Even as a the season winds down, Jordan Slivka is still finding room for improvement.
On paper, his redshirt junior season has matched up to his previous three seasons in Athens. In those three seasons, Slivka compiled a record of 46-15, which includes a trip to the NCAA Championships last season. However, coming into Ohio’s dual against Kent State, Slivka’s 7-9 record on the season bared a 1-3 mark in MAC duals.
However, Friday night, Slivka was his old self. He defeated Enrique Manguia by technical fall and racked up an astonishing score of 18-1.
Slivka had lost to Manguia earlier this season. At the Navy Classic earlier in the season, Manguia got the best of Slivka. The Bobcat finished second to Manguia in the 165-pound bracket.
Going into Friday’s match, Slivka looked to return the favor.
“I was just looking for vengeance,” Slivka said. “The only thing on my mind was getting my bones out of my closet and putting it on (him). I guess it worked out pretty well.”
Slivka overpowered Manguia from the opening whistle. After a slow start to the bout, Slivka hit his stride in the second period. He picked up six points to pad his lead at 8-1. By the time the final period came around, Slivka had worn Manguia down to a technical fall. Slivka suffocated Manguia like a boa constrictor.
Slivka took his time. He got his opponent into spots that benefited him so that he could pick up large chunks of points at a time.
The win got Slivka back into a groove that might benefit him later this season. H In the remaining three duals on the season, Slivka will be tasked with being a swing man. As the regular wrestler for the 157-pound class, he represents the natural middle of a dual. Should Ohio be ahead, he is expected to add to that lead. If Ohio is trailing, Slivka needs to create a spark.
There is not a single person in Ohio’s locker room that does not believe in Slivka’s ability to be the leader on the mat. The only thing left for him to do is answer the bell and help lift the team as well as his own season.