Wrestling Preview: No. 8 Ohio State vs Edinboro in NWCA Series

By Curt Heinrichs on February 21, 2016 at 10:53a
Wrestling: Ohio State vs. Edinboro
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For the second consecutive season, Ohio State will face off against the Edinboro Fighting Scots in the NWCA National Championship Dual Series, and the 2016 meeting should resemble the 30-7 Buckeye victory in a number of ways. The Buckeyes won eight of 10 matches last season, and should be favored in eight this time around.

The Buckeyes will host Edinboro in their final action prior to the Big Ten tournament in Iowa City on March 5th and 6th.

Ohio State enters the dual with a 10-3 record, while Edinboro comes to Columbus with an 8-9 overall record, though they were 6-0 on the way to an EWL dual championship.

The match will take place on Monday, February 22nd at St. John Arena at 7:00 PM. Those not in attendance can stream this match, as well as the other six non-championship NWCA duals, on BTN Plus (subscription required).

Let’s take a look at what to expect when Ohio State welcomes the Fighting Scots to Columbus. 

Edinboro Fighting Scots

 

EDINBORO FIGHTING SCOTS
8-9 Overall, 6-0 EWL
ROSTER | SCHEDULE

7:00 PM- Monday, February 22nd
ST. JOHN ARENA
COLUMBUS, OHIO

FIGHTINGSCOTS.COM
 

Edinboro fighting scots (8-9 overall, 6-0 ewl)

Head Coach: Tim Flynn

Flynn is in his nineteenth season as the head coach of the Fighting Scots, recently earning the most victories in program history. Flynn has coached three national champions and 37 All-Americans in his nearly two decades at the helm, with four All-Americans last season. Flynn is a Penn State graduate, earning an All-American finish as a senior in 1987 for the Nittany Lions. Flynn has a pair of outstanding former wrestlers on his staff in NCAA champion Cliff Moore (Iowa) and Mitchell Port (Edinboro). 

Ohioans on the Edinboro Roster

Chase Delande (RS JR, 157)
Delande placed twice at the Ohio state tournament for Hilliard Davidson High School (for former Buckeye Dominic DiSabato), winning the Division 1 state title in 2011 at 145 lbs.  

Nate Hagan (FR, 141)
Hagan was a two-time state champion in Division II for Toledo Central Catholic High School in his junior and senior seasons. Hagan also placed 7th as a freshman for the Irish.

Billy Miller (RS FR, HWT)
Miller was a two-time Division II state champion at heavyweight for Perry High School. He was ranked by InterMat as the #17 ranked heavyweight in the country as a senior.

Spencer Nagy (FR, 141)
Alliance High School alumnus.

Vince Pickett (SR, 197) 
Pickett was a three-time state placer for Grove City Central Crossing High School. As a senior, he finished runner-up at 170 to Mark Martin. 

Notable Edinboro Wrestlers

#5 Vic Avery (RS SR, 184)
Avery has earned three trips to the NCAA tournament, placing 3rd at 184 last season. Avery made it to the semifinals before falling to eventual champion Gabe Dean in the TB2 period 4-3. Avery’s senior season has been marred by injury, but his only loss came to current #7 ranked Zack Zavatsky of Virginia Tech.

#19 Pat Lugo (FR, 149)
The Florida native has made a name for himself in his rookie season, earning wins over #5 Evan Henderson of North Carolina and #20 BJ Clagon of Rider. Of Lugo’s six losses, all but one of them came to ranked wrestlers.

Billy Miller (RS FR, HWT)
Miller is on the fringe of most rankings, racking up a 24-8 record in his first season in the starting lineup. Miller has been a bit streaky this season, winning a great number of matches and then losing several within a short period. His biggest win of the season is a 3-1 decision over Cleveland State’s Riley Shaw.

Probable Lineups
Ohio State WT edinboro
#1 NATHAN TOMASELLO 125 SEAN RUSSELL
#9 JOHNNI DIJULIUS 133 ANTHONY RIVERA
#4 MICAH JORDAN 141 TYLER VATH
CODY BURCHER 149 #19 PAT LUGO
#10 JAKE RYAN 157 #16 AUSTIN MATTHEWS
#3 BO JORDAN 165 CASEY FULLER
#14 MYLES MARTIN 174 PATRICK JENNINGS
#17 KENNY COURTS 184 #5 VIC AVERY
MARK MARTIN 197 VINCE PICKETT
#2 KYLE SNYDER/ NICK TAVANELLO HWT BILLY MILLER

Key Matchups

197: Mark Martin vs Vince Pickett
Martin and Pickett met in the Division I state finals at the Ohio state wrestling tournament back in 2012. Martin defeated Pickett 3-2, earning his second state championship. Martin’s season has been greatly impacted by injury and his transition to 197 has not been as smooth as he probably envisioned at the outset of the season.

Martin, who has a career record of 81-38, is nearing the end of a notable career and finds a winnable match against Pickett before a tough Big Ten tournament.

157: #10 Jake Ryan vs #16 Austin Matthews
Matthews is one of few Scot wrestlers that is ranked in the current rankings, He’s been banged up this season, so there aren’t many results to compare him to Ryan. Jake is going to be counted on to score points at the NCAA tournament, and Matthews is the kind of opponent he’ll meet in the first two rounds, so this will be a valuable experience for the young Buckeye.

184: #17 Kenny Courts vs #5 Vic Avery
Avery defeated Courts 4-1 last year in the opening round of the NWCA Dual Championship series in their only career meeting. If Courts is going to repeat as an All-American, he’s going to have to knock off guys like Avery. Kenny has been held scoreless in four of his seven losses this season, and has only lost a single match where he scored the first takedown. If you boil it down, Courts seems to win matches that he is confident he can win, and scoring the opening takedown seems to do it for Kenny. Avery is a crafty veteran, so Courts will need to bring his A game to beat Avery. 

Match Outlook

If Tom Ryan elects to send his starters out against Edinboro, the Buckeyes should win with little difficulty. Edinboro typically has one of the toughest teams outside of the Big Ten, but this year’s team is in a rebuilding year. Two NCAA finalists and a third All-American from last year’s Edinboro team all graduated, leaving Vic Avery as the lone Fighting Scot with much point-scoring potential on this year’s team. Edinboro has a number of young wrestlers with serious potential, but they’ve taken some serious lumps this season.

This season’s NWCA National Dual Championship series has been likened to college football’s bowl game format. In that vein, it is easy to compare the Buckeye outcomes in both football and wrestling this season by saying “the defending NCAA champions mopped up on a once-proud opponent to end the season.” Unlike the football team, the Ohio State wrestlers will have another opportunity to repeat as champions after taking on Edinboro. Following the one-match NWCA dual, Ohio State will have 12 days to prepare for the Big Ten tournament, which takes place on March 5-6 in Iowa City.

Check back with Eleven Warriors for a recap on the Edinboro match, as well as any news on the wrestling program heading into the postseason. 

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