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Ohio University's Alec Hagen wrestles University of Buffalo's John Arceri at The Convo in Athens, OH, on Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022.

Wrestling: Ohio wins a pair of matches in Tri-Meet against Chattanooga and Ashland

Ohio hosted a Tri-Meet against UT-Chattanooga and Ashland in The Convo and emerged with a pair of wins. Ohio defeated Chattanooga and Ashland Saturday to open its home slate of matches. 

Ohio vs. Chattanooga: 

Ohio’s match with Chattanooga was a dramatic comeback victory for the home team. Ohio picked up the 23-19 win after its slow start was shrugged off. 

Ohio’s eventual victory seemed unlikely early in the match against Chattanooga, who jumped out to a quick 16-0 lead. To start the day, Ohio sent out Ryan Meek to go against Ty Tice of Chattanooga. Tice took an early 6-1 lead after the first period. In the second period, he disposed of Meek by way of fall at 3:55. 

In the 133-pound class, Mason Brugh did not do much better than Meek, although he did avoid getting pinned. Regardless, the 6-2 score after the first period was not ideal for Ohio; neither was the 9-4 deficit after two periods. In the third, Chattanooga’s Blake Boarman finished off the match with a 15-5 major decision that put Ohio in an early 10-0 hole. 

However, moving into the middle weight classes, Ohio had some hope that the tide of the match would turn. 

That did not happen in the 141-pound match with Pierce Taylor again surrendering a pair of takedowns and staring down another 6-1 deficit. Taylor would keep the score static for the next period, trailing 6-1 heading into the third period. However, the third was where Chattanooga’s Dayne Dalrymple finished off a match that he controlled from the outset, beating Taylor 9-3. 

As Ohio looked to get back into the meet, it turned to Derek Raike to attempt to change its fate. Against Noah Castillo, one of the best wrestlers not only for Chattanooga but in the Southern Conference as a whole, Raike turned in a more competitive effort but ultimately was unable to put any points on the board. His 5-0 defeat against Castillo was likely not aided by the fact that he required some medical attention in the first period and simply could not overcome Castillo. 

Down 16-0, the Bobcats needed to win the remaining five matches of the day to defeat the Mocs. When Peyten Kellar, a wrestlers who had a lot of success coming off an appearance in the NCAA Tournament last season, took the mat, the Bobcats needed a strong showing. Kellar gave them everything they could have asked for, taking a commanding 11-2 lead after the first period and eventually stretching the advantage to 13-3 after the second. While it appeared as if the Bobcats would pick up a major decision victory to kickstart their afternoon, Austin Paradice fought hard and made the match close, drawing the score to a mere three-point advantage for Kellar. Eventually, Kellar escaped and earned himself two points, putting the match away.

With Ohio finally able to get a point, it looked to build upon that with the 165-pound class match that featured Garrett Thompson, one of its most reliable wrestlers. Kamdyn Munro of Chattanooga took a 3-1 lead into the closing seconds of the third period before Thompson flipped the script and took him down, giving him the upper hand and the dramatic 4-3 win. 

As the match got closer, Ohio turned to another experienced wrestler, Sal Perrine. Perrine fell behind 6-2 after the first period and 6-4 after the second. As he drew closer, the crowd noise became more overpowering. However, Sergio Desiante escaped Perrine’s grasp, picking up one point and the 8-7 victory. 

As Ohio got closer to the finish line, it was still losing by double digits, this time 19-6. From this point, Ohio’s strength and experience reared its head. First, Zayne Lehman wrestled at his usual 184-pound weight class. Lehman had a tough weekend to open the season at the Southeast Open, going 2-2. He got back on track as he was on top 15-0 after one period to get the tech fall and five points for Ohio. 

Next, Austin Starr wrestled in the 197-pound class against Logan Webster. Starr was even better than Lehman, getting a fall at 2:28 into the match, ending it before it got going and drawing the Bobcats even closer as the final match proved to be a winner-take-all. 

