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Feb. 8, 2007

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No. 17 Ohio State Wrestling
(8-4; 4-1 Big Ten)
vs.
No. 23 Michigan
(1-7-1; 0-4 Big Ten)
2 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 11
Cliff Keen Arena
Ann Arbor, Mich.

Probable Match-Ups

Ohio State Michigan
125 – Will Livingston (15-16) vs. Michael Watts (7-12)
133 – No. 18 T.J. Enright (10-4) vs. Chris Diehl (4-12)
141 – J Jaggers (13-4) vs. Justin Chrzanowski (0-7)
149 – No. 17 Lance Palmer (23-11) vs. No. 2 Josh Churella (21-2)
157 – Jason Johnstone (17-15) vs. Marsh (8-11)/Sulaver (7-6)
165 – No. 14 Chris Vondruska (28-9) vs. No. 2 Eric Tannenbaum (17-0)
174 – Wes Bergman (1-5) vs. Jordan Sherrod (2-6)
184 – No. 3 Mike Pucillo (16-1) vs. No. 4 Tyrel Todd (18-3)
197 – No. 6 J.D. Bergman (18-5) vs. No. 19 Roy (15-6)/White (9-6)
285 – Corey Morrison (15-13) vs. Omar Maktabi (11-14)

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 17 Ohio State (8-4; 4-1 Big Ten) wrestling team will travel to Ann Arbor, Mich., to face Michigan (1-7-1; 0-4 Big Ten) at 2 p.m. Sunday in Cliff Keen Arena.

The Buckeyes are coming off a 2-0 weekend in which they defeated ranked conference opponents Michigan State and Northwestern. The two wins propelled Ohio State back into the Top 25 of the USA Today/InterMat/NWCA rankings and has it tied for second with Illinois and Wisconsin in the Big Ten Conference standings.

WHAT A WEEK IT HAS BEEN
T.J. Enright was named the Big Ten Conference Wrestler of the Week for the week of Feb. 5, the league announced Wednesday. Enright shared the honor with Penn State’s Aaron Anspach.

Enright improved his record to 10-4 on the season after going 2-0 this past weekend and helping the then-unranked Buckeyes record two upsets over No. 19 Michigan State and No. 10 Northwestern.

Against the Spartans, the OSU junior pulled off a 4-2 win over No. 1 Nick Simmons, who entered the match with a 27-0 record. The win came in dramatic fashion as Enright recorded a takedown with one second left on the clock in overtime to win by the two-point margin. Enright returned to action two days later and again was at the center of Ohio State’s impressive win against the Wildcats. With the Buckeyes down 16-12 and only two matches remaining, Enright pulled the Scarlet and Gray within one after posting a 7-2 decision against Eric Metzler to set up the final and deciding bout at 141 pounds, which the Buckeyes won.

This is Enright’s second career weekly honor as he was first honored Nov. 23, 2004.

Enright also was honored by bigelevenwrestling.net with the wrestler of the week honor.

ROSSELLI TO COACH U.S. FREESTYLE WORLD TEAM
Assistant coach Lou Rosselli was selected as a U.S. Freestyle World Team Coach for the 2007 World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 17-23. Rosselli will join USA Wrestling National Freestyle Coach Kevin Jackson of Colorado, Springs, Colo., and Kerry McCoy, who is the head coach at Stanford in Palo Alto, Calif.

“It is always exciting to get the opportunity to work with the best athletes and coaches in the nation,” Rosselli said. “Hopefully we can improve on last year when we won four medals and were close to winning as a team. We will work together to again put ourselves in the position to win. As our weight classes become deeper, it will help our effort. If it is difficult to make the U.S. team, then the No. 1 athletes go up to a higher level. We have the guys to get the job done. We have the talent to do what we need to do. Our athletes train hard and I am excited to work with them once again.”

As a world team coach in 2006, Rosselli helped guide the freestyle squad to a third-place finish, while coaching four individual medalists, including world champion Bill Zadick. Rosselli also was the assistant coach of the 2005 U.S. World Team at the World University Games, which placed third in the team standings and had three individual gold medalists, including fellow Buckeye assistant Tommy Rowlands.

FINDING THEIR STRIDE
Ohio State has won seven of its last nine duals to start out 2007. Opening the New Year with a loss to Kent State, the Buckeyes went on to win four-consecutive matches against conference-opponent Purdue and non-league opponents Ohio, Appalachian State and Ashland. After losing to then-No. 12 Penn State, the Scarlet and Gray has won three-consecutive matches against No. 16 Indiana, No. 19 Michigan State and No. 10 Northwestern.

MAKE IT FOUR
The Buckeyes defeated their third-consecutive ranked opponent after beating then-No. 10 Northwestern Feb. 4 and their fourth overall (No. 9 Cornell, No. 16 Indiana and No. 19 Michigan State).

