Around the Oval: Wrestling Finishes Second at NCAAs, Men's Lacrosse Downs Top-Ranked Denver, Men's Hockey Heads to the NCAA Tourney For the First Time In Eight Years

By TJ Neer on March 20, 2017 at 1:15p
Bo Jordan flexes after a semifinals win over Cornell's Brian Realbuto.

Ohio State Athletics.

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While most students at OSU took the week off for Spring Break, many student-athletes continued to rack up wins and dominate the court, mat, field and ice.

Wrestling

Ohio State wrestling had another really impressive season, and it came to a close with a runner-up finish to Penn State in St. Louis. Kyle Snyder, he of many achievements, won his second consecutive national title at heavyweight.

Snyder wasn't the only Buckeye who showed up to compete at the NCAAs, though: redshirt junior Bo Jordan finished as a runner-up at 174, redshirt junior Nathan Tomasello (133) and redshirt freshman Kollin Moore (197) each took third, redshirt sophomore Micah Jordan took fourth at 149 and 2016 national champion Myles Martin took fifth at 184. Each of those five were also named All-Americans.

With an impressive finish this year, and with not a single member of their strong nucleus set to graduate this year, Ohio State is going to be right back in contention for a national title as a team in 2018 (and maybe a couple of individuals).

By the way, it might not be too apparent in those pictures, but Wisconsin's Connor Medbery — the wrestler Snyder beat to win the heavyweight title — is significantly bigger than Snyder. While most wrestlers stay near the highest weight they can be within their weight class — which is 285 pounds for heavyweights — Snyder typically stays around 225 pounds for NCAA competition.

Lacrosse

Here is the current top five in NCAA men's lacrosse, in order: Denver, Notre Dame, Penn State, Maryland, Rutgers. Three Big Ten teams, none of which are the Bucks. 

Ohio State is currently ranked 17th, but this week, that should change.

In one of the best showing we've seen from an Ohio State program this season, Ohio State creamed the top-ranked Denver Pioneers 16-7. 

Featuring a stellar five-goal two-assist performance from freshman attacker Tre Leclaire, the Buckeyes led 11-1 at one point and outperformed Denver tremendously. In addition to Leclaire, seniors Eric Fannell (attack) and Johnny Pearson (midfield) each had seven-point games.

This was the first game of a difficult stretch for the Buckeyes, but they'll look to continue their success against No. 4 Notre Dame Saturday.

 Ohio State also beat No. 10 Towson on Wednesday, 6-3, on the road.

Women's lacrosse has had a rough go of it since last week. Competing in three games beginning last Monday, the Bucks began with a 13-7 loss to Harvard.

On March 18, the Buckeyes took on the Wolverines and put forth an impressive effort but fell short, eventually dropping the tight matchup in overtime, 12-11.

On March 19, luck finally seemed to be in the team's favor, as it was able to pull out an 8-7 victory over Binghamton at home to end the week on a positive note.

Men's Ice Hockey

With a dramatic win in the Big Ten tournament over Michigan State that featured three goals in four minutes from the good guys, the Buckeyes advanced to the Big Ten semifinals to take on Wisconsin.

Despite being ranked lower in NCAA rankings, Wisconsin earned a higher Big Ten seeding (2) than Ohio State (3). 

However, Wisconsin dashed the Buckeyes' run at Big Ten glory, winning 2-1.

The season isn't over yet, though — the Buckeyes will participate in this year's NCAA tournament for the first time since 2009.

As a four seed (which is the lowest you can get while still getting into the tourney), Ohio State will face the tall task of taking on No. 2 seed (and No. 3 in the NCAA) Minnesota-Duluth in Fargo, North Dakota.

Men's Volleyball

While it may seem abnormal to have men's volleyball this low in the article, it isn't for lack of winning that they've moved down.

After their loss to UC-Irvine March 11 — their first loss in over a year — the No. 2 Buckeyes (yes, the loss to UC-Irvine moved them to second behind Long Beach State) have picked up where they left off with two wins over top-ten teams in No. 10 Loyola Chicago and No. 7 Lewis.

The win over Loyola Chicago was a three-set sweep and was also head coach Pete Hanson's 999th match as a coach.

In the coach's 1000th career match, the drama went way up as the Buckeyes came back from being behind in a decisive fifth set to win the match 3-2 over the Flyers.

Tennis

Another team with a three-game slate for the week, No. 2 Ohio State women's tennis was able to emerge 3-1 against its opposition.

On Tuesday the Bucks faced off against the top-ranked Florida Gators, who were able to hand them their just their second loss of the season by a score of 4-1.

After that, the team returned to dominance against its Big Ten opponents. 

Taking on Wisconsin Friday and Minnesota Monday, the Buckeyes took home a clean sweep, winning both matches 7-0.

