COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State wrestling team finds itself in unfamiliar territory. Following back-to-back losses at the Buckeye Duals Sunday in St. John Arena, the 12th-ranked Buckeyes opened the season 0-2 for the first time since 2000-01. Ohio State lost a heartbreaking 18-17 match to No. 20 Pittsburgh before dropping a 24-11 decision to No. 14 Nebraska.
The Scarlet and Gray returns to action Dec. 3-4 at the annual Cliff Keen Las Vegas Collegiate Wrestling Invitational. The Buckeyes are the defending champions having compiled 122.5 points a season ago.
Despite the setbacks, the crowd of 1,494 had the opportunity to see the future of Buckeye wrestling as freshman and Junior Hodge Trophy winner Logan Stieber put on an impressive performance at 125 pounds. Also of note, senior Colt Sponseller remained undefeated at 6-0 at 157 pounds after winning his respective matches, while sophomore 133-pounder Ian Paddock also remained perfect on the season at 6-0.
It was a tough start for Ohio State against the Panthers. The match started at 165 pounds and it was not until the 125-pound bout the Buckeyes were able to put team points on the board.
With the Buckeyes down, 18-0, Stieber began the Ohio State rally courtesy of his 18-3 technical fall over Anthony Zanetta. Paddock followed with a 6-1 decision vs. Shelton Mack before redshirt-freshman Collin Palmer made his debut in front of the home crowd and supplied a 7-1 decision against Mike Tully to bring the Scarlet and Gray to within seven points. At 149 pounds, redshirt-junior Sean Nemec edged Dane Johnson, 5-3, and with one more match to go, the Buckeyes cut an 18-point deficit to four. Although Sponseller was able to score 15 points, his opponent Donnie Tasser managed to put nine on the board which was sufficient enough to keep Sponseller from recording the major decision and the tying point.
Redshirt-freshman Nick Heflin (174) and Peter Capone (184) also made their first appearances as Buckeyes in dual competition in St. John Arena.
It appeared to be déjà vu for the Buckeyes vs. the Cornhuskers. Once again, Ohio State found itself in a hole, dropping the first five matches. With the bout starting at 165 pounds, the Scarlet and Gray was down 18-0 before Stieber scored five team points on another technical fall. This time, Stieber handed Shawn Nagel an 18-0 loss in 6:11. Paddock’s 10-4 decision vs. Ridge Kiley gave Ohio State eight points and perhaps another rally.
However, a 7-6 win by the Cornhusker’s Mike Koehnlein at 141 pounds ensued with the aid of 2:04 of riding time. Palmer owned a slim 4-3 lead after the first period and following a scoreless second period, both wrestlers were knotted at 6 a piece at the conclusion of the third. It was Koehnlein who collected enough riding time to seal the victory though.
Nemec also suffered a heartbreaking loss at the hands of Ross Grande. Grande scored an escape and whittled Nemec’s riding time to 59 seconds before scoring a takedown for the 7-6 win after Nemec owned a 6-4 advantage and more than a minute of riding time heading into the third period.
Although Ohio State could not garner the team victory, there was still one more match to go at 157 pounds and Sponseller capped the afternoon with a 5-2 triumph over Tyler Koehn.
Paying homage to former football Buckeye Chris Spielman and his wife, Stefanie, as well as their four children, who battled breast cancer for more than a decade before Stefanie’s death last November, the Buckeyes donned pink singlets vs. Nebraska. The coaching staff also wore pink ties. The monies generated during a raffle of an autographed Ohio State wrestling pink singlet benefited the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research at the James Cancer Hospital at the Ohio State Medical Center.
In the first match of the Buckeye Duals, Pittsburgh downed Nebraska, 22-10.
Nov. 21, 2010
No. 20 Pittsburgh (2-2) – 18
No. 12 Ohio State (0-2) – 17
125 Logan Stieber (Ohio State) TF5 Anthony Zanetta (Pittsburgh) 18-3 (6:30)
133 Ian Paddock (Ohio State) DEC Shelton Mack (Pittsburgh) 6-1
141 Collin Palmer (Ohio State) DEC Mike Tully (Pittsburgh) 7-1
149 Sean Nemec (Ohio State) DEC Dane Johnson (Pittsburgh) 5-3
157 Colt Sponseller (Ohio State) DEC Donnie Tasser (Pittsburgh) 15-9
165 Adam Counterman (Pittsburgh) SV-2 Jared Kusar (Ohio State ) 4-2
174 Ethan Headlee (Pittsburgh) FALL Nick Heflin (Ohio State) (4:36)
184 Max Thomusseit (Pittsburgh) DEC Peter Capone (Ohio State) 22-4
197 Zac Thomusseit (Pittsburgh) DEC C.J. Magrum (Ohio State) 4-0
285 Ryan Tomei (Pittsburgh) DEC Johnny Hiles (Ohio State) 4-0
*Started at 165
Nov. 21, 2010
No. 12 Ohio State (0-2) – 11
No. 14 Nebraska (1-1) – 24
125 Logan Stieber (Ohio State) TF5 Shawn Nagel (Nebraska) 18-0 (6:11)
133 Ian Paddock (Ohio State) DEC Ridge Kiley (Nebraska) 10-4
141 Mike Koehnlein (Nebraska) DEC Collin Palmer (Ohio State) 7-6
149 Ross Grande (Nebraska) DEC Sean Nemec (Ohio State) 7-6
157 Colt Sponseller (Ohio State) DEC Tyler Koehn (Nebraska) 5-2
165 Jordan Burroughs (Nebraska) TF5 Jared Kusar (Ohio State) 20-5 (5:25)
174 Caleb Kolb (Nebraska) MD Robel Campbell (Ohio State) 13-5
184 Josh Ihnen (Nebraska) DEC Peter Capone (Ohio State) 11-4
197 Andy Johnson (Nebraska) DEC C.J. Magrum (Ohio State) 7-4
285 Tucker Lane (Nebraska) DEC Johnny Hiles (Ohio State) 4-1
*Started at 165