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Feb. 14, 2007

No. 21 Ohio State
(8-5; 4-2 Big Ten)
vs.
No. 10 Iowa
(13-4; 4-2 Big Ten)
8 p.m. ET
Friday, Feb. 16
Carver-Hawkeye Arena
Iowa City, Iowa

vs.
No. 7 Illinois
(10-1; 6-1 Big Ten)
2 p.m. ET
Sunday, Feb. 18
Huff Hall
Champaign, Ill.

Probable Match-Ups
Ohio State vs. Iowa
125 – Will Livingston (15-17) vs. No. 5 Charlie Falck (18-5)
133 – No. 18 T.J. Enright (11-4) vs. No. 17 Galanakis (19-7)/Magnani (4-3)
141 – J Jaggers (14-4) vs. No. 6 Alex Tsirtsis (19-7)
149 – No. 17 Lance Palmer (24-11) vs. Alex Grunder (12-11)
157 – Jason Johnstone (17-16) vs. No. 16 Ryan Morningstar (21-7)
165 – No. 14 Chris Vondruska (28-10) vs. No. 4 Perry (18-4)/Stedman (4-2)
174 – Bergman (1-5)/Priestley (3-6) vs. No. 3 Eric Luedke (23-2)
184 – No. 3 Mike Pucillo (17-1) vs. Keddy (11-10)/Loera (4-9)
197 – No. 6 J.D. Bergman (19-5) vs. Jordan McLaughlin (1-0)
285 – Corey Morrison (15-14) vs. No. 5 Matt Fields (19-8)

Probable Match-Ups
Ohio State vs. Illinois
125 – Will Livingston (15-17) vs. No. 7 Gabe Flores (18-3)
133 – No. 18 T.J. Enright (11-4) vs. No. 8 Jimmy Kennedy (24-3)
141 – J Jaggers (14-4) vs. No. 12 Cassio Pero (19-5)
149 – No. 17 Lance Palmer (24-11) vs. No. 18 Troy Tirapelle (21-5)
157 – Jason Johnstone (17-16) vs. No. 1 Mike Poeta (18-0)
165 – No. 14 Chris Vondruska (28-10) vs. No. 14 Roger Smith-Bergsrud (25-6)
174 – Bergman (1-5)/Priestley (3-6) vs. Matt Winterhalter (6-7)
184 – No. 3 Mike Pucillo (17-1) vs. No. 16 John Dergo (20-7)
197 – No. 6 J.D. Bergman (19-5) vs. No. 12 Patrick Bond (11-3)
285 – Corey Morrison (15-14) vs.John Wise (12-10)

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 21 Ohio State wrestling team will conclude the regular season this weekend when it meets No. 10 Iowa and No. 7 Illinois. The Scarlet and Gray will face the Hawkeyes at 8 p.m. ET Friday and the Fighting Illini at 2 p.m. ET Sunday.

The Buckeyes (8-5; 4-2 Big Ten) are tied for third in the Big Ten Conference standings with the Hawkeyes (13-4; 4-2 Big Ten) and Wisconsin. The Fighting Illini is second in the league with a 10-1 overall mark and 6-1 ledger in the conference.

ON THE AIR
The Buckeyes’ match-up against the Hawkeyes will air on College Sports Television (CSTV) on tape delay at 9 p.m. Feb. 19.

A PROMISING TREND
Ohio State continued the upset trend against Michigan Feb. 11. Lance Palmer defeated No. 2 Josh Churella, 6-4, in the second tiebreaker on a last-second reversal to give the Buckeyes an early 3-0 lead. Palmer now has won seven of his last nine duals and has moved to 24-11 on the season.

BACK TO THE OLD STOMPING GROUNDS
Buckeye head coach Tom Ryan will return to the roots of his competition days when Ohio State takes on Iowa Friday. Ryan was a two-time NCAA Division I All-American for the Hawkeyes (second in 1991, third in 1992) and was a Big Ten Conference champion during those same seasons. Ryan also was a member of Iowa’s 1991 and 1992 national and Big Ten Conference championship teams.

