As always, now is a great time to be a Buckeye. Across the non-revenue spectrum, Ohio State is accomplishing some very special things as we head into the spring season. There just isn’t one sport focused on tournament play at this time of the year. The wrestling Bucks competed in the B1G Individual championships this weekend. The B1G hockey tournament is nine days away, as Ohio State continues to skate with the best of them in the newly formed Big Ten Conference.
Alongside some solid team performances, individuals stood out in conference play on the diamond and on the pummel horse.
Like always, it was a great weekend to be a Buckeye! Here’s a breakdown of some of the best happenings on the sports spectrum in Ohio State’s Non-Revenue sports.
Head Coach Tom Ryan’s continued effort to build up a young Ohio State team is paying off. The Buckeyes, who have battled some injuries throughout the season, showed up strong at the 100th B1g Tournament in Madison Wisconsin. Ohio State finished fourth behind Minnesota, Iowa and Penn State, who won their fourth straight conference title under head coach Cael Sanderson. The Buckeyes saw two wrestlers advance to the championship mat on Sunday.
141 pounder Logan Stieber continued building up his Ohio State grappling legacy, becoming just the second wrestler in school history to win three league championships on Sunday. His 7-3 win over Penn State freshman Zain Retherford 7-3 in the championship match, avenged his only loss of the season. Stieber got to scoring right away with 2:25 to go in the first when he sucked in a single leg with both knees on the ground and turned the corner with a sweeping double near the edge of the mat. After a short stoppage for blood time, It was Retherford slithering away with the escape to make it 2-1 heading into the 2nd period. Respecting the freshman’s riding ability and top game, Steiber took the neutral position in the 2nd period and dominated from the position. The two time national champion caught the Penn State frosh with a solid waist lock turned into crab ride. The take down gave the defending champion a commanding 4-1 lead heading into the third and final period. In the final stanza, Ohio State’s first three time B1G champion since Kevin Randleman dominated from the top position, which included a quick turn that lead to two more back points.
Over the weekend, Intermat’s 3rd ranked wrestler in the 141 class defeated 2nd ranked Zain Retherford and 5th ranked Chris Dardanes of Minnesota. For the third straight year, Stieber is proving to be one of the most complete wrestlers in the country. Sunday’s championship match was his only victory this season that wasn’t at least a major decision. Beating Retherford should set him up for at least a two seed at the NCAA tournament in a couple weeks. It’ll be interesting to see if being a back to back national champion will give him an edge seeding wise, with junior Mitchell Port going undefeated his junior year at Edinboro.
It paid off for senior Nick Heflin to move up two weight classes this weekend to 197. After a semi-final win over #5 Scott Schiller of Minnesota, the fan favorite was lined up for what was a very unique championship match. Not very often do two wrestlers meet for the first time in the B1G championship match. Heflin took one of Cael Sanderson’s top recruits in the very tough Morgan McIntosh. After battling injuries his freshman season, McIntosh redshirted last year and spent the season training with two time national champion Quentin Wright. The Penn Stater has really shown how much that paid off this season. He matched up with Heflin with just two losses on the season, both to topped ranked junior J’Den Cox of Missouri.
It was Heflin that handed McIntosh his third loss of the season, while securing his first B1G championship.
After spending the first period even on the feet, battling for head control, it was McIntosh grabbing a beautiful two leg takedown out of a switch from the bottom position to start the second. Heflin battled from the down position after the takedown and was able to cut it to one heading into the third.
After a quick escape from Heflin to start the third that denied a ride time point, Heflin and McIntosh battled from their feet until the end of the horn. It took a second sudden death overtime, but Heflin caught a tired McIntosh a bit lazy on a high crotch take down attempt. His attempt completely missed the inside leg of Heflin, who spun around the corner for the match winning points.
Overall, it was a great weekend at the 100th Big Ten championships at the Kohl Center in Madison. The following wrestlers also placed. 125 - RS FR Nick Roberts (6th) 133 -RS SO Johnni DiJulius (6th) 149 – Ian Paddock (7th) 174 - SO Mark Martin 184 - RS SO Kenny Courts (5th) HWT - RS FR Nick Tavanello (8th)
It was a great weekend in the newly formed B1G Hockey conference for Ohio State. They faced a tough task on the final home weekend of the season. After falling 5-1 on Friday, the Buckeyes stormed back on senior night Saturday against #1 Minnesota. USCHO’s Paula Weston breaks it down:
After losing 5-1 to visiting No. 1 Minnesota the night before, Ohio State came from behind to tie the Golden Gophers and then take the extra shootout point Saturday. The Buckeyes tied the game for the first time early in the third period on Ryan Dzingel’s seventh power-play goal of the season, but Gabe Guertler’s second goal of the season 24 seconds later put the Gophers ahead again. Then with less than four minutes left in regulation, Nick Schilkey tied the game again for the Buckeyes — fed by Dzingel — and Schilkey was the lone player to score in the shootout. The Buckeyes outshot the Gophers 43-32, 15-3 in the third period alone.
