“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of 100 battles.” – The Art of War- Sun Tzu
Preview by Curt Heinrichs
On Sunday and Monday, the Ohio State Buckeyes will host the 2014 edition of the NWCA National Duals at St. John Arena, where 10 of the top teams in the nation will compete for the title. While some of the nation’s powerhouse teams like Iowa and Penn State will not be competing (for various reasons and causes, championed by Cael Sanderson, himself), the competition will be fierce and the wrestling will be at a high level.
In the preliminary round, the Buckeyes drew the Hofsta Pride, currently ranked outside fo the top 20 in the latest Intermat rankings.
Head Coach- Rob Anspach
Coach Anspach is in his 3rd year at the helm of the Pride, but is in his 12th season on staff at Hofstra. He has coached a pair of All-Americans and was twice a qualifier for the NCAA tournament himself as a Hofstra wrestler. Anspach is flanked by a talented staff of assistants, with a number of All-American places between them. Zach Tanelli (Wisconsin alum), Dan Vallimont (Penn State), and one-time Buckeye Ryan Patrovich (Hofstra) all assist Anspach and get quality time on the mats with the Pride wrestlers.
125 lbs- Jamie Franco- Franco is a two-time NCAA qualifier and is currently ranked 17th in the latest Intermat rankings. Franco currently has an 18-8 record and has wins over Earl Hall of Iowa State and Conor Youtsey of Michigan to this point in the season.
133 lbs- Jamel Hudson – Hudson is a redshirt freshman who was the State Wrestler of the Year in New York as a senior. Hudson boasts a 16-4 record and all 4 of his losses are to highly ranked wrestlers.
141 lbs- Luke Vaith – Vaith is 22-4 on the season, with his 4 losses coming to 3 outstanding wrestlers. He is a 2 time NCAA tournament qualifier and has a win over UNC’s Evan Henderson on his resume this season. Vaith has built up a reputation as a finisher, with 7 falls to this point.
165 lbs- Joe Booth- Booth is a 3 time NCAA tournament qualifier, but has yet to find the podium on the biggest stage in collegiate wrestling. With a 25-6 record, Booth has an outstanding record, but doesn’t have a signature win to this point in the season. Booth is currently ranked #15 in the country at 165.
Ohioans on the Roster:
None. Former Buckeye All-American Cam Tessari was attempting a transfer to Hofstra after leaving the Buckeyes last season, but is no longer with the team, according to Coach Rob Anspach.
Matches to watch:
125 lbs- #17 Jamie Franco vs Nick Roberts
Franco is an experienced wrestler, while Roberts is just a redshirt freshman. The lighter weights are where the Pride excel, so any hope of a Hofstra victory will likely rely on upsets in lower weights.
133 lbs #18 Jamel Hudson vs #9 Johnni DiJulius
JDJ put an end to a 2 match losing streak with a decisive victory over Yenter of Michigan State. Hudson may be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
141 lbs #11 Luke Vaith vs #3 Logan Stieber
Vaith is a feast or famine type of wrestler, succumbing to 2 pins and a major decision in his 4 losses to go with a number of victories by fall. As someone who is susceptible to the pin, Vaith may not be excited to look across the mat and see one of the more prolific pinners in college wrestling.
285 lbs- Mike Hughes vs Nick Tavanello
If the match is on the line heading into the heavyweight match, Nick Tavanello should feel comfortable in the situation. Tav is also coming on a bit of late, having wrestled his best matches of the season recently.
The Buckeyes and Pride will also be aware of the Iowa State vs Kent State match, as the corresponding winners and losers of those matches will square off in the 2nd round.
Be sure to check back tomorrow evening for my interview with Coach Rob Anspach in the Buckeyes in the Crosshairs segment. Thanks as usual for reading and Go Bucks!