THE SEQUELS
No. 3 Mike Pucillo earned his second win over fourth-ranked Tyrel Todd of Michigan Feb. 11 with a 5-3 decision at 184 pounds. Earlier in the season, then-No. 8 Pucillo defeated then-No. 3 Todd, 12-6, in the championship bout of the Las Vegas Invitational.

J.D. Bergman, ranked sixth in the nation, bettered No. 19 Nick Roy, 2-0, after defeating him in the final match of the Michigan State Open, 5-2, in November.

No. 17 Lance Palmer pulled off the biggest upset of the day when he defeated second-ranked Josh Churella, 6-4, in the second tiebreaker. Palmer evened his career record against Churella, 1-1. Earlier in the season, Palmer lost to Churella, 3-0, in the semifinals of the Eastern Michigan Open. Palmer finished the tournament second.

BUCKEYES VS. HAWKEYES
When Ohio State meets Iowa Friday, the Buckeyes will look to end a 29-match losing streak to the Hawkeyes. Both teams are tied for second in the league with a 4-2 mark, as the Hawkeyes have defeated Northwestern (24-14), Purdue (36-3), Michigan (20-13) and Michigan State (33-9), while dropping matches to Wisconsin (21-14) and Penn State (24-13). Prior to conference action, the Hawkeyes competed against powerhouses Iowa State and Oklahoma State. Iowa defeated the Cyclones, 24-6, but lost to the Cowboys, 21-11. A few match-ups to note that could help the Scarlet and Gray garner its fifth Big Ten Conference win of the season include No. 19 T.J. Enright and No. 17 Mario Galanakis at 133 pounds. In their last meeting in the 2005 Big Ten Conference Championships, Galanakis won a 5-4 decision in the fifth-place match-up to improve his career record against Enright to 3-0. At 165 pounds, No. 16 Chris Vondruska could face fourth-ranked Mark Perry.

BUCKEYES VS. FIGHTING ILLINI
The Buckeyes will finish the regular season against the Illini and will seek its first win against Illinois in 10 seasons. Illinois is in second place in the Big Ten Conference standings with a 10-1 overall mark and 6-1 ledger in the league. The Fighting Illini’s lone loss came to national and conference No. 1 Minnesota. Match-ups to note include the 133, 141, 149, 165, 184 and 197-pound bouts. No. 19 T.J. Enright will face his third Top 20 opponent in four outings when he matches-up against No. 8 Jimmy Kennedy. J Jaggers will meet No. 12 Cassio Pero, while No. 17 Lance Palmer will battle No. 18 Troy Tirapelle. Chris Vondruska will go head to head against 14th-ranked Roger Smith-Bergsrud. Third-ranked Mike Pucillo will challenge No. 16 John Dergo and sixth-ranked J.D. Bergman will meet No. 12 Patrick Bond.

LAST TIME OUT – NO. 23 MICHIGAN
Ohio State lost, 21-15, to No. 23 Michigan Feb. 11 at Cliff Keen Arena in Ann Arbor, Mich. The Buckeyes won five matches, including Lance Palmer, who defeated No. 2 Josh Churella, 6-4, in the second tiebreaker at 149 pounds.

No. 17 Palmer gave the Buckeyes an early 3-0 lead after handing the second-ranked Churella just his third loss of the season. Earlier in the year, Palmer dropped a 3-0 decision to Churella in the semifinals of the Eastern Michigan Open. Palmer finished the tournament in third place. After no scoring in the first period, Palmer soon trailed Churella, 2-0, after the Wolverine scored a reversal 26 seconds into the second stanza. Palmer cut the deficit to half at 2-1 when he recorded an escape at the 1:34 mark. Choosing the down position at the beginning of the third session, Palmer was able to notch another escape six seconds into the period to even the score at 2-all, forcing the match into sudden victory overtime. Palmer and Churella remained scoreless in overtime and action continued into the first tiebreaker. Churella took a 4-2 advantage 13 seconds into the 30 second period on a reversal, but Palmer countered with a reversal of his own nine seconds later (:22) to pull even. It was with two seconds remaining in the second tiebreaker (:28) that Palmer scored a reversal for the upset.

