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TEMPE, Ariz. – The No. 2 Ohio State University wrestling team improved to 3-0 by winning six of 10 bouts in a top-10 tilt on the road at No. 10 Arizona State (1-2). The Buckeyes were without the services of All-Americans Myles Martin and Kollin Moore who spent the weekend competing for Team USA at the U23 World Championships in Romania. Moore came back to the States with a silver medal in-hand.
Ohio State has won six meetings in a row against the Sun Devils, including each of the last five seasons, and now leads the all-time series 6-2.
No. 2 Ohio State 22, No. 10 Arizona State 17
125 lbs | No. 6 Ryan Millhof (ASU) def. Brady Koontz (OSU) | TF, 18-1; Team Score: 0-5
133 lbs | No. 5 Luke Pletcher (OSU) def. Josiah Kline (ASU) | MD, 16-6; TS: 4-5
141 lbs | No. 2 Joey McKenna (OSU) def. Cory Crooks (ASU) | MD, 13-0; TS: 8-5
149 lbs | No. 2 Micah Jordan (OSU) def. No. 11 Josh Maruca (ASU) | MD, 18-8; TS: 12-5
157 lbs | No. 5 Ke-Shawn Hayes (OSU) def. Christian Pagdilao (ASU) | D, 4-3; TS: 15-5
165 lbs | No. 8 Josh Shields (ASU) def. Kaleb Romero (OSU) | D, 5-0; TS: 15-8
174 lbs | No. 1 Zahid Valencia (ASU) def. No. 11 Te’Shan Campbell (OSU) | D, 6-1; TS: 15-11
184 lbs | Kordell Norfleet (ASU) def. Ethan Smith (OSU) | PIN, 6:15; TS: 15-17
197 lbs | Kevin Snyder (OSU) def. Austyn Harris (ASU) | MD, 12-3; TS: 19-17
285 lbs | Chase Singletary (OSU) def. Brady Daniel (ASU) | D, 3-1; TS: 22-17
The match began at 125 pounds where Brady Koontz made his first career start. And it was quite the challenge presented to the redshirt freshman, facing sixth-ranked and unbeaten Ryan Millhof. Koontz tallied a lone escape point en route to an 18-1 tech fall for Millhof.
Luke Pletcher responded in the 133-pound bout, racking up seven takedowns and posting a 16-6 major decision to pull the Buckeyes to within one at 5-4 on the team scoreboard.
Joey McKenna (141 lbs) followed suit with a major decision of his own. He took down and turned Cory Crooks for a half dozen points in the first period. McKenna would go on to add seven more points while shutting out Crooks, 13-0.
A pair of nationally-ranked foes took to the mat at 149 pounds when No. 2 Micah Jordan shook hands with No. 11 Josh Maruca. Jordan quickly wiped away any thoughts of a potential upset, nailing Maruca for three first-period takedowns. He kept the pedal to the metal with five more takedowns in the second and ultimately came away with Ohio State’s third consecutive major decision (18-8).
Christian Pagdilao took his shot at the upset bid in the subsequent bout (157 lbs), giving No. 5 Ke-Shawn Hayes a legitimate scare. The Sun Devil struck first with a takedown. Pagdilao maintained his two-point edge going to the third after each combatant earned escapes, Hayes in the first after the takedown and Pagdilao following his selection to begin period number two on bottom. Hayes made the same chose, hitting the deck to start Period 3. He broke free for a 3-2 score and registered the go-ahead takedown in the closing seconds for a 4-3 triumph. Hayes moved his season mark to 7-0 and increased the Buckeye team lead to 15-5 at intermission.
National rankings favored Arizona State at 165 and 174 pounds, and ultimately both Sun Devils took care of business. Kaleb Romero, a redshirt freshman facing No. 8 Josh Shields, and Te’Shan Campbell up against the defending national champion Zahid Valencia battled tough though – surrendering the minimum six team points with back-to-back decisions.
Ohio State was not so fortunate at 184 pounds, however, when Kordell Norfleet pinned Ethan Smith to lift the Sun Devils back on top 17-15 with two bouts to go.
With the pressure building, Kevin Snyder didn’t flinch. He raced out to a 6-2 advantage on three takedowns in the opening frame. He would give up no offensive points and force a pair of stalling warnings in a 12-3 major decision over Austyn Harris. Snyder’s fifth win of the year set up a ‘winner take all’ scenario at heavyweight.
Chase Singletary did not disappoint. He and Brady Daniel tussled to a 1-1 stalemate through the bout’s first six minutes. Singletary then made one final push and secured the match-winning takedown and Ohio State left Tempe as 22-17 victors.
The Buckeyes turn the page and pursue their third straight Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational (Nov. 30-Dec. 1) title. Ohio State cleared the field by 15.5 points in last year’s event despite being without three All-Americans (including two national champions) missing from the lineup. Three individual champions were crowned while donning the Scarlet & Gray — Luke Pletcher, Myles Martin and Kollin Moore.