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Jordan Slivka of Ohio University Wrestling pins the Southern Illionois 157lbs Max Kristoff at the MAC Championship qualifying match at the Convo. on March 4, 2022.

Wrestling: Ohio unable to complete comeback, falls to Central Michigan

For the second time in 10 days, Ohio was unable to overcome a large deficit and emerge victorious in a home dual. The similarities between Sunday’s loss to Central Michigan and the losing effort to Northern Illinois are eerie. 

Early in the dual, things looked good as Oscar Sanchez was able to give the Bobcats an early 3-0 lead by defeating Sean Spidle in sudden-victory by a score of 3-2. Sanchez has been very good at giving the Bobcats a fast start in his recent matches, winning each of his last two bouts. However, Paul Woo was unable to continue the momentum. 

With the regular wrestler in the 133-pound class, Gio DiSabato, dealing with an injury, Woo has been wrestling for the past three duals. In that time, Woo has struggled mightily, losing all three of his bouts in lopsided fashion. 

“We are trying to get (Gio) healthy and see if he can go,” Ohio coach Joel Greenlee said. “You get close to the MAC Tournament and he still hasn’t been able to train or anything like that, I don’t think that is fair to anybody. I think time will tell a little bit.”

With the overall score tied at three points apiece, Kyran and Alec Hagan split the next pair of matches with Alec losing for the second time in the last three duals. Greenlee has preached that Ohio is far less formidable when the Hagan twins are not both at the top of their respective games. For the past week, neither of them has been able to win in succession of one another. 

While Greenlee understands that injuries are a part of wrestling, one of the biggest goals in the time before the next dual will be getting healthier. One of the main places that reinforcements are needed is the 157-pound class where Peyten Kellar’s injury has forced Ohio to concede a medical forfeit. Surrendering one single weight class does not appear to be a huge deal on paper, but when a dual is close, giving up a free six points to the opposition is far from ideal. 

“We have to get everybody healthy,” Greenlee said. “It’s hard to win giving up a forfeit at 157, but we have two guys that are out and will hopefully be back next week.”

A loss by Garrett Thompson at 165-pounds made the score 18-6 as the sand in the hourglass was running out. Luckily for the Bobcats, Zayne Lehman’s season of dominance continued as he got a huge come-from-behind victory to breathe life into the Bobcats. 

“We finally won one of those close ones,” Greenlee said. “Zayne has been working his tail off and doing everything he needs to do and I’m excited for him. This guy's pretty tough and won some tough matches.” 

Continuing the tough victories for Ohio was Carson Brewer as he was able to keep Ohio’s comeback hopes alive with a 3-1 decision. Heading into the final weight class, Jacob Padilla needed to pick up a fall in order to tie the score. Unfortunately, the duo of Padilla and Drew Harris has picked up a total of three wins on the season, the last of which was by Padilla on Dec. 19. In the two recent losses, Ohio was in dire need of a heavyweight victory, but it just never happened as both Padilla and Harris have struggled all season.


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