COLUMBUS, Ohio- The No. 3 Ohio State wrestling team dropped a 25-9 decision to No. 3 Minnesota Friday night in St. John Arena. Buckeyes Nikko Triggas, Hunter Stieber and Cam Tessari scored wins for the Scarlet and Gray, who drop to 7-2 overall and 1-2 in the Big Ten. The Gophers improve to 9-1 overall and 3-0 in the conference.
"Our upper weight classes need to have more energy," Tom Ryan, head coach, said. "At the four-in-a- half, five-minute mark, we were slowing down and Minnesota was not. With our light weights like Hunter [Stieber], we tried to move the weight classes up and down to help win matches, but it really didn't work"
There are not many positives we can take away for tonight's match. Nikko Triggas did a great job and wrestled hard. Peter Capone did a good job, as well showing energy."
Ohio State returns to action Jan. 18 when it travels to Bloomington to face Indiana for a 7 p.m. tilt. Two days later, the Buckeyes will host Wisconsin at 2 p.m. Jan. 20.
The match between the Buckeyes and Gophers was a back-and-forth affair through the first five bouts, with Ohio State taking a 9-8 lead heading into intermission. However, five consecutive losses between 165 pounds and heavyweight set Ohio State back in its second league loss of the season.
Ryan shuffled the Buckeye lineup as well, moving Tessari and redshirt sophomore Josh Demas up a weight class, while redshirt junior Ian Paddock received the start at 149 pounds. Additionally, senior C.J. Magrum earned the start at 184 pounds for the second-consecutive match.
Triggas, a senior from Moraga, Calif., and the Russ Hellickson Wrestler of the Match, gave Ohio State an early 3-0 advantage when he posted a 6-4 decision over No. 13 David Thorn. Holding on to a slim 5-4 lead in the third period, Triggas' final escape of the match secured his 15th win of the season.
Once again wrestling at 133 pounds in place of the injured Logan Stieber, Kyle Visconti faced No. 6 Chris Dardanes and suffered a 14-4 setback and Minnesota took a 4-3 lead. However, the Gopher advantage was short-lived as the second-ranked Hunter Stieber decisioned No. 11 Nick Dardanes in the 141-pound matchup to put the Buckeyes out in front, 6-4. Most of the action of this bout took place in the first period with Stieber scoring a pair of takedowns to Dardanes' two escapes. An escape by Stieber in the second period lifted the Buckeye sophomore from Monroeville, Ohio, to a 5-2 lead. Dardanes could only manage an escape in the final period for the 5-3 final.
After a quick 4-1 lead, Paddock, a Warsaw, N.Y., native could not overcome No. 5 Dylan Ness' flurry of scores, including a pair of 3-point nearfalls in the first period. Paddock only could come within five points of Ness in the second period before the 15-7 final. With the Gophers holding on to an 8-6 lead, Tessari found himself owning a 4-0 advantage heading into the third period vs. Danny Zilverberg. Tessari, who hails from Monroeville, Ohio, added a final takedown and escape to win, 7-2.
In the final five matches, the Buckeyes dropped a trio of close bouts, including a 3-1 overtime loss for Demas. Wrestling No. 12 Cody Yohn, Demas countered with an escape in the third period to tie the score 1-1. However, a takedown by Yohn in the final seconds of sudden victory secured the Gopher victory.
Two losses via major decisions by 174-pounder Nick Heflin and the 184-pounder Magrum set Ohio State back, 19-9. Mathematically still able to win the match with two bouts remaining, the Scarlet and Gray's Andrew Campolattano's lone reversal to open the second period for a 2-0 lead was not enough to overcome the 14th-ranked Scott Schiller in a 5-2 loss. Peter Capone also lost a close match, 3-1, to No. 2 Tony Nelson. After both wrestlers traded escapes in the opening of the second and third periods, Nelson took down Capone in the final seconds for the 3-1 win.
125: No. 12 Nikko Triggas dec. No. 13 David Thorn (Minnesota), 6-4
133: No. 6 Chris Dardanes (Minnesota) major dec. Kyle Visconti, 14-4
141: No. 2 Hunter Stieber dec. No. 11 Nick Dardanes (Minnesota), 5-3
149: No. 5 Dylan Ness (Minnesota) major dec. Ian Paddock, 15-7
157: No. 14 Cam Tessari dec. Daniel Zilverberg (Minnesota), 7-2
165: No. 12 Cody Yohn (Minnesota) dec. Josh Demas, 3-1ot
174: No. 2 Logan Storley (Minnesota) major dec. No. 7 Nick Heflin, 12-3
184: No. 5 Kevin Steinhaus (Minnesota) major dec. C.J Magrum, 9-1
197: No. 14 Scott Schiller (Minnesota) dec. No. 9 Andrew Campolattano, 5-2
HWT: No. 2 Anthony Nelson (Minnesota) dec. No. 12 Peter Capone, 3-1