HITTIN’ THE ROAD
The Buckeyes are on the road for the remainder of the regular season. Ohio State will travel to Ann Arbor, Mich., to face Michigan at 2 p.m. Sunday before heading to Iowa City, Iowa, to match-up against Iowa at 7 p.m. Feb. 16. The Scarlet and Gray conclude the regular season in Champaign, Ill., against Illinois at 1 p.m. Feb. 18.

The Big Ten Championships, hosted by Michigan State University, are March 3-4 in East Lansing, Mich., and the NCAA championships, hosted by the University of Michigan and the Detroit Metro Sports Commission, are March 15-17 in Detroit.

UPSET CITY, BABY!
T.J. Enright was no stranger to upsetting top-ranked wrestlers when he beat No. 1 Nick Simmons of Michigan State, 4-2, in sudden victory. During his freshman campaign in 2004-05, Enright defeated then-No. 4 Sam Hiatt of Northern Illinois in the Michigan State Open (Nov. 21, 2004) and in Big Ten Conference dual action in 2005, he upset then-No. 3 Mack Reiter of Minnesota (Feb. 13, 2005).

Junior J.D. Bergman continued the upset trend over the weekend against Northwestern when he beat second-ranked Mike Tamillow at 197 pounds.

WELCOME BACK
After spending three weeks unranked in the USA Today/NWCA/InterMat polls, Ohio State re-enters the Top 25 with a No. 17 ranking. The standing comes after the Buckeyes went 2-0 during the weekend of Feb. 3, upsetting ranked Big Ten Conference opponents then-No. 19 Michigan State, 19-14, and then-No. 10 Northwestern, 18-16.

MATCH-UPS TO NOTE
The Buckeyes are not only seeking their fourth-consecutive win of the season when they travel to Ann Arbor, Mich., to face Michigan, they are looking to bring a 13-match losing streak to the Wolverines to a halt. While the Scarlet and Gray have won its last three Big Ten Conference matches, Michigan is hoping to stop a six-match losing streak. All the Wolverines’ losses have come against ranked opponents, including No. 1 Minnesota, then-No. 6 Iowa and then-No. 6 Iowa State.

The match to note when the Buckeyes and Wolverines meet is the 184-pound bout. Ranked third in the nation, Mike Pucillo will look to beat No. 4 Tyrel Todd for the second time this season. Then-No. 8 Pucillo beat then-No. 3 Todd in the championship match of the 25th annual Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational, 12-6, to improve his record to 7-0.

Other noteworthy bouts include the match-up at 149 pounds between No. 2 Josh Churella and No. 17 Lance Palmer. Palmer dropped a 3-0 decision to Churella earlier in the season in the semifinals of the Eastern Michigan Open. Palmer finished the tournament in third place.

At 165 pounds, 14th-ranked Chris Vondruska will meet No. 2 Eric Tannenbaum and No. 6 J.D. Bergman will face No. 19 Nick Roy. Bergman won the Michigan State Open after beating Roy in the championship match, 5-2, to improve his record to 5-0.

BUCKEYES IN THE STANDINGS
In the latest edition of the USA Today/InterMat/NWCA standings (Feb. 6), T.J. Enright entered the rankings at No. 18 at 133 pounds after going 2-0, which included a win over then-No. 1 Nick Simmons of Michigan State, during the weekend of Feb. 2. At 149 pounds, Lance Palmer remained 17th and Chris Vondruska (165) moved up a spot to 14th. Mike Pucillo is third at 184 pounds and J.D. Bergman improved two spots to sixth at 197 pounds.

LAST TIME OUT – MICHIGAN STATE
For the second-consecutive match, Ohio State defeated a ranked opponent in No. 19 Michigan State, 19-14, Feb. 2 in its home finale at St. John Arena.

It was in the 133-pound bout the Scarlet and Gray received a crucial 4-2 overtime win from Buckeye T. J. Enright to increase the OSU lead to 12-5 after five matches. Entering the match with an 8-4 record, Enright faced No.1 Nick Simmons, who owned a 27-0 mark. Both wrestlers were scoreless after the first period and it was not until 46 seconds remained on the clock in the second stanza Simmons was able to score an escape to take a 1-0 lead. However, 1:15 into the third, Enright recorded a takedown to go up 2-1. Fourteen seconds later, Simmons answered with an escape to tie the match at 2-all, forcing the bout into overtime. As the final seconds ticked off the clock, Enright notched a takedown for the final tally.

At 165 pounds, No. 16 Chris Vondruska, who was honored during the prematch senior night ceremony, secured Ohio State’s win when he recorded a 2-0 decision against Rocky Cozart. The match came down to the final period when Vondruska tallied an escape and earned the riding time point for a 2-0 victory. The win served as Vondruska’s ninth-consecutive.

