No. 13 Ohio State Finishes Third at NWCA National Duals

The Buckeyes finished third at the NWCA National Duals in front of the home crowd in St. John Arena.
The Buckeyes finished third at the NWCA National Duals in front of the home crowd in St. John Arena.

Feb. 17, 2014


COLUMBUS, Ohio– After dropping its semifinal match to No. 1 Minnesota, 25-10, the 13th-ranked Ohio State wrestling team answered with a 23-16 victory vs. No. 11 Oklahoma to finish third in the NWCA National Duals at St. John Arena in Columbus, Ohio, Monday. The Buckeyes improve to 12-5 overall (4-4 Big Ten).

Up next, Ohio State will host No. 16 Virginia Tech at 2 p.m. Sunday in St. John Arena. Prior to the match, seniors Alex Gordon, Joe Grandominico, Nick Heflin, Ian Paddock, Josh Whitt, Colton Bowers (manager) and Cassandra Prezzia (manager) will be recognized in the Buckeyes’ final home match of the 2013-14 season.

In the third-place bout vs. the Sooners Monday, the Scarlet and Gray reeled off six wins en route to its Top 3 finish in front of their home crowd in Columbus. Ohio State quickly jumped out to a 6-0 lead thanks to a 4:17 pin by redshirt-freshman Nick Roberts over Sean Williams in the 125-pound match up. Not long after, redshirt-sophomore and ninth-ranked Johnni DiJulius increased Ohio State’s lead to 9-0 following his 6-3 decision over No. 7 Cody Brewer in the 133-pound bout. In the Top 10 match-up, DiJulius bettered his 2-1 lead entering the third period by scoring a reversal and taking advantage of a third-called caution on Brewer. With a riding time advantage of 2:21 and limiting Brewer to just an escape and reversal, DiJulius secured the 6-3 win.



Up next at 149 pounds, redshirt-junior and No. 3 Logan Stieber recorded his 21st bonus-point victory of the season after posting an 18-3 technical fall over Nick Lester. With the Buckeyes up 14-0, the Sooners earned their first win of the match when No. 2 Kendric Maple beat No. 20 and senior Ian Paddock, 13-3, at 149 pounds.

The rest of the way, Ohio State and Oklahoma traded victories, including a 6-1 win by redshirt-junior Randy Languis over Dryden Dennis. Restricting Dennis to just an escape, Languis opened the bout with a takedown in the first period and followed with a final takedown, escape and riding time of 1:59.

No. 13 and sophomore Mark Martin used a takedown and a 1:23 of riding time to beat Derek Geiges, 3-0, in the 174-pound match-up, while senior 197-pounder and No. 8 Nick Heflin won a 6-3 decision vs. No. 5 Travis Rutt. With the match tied at 3-3, Heflin’s escape and takedown in the third period was enough for him to hold on to the win.

In other matches, Buckeye senior Joe Grandominico lost a 6-1 decision to Clark Glass. Moving up a weight class to 184 pounds, No. 1 (174 pounds) Andrew Howe handed redshirt-freshman Josh Fox a 22-8 loss. In the final match of the evening for Ohio State, Buckeye heavyweight Kosta Karageorge lost, 15-0, to Zach Merrill.

Against the Gophers earlier in the day, the Buckeyes jumped out to a 3-0 lead after redshirt-freshman Nick Roberts defeated Samuel Brancale, 9-7, in the 125-pound bout. Two matches later at 141 pounds, a Top 5 match-up ensued between Logan Stieber, who is No. 3, and No. 5 Chris Dardanes. Stieber, a redshirt-junior, recorded an 11-0 major decision over Dardanes to lift the Scarlet and Gray to a 6-3 lead. Stieber quickly secured himself five points on a takedown and 3-point nearfall in the first period vs. Dardanes. The Monroeville, Ohio, native then opened the second period with an escape and takedown for an 8-0 lead. A final takedown and riding time of 2:19 in the third period gave the Buckeye an 11-0 win.

Previously, redshirt-sophomore and eighth-ranked Johnni DiJulius dropped an 8-5 decision to No. 8 David Thorn. Trailing, 4-3, at the end of the first period, DiJulius gave up a reversal and was called for his second stall of the match before scoring an escape to make the score 7-4 in Thorn’s favor. In the third period, DiJulius was only able to score an escape before dropping the match.

Ohio State would go on to drop six of the next seven matches, including a trio of decisions at 149, 157 and 165 pounds. In the 149-pound match up, senior and No. 20 Ian Paddock dropped a 6-2 decision to No. 3 Nick Dardanes. Paddock only trailed 4-2 at the end of the second period, but an escape by Dardanes and riding time of 1:03 secured the Gopher’s victory.

At 157 pounds, redshirt-junior Randy Languis suffered an 8-4 setback to No. 5 Dylan Ness. Languis trailed Ness by one (5-4) at the end of the first period, but Ness was able to score an escape and takedown in the remaining periods for the win.

Senior Joe Grandominico could not overcome a 5-0 deficit at the end of the second period and dropped an 8-2 decision to Daniel Zilverberg.

Senior and eighth-ranked Nick Heflin scored the Buckeyes’ final team points of the match with his 8-4 decision over Scott Schiller. Heflin took a 5-3 lead into the second period and increased his advantage to 8-3 on an escape and takedown in the middle stanza. The Buckeye from Massillon, Ohio, limited Schiller to just an escape in the third period for the victory.

In other Buckeye action, freshman and 174-pounder Jacob Bresciani lost to No. 6 Logan Storley, 15-0, while redshirt-freshman Josh Fox (184 pounds) dropped a 12-3 major decision to No. 8 Kevin Steinhaus. Redshirt-freshman and heavyweight Nick Tavanello fell, 13-3, to Michael Kroellis.