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Ohio's Zac Carson wrestles with Central Michigan's Logan Parks on Jan. 31, 2020, in The Convo.

Wrestling: Ohio holds off Utah Valley in thriller

Ohio entered its match against Utah Valley looking to right the ship after losing its last two duals. While the match was closer than the Bobcats expected, they were still able to pull out the 18-17 victory. 

Ohio (7-8, 4-4 Mid-American Conference) had the lead most of the dual, but a late surge by Utah Valley almost gave it a devastating loss. Entering the final heavyweight bout, Ohio held and 18-13 lead. Jordan Earnest was faced with a tough task and had to hold off a pin from No. 4 Tate Orndoff. In the most hectic bout of the night, Earnest was able to hold Orndoff off and secure the victory for the Bobcats. 

The two wrestlers that stood out for Ohio were No. 16 Shakur Laney and Zac Carson. Both dominated their opponents the entire bout and gave the Bobcats momentum heading into the final stretch. 

Laney gave the Bobcats an excellent bout as he defeated Kainalu Estrella 16-1 by tech fall. The win was the first on the day for the Bobcats and proved vital to them in the end when Utah State nearly rallied. Laney continues to rise in the national rankings and will look to make a name for himself next month at the National Championship.

“I think right now he's wrestling the best he's ever wrestled,” coach Joel Greenlee said. “Anytime you are on a roll like that you get more confident.” 

Carson, in his first bout since Feb. 2, defeated Jed Loveless 13-5 in a major decision. After nearly three weeks off, it looked like Carson didn’t miss a beat, as he dominated Loveless the entire bout. 

Ohio wanted to come out of this weekend with three victories, and it started off the right way on Friday. Ohio will be back in action on Sunday as they face MAC opponent Buffalo and Garnder-Webb. Sweeping this weekend will give them some confidence heading into the MAC tournament. 

@Willshep13

ws905818@ohio.edu

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