For the first time in 10 years, Ohio hosted the first day of the Mid-American Conference Championships inside The Convo. Although expectations were running high, Ohio fell flat in many of its bouts in the first day of competition.
Oscar Sanchez had a bye in the first round of the 125-pound bracket and waited until he was set to face Buffalo's Tristan Daugherty in the quarterfinals. Sanchez put up a fight and forced the match into overtime, but he ultimately lost by a 6-4 decision and was sent to the consolation bracket. The redshirt sophomore dominated in his next match, defeating Edinboro's Christopher Merlo in an 8-0 major decision. Sanchez will face Bryce West from Northern Illinois on Saturday for a chance to move on to the consolation semifinals and ultimately for a shot at third place.
Giovanni DiSabato also earned a bye, but in the 133-pound division. DiSabato took on Cole Rhone from Bloomsburg in his first match.The redshirt junior won by sudden victory after notching takedown in overtime to win 4-2. In an intense second match, DiSabato lost to Buffalo's Derek Spann in a 5-4 decision, which sent DiSabato to the consolation bracket.
In the 141-pound bracket, Kyran Hagan lost in his first bout to Buffalo's Ben Freeman, and he lost in the second consolation round to George Mason's Kaden Cassidy by a 6-3 decision. Alec Hagan fared better than his brother, as he won his first match of the day in the 149-pound division against Bryan Miraglia of Rider. Hagan then lost his next match against Alex Madrigal of George Mason. Hagan is still alive, though, as he won his first consolation match and is gunning for third place in the bracket.
No. 2-seeded Jordan Slivka got off to a fast start after winning his first two bouts by technical fall and a 5-0 decision, respectively. Slivka then faced Ben Barton from Lock Haven with a championship birth on the line. The bout slipped into overtime, and Barton took down Slivka within the first 10 seconds of the first overtime period. Slivka was sent to the consolation semifinals and needs two wins on Saturday to take home third place.
Both Sean O'Dwyer and Zayne Lehman lost in the first rounds of the 165-pound and 184-pound divisions, respectively. Both lost their first consolation matches, with Lehman falling to Lock Haven's Colin Fegley and O'Dwyer being eliminated by Noah Grover from Buffalo.
Redshirt sophomore Carson Brewer and sophomore Jordan Greer both their first match but then lost in the quarterfinals. Greer was eliminated after falling early in the second consolation round while Brewer is still alive and reached the consolation quarterfinals.
The only Bobcat that still has a chance to take home a MAC Championship is Sal Perrine in the 174-pound bracket. Perrine won his first two matches with relative ease as he defeated Anthony Rice from Cleveland State by fall and Lock Haven's Tyler Stoltzfus by a 13-5 major decision. In his third match of the day, Perrine took down John Worthing from Clarion in a 4-3 decision. The freshman will take on Mason Kauffman from Northern Illinois on Saturday in the championship match.