 133-pound sophomore Kagan Squire defeated Chris Johnson 6-4, then freshman Noah Forrider defeated Acton Pifer 16-6.

"Forrider has gotten unbelievably better in a hurry," Greenlee said. "He learns from every match. When he first came to Ohio, his strength was wrestling on his feet. Now, he's a lot better at wrestling on the mat, which is very important in college."

Ohio's next action will come in the Reno Tournament of Champions next Sunday, which is set to begin at 9:00 a.m.

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