Jordan Greer had to win his match to hand Ohio the improbable victory. However, Greer did not win against Ethan Vergera in the Heavyweight match. Greer pinned his opponent in a staggering 97 seconds to cap off an impressive comeback from Ohio. 

In the 23-19 win, the key for Ohio was understanding how its opponent wrestled. 

“I think Chattanooga wrestled the way I want to wrestle,” Greenlee said. “They came in, got their hands on us, pushed us around, snapped us down. That’s really what we tried to focus on ... being aggressive, getting our hands on them and moving around to look for setups and getting to our offense.” 

Ohio vs. Ashland: 

In its second match of the day, Ohio had a much easier time taking care of business against Division II foe Ashland. The total score of 39-7 tells a story of dominance. Ohio had six of the ten matches against Ashland end in either a pin or a tech fall. 

The second match of the day for Ohio came on the heels of Chattanooga defeating Ashland 15 minutes earlier. The lack of time in between matches likely did not help Ashland. Nonetheless, Ohio used four different wrestlers as it tried to find the right combination early in the season. 

Starting the match was Malachi O’Leary, the second 125-pound wrestler for Ohio on the day. He did not have much more success than Meek, who lost in the match prior. O’Leary got behind early, trailing 6-1 after the first period and 6-2 after the second. He was unable to generate any offensive attack against Ashland’s Luke Acuna. O’Leary’s 8-2 defeat was not promising in the hunt to find a way to establish success at the lightest weight class. 

“It was our first dual (meet),” Greenlee said. “I don’t know if we prepared the right way or all of that stuff, but (our light weights) looked tentative.”

After O’Leary, Paul Woo came to the mat in the 133-pound class. Woo was dominant and won via fall in the first period. After Woo had a difficult freshman season last year, the entire bench for Ohio made sure to give Woo his kudos after his win. 

With Ohio ahead now with an overall score of 6-3, Aidan Waszak also made his season debut against Ashland’s Gavin Weaver. Waszak and Weaver both took a period to feel one another out, resulting in a scoreless opening period. Waszak did, however, take the lead in the second with a takedown and an escape. Waszak brought a 4-1 lead into the third period and he would not give in, earning the winning decision. 

After a loss in his first match, Derek Raike made sure that his second bout would be pure domination. The No. 5 wrestler in the MAC Preseason Poll at 149 pounds put his full potential on display. He cruised his way to a 20-3 win where he recorded a tech fall. 

In place of Peyten Kellar, Dan Segura took the mat and came out flat against Drew Wiechers. The 11-3 loss for Segura was an ugly one after a rather positive opening weekend for him in the Southeast Open.

After Segura’s defeat, the overall score stood at 14-7 in favor of Ohio. However, Ohio used the last four matches to flex its muscles with some of its most dominant wrestlers. 

First, Garrett Thompson wrestled the 165-pound match and made easy work of Sevriano Garza after a close first period where the score was only 3-0 in favor of Thompson. From that point on, Thompson went on a 13-0 scoring run, eventually winning the match by an overall score of 16-0 and securing a tech fall in the process. 

Following Thompson’s dominance, Sal Perrine wrestled Nate Barrett in one of the most anticipated matches between the two teams. Barrett is the No. 4 ranked 174-pound wrestler in Division II after he placed 8th at Nationals last season.

Perrine outclassed Barrett, 13-3 in a regular decision to pad Ohio’s lead. Perrine led 6-1 after the first period and 9-2 after two periods. 

In his second match of the day, Zayne Lehman faced Peyton Lemon. Lehman had a tech fall in his first match and did the same thing in his second. After one period, the match was over after he scored a staggering 17 points with three near falls. 

“I wanted (Zayne) to go out there and dominate,” Greenlee said. “I think he was a bit hesitant last weekend and that cost him a little bit when he was in a close match … If you go out there and do everything you can to win the match and score points, good things happen and good things happened for him today.” 

Austin Starr would pick up exactly where Lehman left off, earning a tech fall of his own in the next match.

Finally, Jordan Greer picked up his second fall of the day. Greer spent 2:28 on the mat across his two dominant matches where he flashes energy and expertise.


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