The Buckeyes are 15-12-5 on the season and sit in fourth place heading into this weekend’s final series against Penn State, who is last in the conference. Junior forward Ryan Dzingel leads the conference in points. The Ottawa Senators product has 40 points, 18 goals, 22 assists and a +13 ice ranking.
On the women’s squad, junior defensemen Kari Schmitt and Sara Schmitt were named to the All-WCHA team. The twin sisters scored a total of 51 points for the Lady Buckeyes this season. Kari was named to the second team, while Sara was named to the third team. Ohio State finished 15-17-5 on the season.
The Buckeyes struggled this weekend on the road in Oregon, losing two of three to the #9 Ducks. Ohio State will look to turn things around when they take on Oregon State tonight at 8:35. The Beavers wont be an easy team to battle. They are the fourth ranked team in the nation. They are led by their dominant pitching staff that has 14 quality starts this season in just 17 games played.
The Buckeyes are 8-5 overall and will wrap up their road trip Tuesday and head home for a five game home stand against Siena, Xavier and Akron.
Leading the way is B1G pitcher of the week, Ryan Riga. The junior lefty put together a complete game shutout against Oregon over the weekend, striking out 10. Riga picked up his second win of the year and his second B1G Pitcher of the week selection after giving up just five hits and one walk Saturday. Riga is one win away from tying his total from a year ago. As a Sophomore, the very talented starter gave up a .210 batting average against. His role as a reliever was huge last year, but now he will be looked upon as an ace in the hole for head coach Greg Beals.
The Lady Buckeyes continue to roll at home, moving their record in Columbus to 5-0 yesterday as #20 Ohio State defeated High Point 13-5 to move to 5-3 this season. Sophomore Cian Dabrowski was the catalyst for Ohio State, scoring a career-high five points. Junior Jackie Cifarelli added three goals and an assist in the victory. The Buckeyes have won three straight at home, but hit the road this weekend to take on Hofstra. Last time Ohio State traveled to New York, they lost by one to Canisius.
After their road competition this weekend, they will host three straight home games against Florida, Oregon, and William & Mary.
The men’s LaCrosse team is off to a rough start. At 1-4, they are off until Saturday, when they take on University of Denver in the Mile High City.
The #15 Buckeyes travel to #11 Lewis University tonight in men’s volleyball action, after an impressive win over (as wierd as it sounds) non-conference rival Penn State on Friday. The Nittany Lions, ranked 12th in the country, jumped out to a strong start by winning the first set. Junior Michael Henchy continued his strong season with 14 kills, 7 Digs and a service ace. Freshman Miles Johnson added 11 kills and two service aces. The Buckeyes are 8-8 and 4-4 in the MIVA heading into tonight’s match up. The Flyers are 12-4 and 4-2 in the MIVA. Including a 3-1 win over Ohio State at St. John Arena the day after Valentines.
You can watch tonight’s match online, by heading to Lewis University’s Flyer All Access page. The action begins at 8 PM ET.
After winning a program best 17 straight matches to start the year, the #1 men’s tennis team in the country suffered their first loss on the season to #4 Oklahoma 4-1 in Norman. Redshirt sophomore Ralf Steinbach was the only singles player to win on Friday. The Germany native defeated Peerakit Siributwong in the fifth singles match – 6-4, 6-2. In the top doubles match, Peter Kobelt and Kevin Metka defeated Dane Webb and Andrew Harris – 8-7, 7-2. The top team in all of the land will look to rebound from their first loss of the season tomorrow, when they take on the Georgia Bulldogs in Athens.
Despite heading off to Sin City this weekend, there is no doubt the women’s tennis program is doing something right. Winners of five straight matches, the Buckeyes defeated Princeton 6-1 Saturday. The home team racked up five wins out of a possible six in singles play and took two of the three doubles matches as well. The Buckeyes are 6-0 at home, but will take on UNLV from the city of gambling love tomorrow. They will also take on Marquette in Las Vegas Friday.