Third-ranked Mike Pucillo got the Buckeyes on the board first after recording a 2-1 decision over 10th-ranked Joe Williams and improved his perfect record to 16-0. It was a scoreless tie after the first period and it was at the 1:39 mark in the second period Pucillo scored an escape for the 1-0 lead. Williams countered with an escape of his own at 1:44 in the third period and the match entered overtime. The score remained tied after the one minute overtime session, but Pucillo scored an escape with 17 seconds left in the first 30 second period and held on for the win.

No. 7 J.D. Bergman garnered win No. 17, scoring a 5-2 victory against Nick Palmieri. Bergman took a 2-0 lead on a takedown in the first period and increased his lead to 3-0 in the second period when Palmieri was called for his second stall. After Bergman recorded an escape in the third period, Palmieri answered with a takedown in the final seconds of the match, but it was not enough, as Bergman held on for the victory.

Corey Morrison gave the Buckeyes its third-consecutive win at 285 pounds, earning a 10-7 win vs. Alan O’Donnell. After O’Donnell scored an early takedown for the 2-0 lead, Morrison scored an escape and takedown within seconds of each other to go up 3-2. O’Donnell then tied the score with an escape, but Morrison answered with a takedown. O’Donnell ended the period with an escape, but Morrison held the 5-4 edge after the first period. Morrison was able to increase his lead to 8-5 in the second session after he scored an escape and takedown compared to O’Donnell’s lone escape. Morrison then sealed the victory in the final period, tallying another takedown and limiting O’Donnell to two escapes.

At 149 pounds, No. 16 Lance Palmer recorded a 9-1 major decision over Tim Hammer. Up 2-0 after the first period, Palmer increased his lead to 6-0 after the second session. After Hammer scored an escape with 55 seconds left in the third, Palmer answered with a final takedown with a second left on the clock.

LAST TIME OUT – NORTHWESTERN
The Buckeyes defeated No. 10 Northwestern, 18-16, Feb. 4 at St. Edward High School in Lakewood, Ohio. This was the third-consecutive match in which the Scarlet and Gray had topped a ranked opponent and fourth time this season.

The match came down to the final bout at 141 pounds with the Buckeyes trailing the Wildcats, 16-15. J Jaggers, who now is 13-4 on the season was able to garner the 7-5 decision over James Kohlberg to give Ohio State the win.

Another crucial win for OSU came at 197 pounds when No. 7 J.D. Bergman upset second-ranked Mike Tamillow, 4-2. The win put the Buckeyes on top 12-10 after six matches. However, Northwestern won the next two bouts at 285 and 125 pounds. No. 4 Dustin Fox beat Corey Morrison, 6-1, and Brandon Precin defeated Will Livingston, 5-0. Down 16-12, T.J. Enright pulled Ohio State within one after posting a 7-2 decision against Eric Metzler to set up the final and deciding match at 141 pounds.

St. Edward graduate Lance Palmer and Jason Johnstone helped the Buckeyes take an early 9-0 lead when Palmer recorded an 8-1 decision over Marty Gould at 149 pounds and Johnstone dropped Dominic Marella in 58 seconds at 157 pounds.

RECORDS ARE MEANT TO BE BROKEN
Fifth-year senior Chris Vondruska surpassed his personal record of 25 wins in a season from last year when he defeated Penn State’s Dave Rella, 4-2, for his 26th overall victory. Vondruska went on the garner win No. 27 and No. 28 when he decisioned No. 14 Max Dean of Indiana, 2-1, in overtime and beat Michigan State’s Rocky Cozart, 2-0, respectively.

IN THE BIG TEN
In 85 years as a member of the Big Ten Conference, the Buckeyes have compiled a 223-304-17 ledger.

ONLY THE BEST
Ohio State has competed or will compete against some of the toughest teams in the nation in 2006-07. Eleven of the Buckeyes’ opponents are ranked in the latest Top 25 of the USA Today/InterMat/NWCA poll (Feb. 6). Three opponents – Missouri (2), Illinois (9), and Iowa (10) are in the Top 10.

EXPANDED COVERAGE
The NCAA and ESPN announced in October expanded live television coverage of the 2007 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships March 15-17 in Auburn Hills, Mich.

For the first time, in the 77-year history of the Division I Wrestling Championships, the Saturday morning medal round will be televised. Scheduled for 10 a.m. EST March 17 on ESPNU, the championships medal round determines the third through eighth place finishers who are honored as All-Americans.

The 2007 championships are March 15-17 at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Mich. The University of Michigan and the Detroit Metro Sports Commission will serve as hosts.

Tickets for the 2007 championships are available by visiting http://www.detroitsports.org/wrestling/tickets/index.html.

UP NEXT
Ohio State will make the trip to Iowa and Illinois Feb. 16 and 18. The Buckeyes will meet the Hawkeyes at 7 p.m. in Iowa City, Iowa, and will match-up against the Fighting Illini in Champaign Ill., at 1 p.m.