The Buckeyes dropped decisions at 157 and 174 pounds. No. 14 Chris Vondruska, who was competing up a weight class at 174 pounds, lost a close 2-1 match against Jordan Sherrod. After no scoring in the first period, Vondruska found himself down 2-0 after he was called for his second warning of the match and Sherrod scored an escape. Heading into the third period, Vondruska took the down position and escaped nine seconds into the stanza, but was unable to put any additional points on the board. Ohio State forfeited the 165-pound weight class.

Third-ranked Mike Pucillo won his second bout of the year against No. 4 Tyrel Todd, 5-3, to cut the Wolverine lead to 12-6. Then-No. 8 Pucillo beat then-No. 3 Todd, 12-6, in the championship match of the 25th annual Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational in December. In round two, back-to-back escapes by Pucillo at the end of the second session and the beginning of the third period broke the 3-all tie to give him his 17th win of the season. Todd held an early 1-0 lead six seconds in the second period after both wrestlers were scoreless in the first period. However, Pucillo was awarded a point at the :39 second mark after Todd was called for his second warning of the match. Even at 1-1, Pucillo scored a takedown at 1:02 to go up 3-1. A reversal by Todd tied the score at 3-all (1:25), but Pucillo’s first of two escapes was tallied at the 1:52 mark. Choosing the down position in the third period, Pucillo scored an escape 17 seconds in to secure the 5-3 win.

Sixth-ranked J.D. Bergman was the third Buckeye to earn a win against a ranked Wolverine on the day with his 2-0 win over No. 19 Nick Roy. Bergman defeated Roy, 5-2, earlier in the season in the championship match of the Michigan State Open. In the rematch, two warnings on Roy and an escape by Bergman nine seconds into the third period was enough for him to earn the win and pull the Buckeyes within three (12-9).

At 285 pounds Corey Morrison had a slim 4-3 lead going into the third period, but a 3-point nearfall by Casey White and eventually the fall at 6:43 gave the Wolverines an additional six points. At 125 pounds, Will Livingston lost, 8-5, to Michael Watts.

Ohio State finished the day with two wins at 133 and 141 pounds. No. 18 T.J. Enright decisioned Chris Diehl, 5-2, and J Jaggers defeated Justin Chrzanowski, 8-3. Enright never trailed, scoring a takedown at the 2:33 mark in the first period compared to Diehl’s escape (2:39). Up 2-1 heading into the second session, Enright scored the lone point of the period on an escape 12 seconds into the stanza. In the third period, Enright added a final takedown at the one minute mark after Diehl tallied his last point of the match five seconds into the session on an escape.

Like Enright, Jaggers never trailed, owning a 4-1 lead after the first period on two takedowns, while limiting Chrzanowski to an escape. Jaggers continued to tack on the points in the second session, adding a takedown and escape compared to Chrzanowski’s escape to go up 7-2. Chrzanowski added another escape for his third point, while Jaggers compiled a 1:04 riding time for the extra point.

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 Feb. 7. Enright shared the honor with Penn State’s Aaron Anspach.

Enright improved his record to 10-4 on the season after going 2-0 during the weekend of Feb. 2, 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.

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).

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.

BUCKEYES IN THE STANDINGS
In the latest edition of the USA Today/InterMat/NWCA standings (Feb. 13), T.J. Enright is No. 19 at 133 pounds. At 149 pounds, Lance Palmer remained 17th and Chris Vondruska (165) is 16th. Mike Pucillo is third at 184 pounds and J.D. Bergman is sixth at 197 pounds.

IN THE BIG TEN
In 85 years as a member of the Big Ten Conference, the Buckeyes have compiled a 223-305-17 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. 13). Three opponents – Missouri (2), Illinois (7), and Iowa (10) are in the Top 10.

UP NEXT
The Buckeyes will have two weeks off before jumping back into competition at the 2007 Big Ten Conference Wrestling Championships March 3-4 at the Breslin Center in East Lansing, Mich. Michigan State University will serve as the host school.