Ohio (1-7, 0-3 Mid-American Conference) entered its dual Feb. 7 looking for its second win of the season against Kent State. The Bobcats were unable to do so, falling 22-10.
Both Ohio and Kent sent six underclassmen out on the mat, starting the match off with redshirt freshman Oscar Sanchez against Jake Ferri in the 125-pound weight class. During the match, the Bobcats’ bench was buzzing and cheering loudly despite Sanchez’s loss in the end. Conor McCrone took on Brendon Fenton in the 133-pound bout, in which McCrone took an 8-6 decision loss.
The Bobcats sparked during Kyran Hagan’s match against Avry Mutschler. Hagan commanded the match all the way until the third period, where he earned a last-minute takedown before the buzzer. Hagan finished the night with a 10-2 major decision victory, giving the Bobcats enough team points to vie for a comeback.
Jordan Slivka, another redshirt freshman, picked up his first win in The Convo today, defeating Ian Senz 5-1 in the 157-pound weight class. He had an escape, takedown and near-fall to comprise his win. This helped the Bobcats jump onto the Golden Flashes’ tail, moving the team score up to 9-7.
Redshirt freshman John Mark Williams jumped on the trend as well with a strong defensive match against Xavier Torres in the 174-pound weight class. His win came from behind as the match was tied into the third period, and Williams picked up a takedown with 20 seconds left in the third.
Williams’s win brought the score up to 12-10, but the Bobcats were unable to hold on. The team lost the remaining three matches of Mason Kroening (184), Colin McNamara (197) and Jordan Earnest (285).
With the final score being 22-10, coach Greenlee still had a positive outlook for his wrestlers.
“Their focus has been on being ready for the MAC Tournament and not so focused on dual meets,” Greenlee said. “We’ve got to be ready for the MAC Tournament and get to the national tournament.”
While the Mid-American Conference tournament is scheduled for Feb. 27-28, Greenlee and his young wrestlers have time to prepare and work on staying calm in big moments.
“I think it’s different for every guy,“ said Greenlee. “But I think you’ve got to trust in your training, and I think that’s a big part of why we’re not as successful as I think we should be or could be right now”
The Bobcats will wrestle again Feb. 14 in a dual against Cleveland State in The Convo. The match is set to start at 3 p.m. This will be their final match before the MAC tournament.