Men's tennis traveled to take on No. 8 Texas and No. 11 Texas A&M as the top-ranked team in the nation, but returned from its road trip with two losses on its record.

The Bucks lost both matchups by only one point, falling 4-3 to both the Longhorns and the Aggies.

With the losses, Ohio State fell to second in NCAA rankings while Wake Forest reclaimed its No. 1 spot.

Gymnastics

The No. 4 men's gymnastics team faced a tough test against No. 1 Oklahoma this week, but just couldn't pull off the upset.

Despite title-winning performances from three Buckeyes — redshirt junior Sean Melton on rings, sophomore Alec Yoder on pommel horse and redshirt senior Jake Martin in all-around — the team was outmatched by the Sooners.

At the end of the meet, the Bucks lost to Oklahoma in Norman, 434.550-417.600.

Women's gymnastics finished fifth at the 2017 Big Ten Championships, and was once again led by junior Alexis Mattern. Mattern placed second on vault – losing by only .075 points – and finished fifth in all-around en route to being named to the Big Ten All-Championship team.

No. 9 Michigan took home first followed by No. 20 Illinois, No. 16 Iowa, No. 13 Nebraska and No. 24 Ohio State to round out the top five.

With their performance this season, the team has qualified for NCAA Regionals.

Baseball/Softball

The baseball team, traveling to take on Xavier in a Sunday doubleheader, brought its bats to life with six home runs on the day, but couldn't get a win. They lost the first game 5-4 and dropped the second 6-5.

In the second game, junior right fielder Noah McGowan tied Ohio State's school record for home runs in a single game with three. The record was set in 2012 by Josh Desze.

The softball team traveled to Florida for a Spring Break road trip, and participated in  two exhibition games against Stetson and Bethune-Cookman, as well as the USF Spring Fling and took on Army West Point and Missouri Friday and No. 4 Auburn and North Dakota State Saturday.

The team beat Stetson with a shutout and allowed only one run to Bethune-Cookman.

At the Spring Fling, the Buckeyes racked up three wins with their only loss coming against Auburn, giving them a final Spring Break record of 5-1.

Other Events

Women's swimming placed fifth at Big Ten Championships which took place March 15-18.

At the Baldy Castillo Invitational, freshman Megan Hoffman set a new Ohio State record with a 3.85m vault. Senior Anthony Johnson and freshman Alex Lomong placed first and second respectively in the mid-distance run. Senior Champ Page took home first in the 400m dash.

Men's golf finished 11th out of 15 at day one of the Linger Longer Invitational March 19. The team shot 290.

Upcoming

March 20

  • Men's Golf, Linger Longer Invitational (Greensboro, Ga.)
  • Women's Gold, Briars Creek Invitational (John's Island, S.C.)
  • Pistol, National Collegiate Pistol Championships (Fort Benning, Ga.)

March 21

  • Baseball vs. Youngstown State
  • Pistol, National Collegiate Pistol Championships (Fort Benning, Ga.)
  • Women's Golf, Briars Creek Invitational (John's Island, S.C.)
  • Men's Golf, Linger Longer Invitational (Greensboro, Ga.)

March 22

  • Pistol, National Collegiate Pistol Championships (Fort Benning, Ga.)
  • Men's Swimming, NCAA Championships (Indianapolis)

March 23

  • Synchronized Swimming, U.S. Collegiate Nationals
  • Men's Volleyball vs. Fort Wayne
  • Men's Swimming, NCAA Championships (Indianapolis)
  • Pistol, National Collegiate Pistol Championships (Fort Benning, Ga.)

March 24

  • Synchronized Swimming, U.S. Collegiate Nationals
  • Baseball vs. Minnesota
  • Softball @ Maryland
  • Men's Tennis vs. Michigan State
  • Men's Ice Hockey vs. Minnesota-Duluth (Fargo, N.D.)
  • Women's Lacrosse @ Rutgers
  • Men's Gymnastics @ Illinois
  • Pistol, National Collegiate Pistol Championships (Fort Benning, Ga.)
  • Men's Swimming, NCAA Championships (Indianapolis)
  • Track & Field, Raleigh Relays (Raleigh, N.C.)

March 25

  • Synchronized Swimming, U.S. Collegiate Nationals
  • Softball @ Maryland
  • Men's Soccer @ Northern Kentucky
  • Men's Lacrosse @ Notre Dame
  • Baseball vs. Minnesota
  • Men's Volleyball vs. Ball State
  • Women's Rowing vs. Harvard (Ann Arbor, Mich.)
  • Track & Field, Raleigh Relays (Raleigh, N.C.)
  • Men's Swimming, NCAA Championships
  • Women's Rowing vs. Yale (Ann Arbor, Mich.)

March 26

  • Baseball vs. Minnesota
  • Men's Tennis @ Michigan
  • Women's Lacrosse vs. USC (Mountain Lakes, N.J.)
  • Softball @ Maryland
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