Around the Oval: Ohio State Men's Hockey Earns No. 3 Seed in the NCAA Championship, Men's Tennis Beats Michigan and Wrestling Wraps Up a Much-Improved Season

By Chase Brown on March 20, 2023 at 1:05 pm
Ohio State Dept. of Athletics

Ohio State's Olympic sports had an impressive run this past weekend.

In this edition of Around the Oval, Eleven Warriors’ one-stop shop for coverage of Ohio State's non-revenue sports, we offer rundowns for men's hockey, men's tennis, wrestling and women's swim and dive.

Over the weekend, we also covered women's basketball's win over James Madison in the NCAA Tournament, women's hockey's win over Northeastern and loss to Wisconsin in the national championship and Sophie Jaques winning the Patty Kazmaier Award and the pistol team winning its third consecutive national title.

Men's Hockey

With a 20-15-3 record, a third-place finish in the Big Ten's regular-season standings and a semifinal appearance in the Big Ten Tournament, Ohio State men's hockey earned an at-large berth into the NCAA Championship on Sunday. The Buckeyes will face Harvard in the Bridgeport Regional hosted by Quinnipiac.

The third-seeded Buckeyes will face the second-seeded Crimson on Friday inside Total Mortgage Arena. Puck drop is set for 2 p.m., and ESPNU will televise the matchup. Immediately after that game ends, No. 1 Quinnipiac will play No. 4 Merrimack at 5:30 p.m. The winner of both contests will then battle at 4 p.m. on Sunday for a spot in the Frozen Four.

Ohio State's appearance in the Bridgeport Regional marks the 10th time the program has reached the NCAA Tournament dating back to 1998. In the first nine appearances, the Buckeyes were eliminated seven times in the first or second round. The other two showings resulted in trips to the Frozen Four – the first in 1998 and the second in 2018.

This season, Ohio State is led by veteran head coach Steve Rohlik, now in his 10th year with the program. The Buckeyes are also powered by second-team All-Big Ten skaters Mason Lohrei and Jake Wise, honorable mention All-Big Ten selections Stephen Halliday and Jakub Dobes and true freshman Davis Burnside, who leads Ohio State with 14 goals.

Collectively, Ohio State paces the NCAA with a .895 penalty kill. The Buckeyes also rank in the top 20 nationally in scoring offense (3.21 goals per game), scoring defense (2.53 goals allowed per game) and power play efficiency (.224).

When Ohio State lines up across from Harvard on Friday, it will be only the second all-time meeting between the schools. The Buckeyes and Crimson first met at the Ohio Hockey Classic on Dec. 29, 2008, with Ohio State winning the matchup 4-2.

Men's Tennis

Ohio State men's tennis defeated Michigan in Columbus on Sunday, with the No. 4 Buckeyes outlasting the No. 5 Wolverines in a 4-2 thriller.

Ohio State welcomed over 700 fans into the Ty Tucker Tennis Center for the event, creating the largest and most energized crowd of the season, and the Buckeyes did not disappoint attendees in the packed stands.

The Buckeyes secured the doubles point with wins from Robert Cash/Justin Boulais and Cannon Kingsley/JJ Tracy on courts one and three. Ohio State and Michigan then battled in singles play, with three of the six matches going into the third set. Jack Anthrop, Cash and Tracy prevailed in those matches to earn a hard-fought victory over their rivals, with Tracy securing the fourth point that put the Wolverines away for good.

With the win, Ohio State improves to 17-2 overall on the season and will begin Big Ten play next weekend. Sunday's match with Michigan and an earlier game against Illinois on Jan. 22 were listed as non-conference matchups.


Ohio State finished fourth at the NCAA Wrestling Championships over the weekend. With the 2020 tournament canceled due to COViD-19 and the Buckeyes finishing ninth and 13th at the 2021 and 2022 tournaments, this year's fourth-place prize is the program's best performance since taking second place at the event in the 2018-19 season.

Collecting 70.5 points, the Buckeyes finished fourth behind back-to-back national champion Penn State (137.5), Iowa (82.5) and Cornell (76.5). Ohio State had five wrestlers earn All-American status, including Sammy Sasso, Jesse Mendez, Dylan D'Emilio, Ethan Smith and Kaleb Romero. Sasso posted the best finish of all of them as the runner-up at 149 pounds to four-time national champion Yianni Diakomihalis, who became only the fifth wrestler in NCAA history to win four individual national titles at the collegiate level.

Romero fell to eventual national champion Aaron Brooks in the quarterfinals at 184 pounds but went on an impressive run in the consolation bracket, winning three straight matches and moving past No. 4 Trey Munoz of Oregon State (medical forfeit) to reach the third-place bout. In the medal match, Romero knocked off No. 2 Trent Hidlay of North Carolina State in a 3-1 win in sudden victory after scoring a takedown to end the match.

At 174 pounds, Smith defeated Tyler Eischens of Standord in the first round but was upset by Nelson Brands of Iowa in his next appearance. In the wrestlebacks, Smith rattled off three consecutive victories to earn All-American status and face Peyton Mocco of Missouri in a bout for seventh place. He defeated Mocco in dominant fashion, a 10-point, 12-2 beatdown by major decision.

Mendez, a true freshman at 133 pounds, made a run for sixth place as the No. 13 seed in the bracket. He claimed a victory over Navy's Brendan Ferretti in his initial matchup before losing to No. 4 Michael McGee of Arizona State in the second round.

From there, Mendez defeated No. 19 Domenic Zaccone of Campbell, No. 11 Dylan Ragusin of Michigan and No. 10 Lucas Byrd of Illinois to earn All-American status in his true freshman season at Ohio State. Once that accolade was secured, he took out No. 6 Sam Latona of Virginia Tech in the consolation round four. He lost to No. 8 Aaron Nagao in the consolation semis and ended the tournament in sixth place.

D’Emilio rounded out the list of All-Americans for Ohio State with an eighth-place finish at 141 pounds. The Curtice, Ohio, native started his tournament with a win over Navy's Josh Koderhandt. He then lost a narrow 7-5 decision to top-seeded Real Woods of Iowa in the second round. In the consolation bracket, D'Emilio beat No. 15 Tom Crook of Virginia Tech, No. 23 Cole Mattin of Michigan and No. 3 Cole Matthews of Pitt to claim his first All-American honor in his fourth year with the Buckeyes.

Women's Swim and Dive

Ohio State women’s swim and diving set a program record with a sixth-place finish at the NCAA Championships over the weekend. The Buckeyes also secured their third straight top-10 finish at the event, the most consecutive top-10s in school history.

“What an amazing group of young women and a fitting way to cap off our NCAA season with the highest finish in school history,” swim and dive director Bill Dorenkott said. “We turned over almost an entire staff a year ago, and a lot of folks thought we were down for the count. This season is a testament to the resilience of our student-athletes, the commitment of all the support staff and resources committed to our swimmers and divers, as well as a culture built on a commitment to success with each other and for each other."

With 11 Ohio State swimmers collecting a total of 32 All-American awards, the team ended the event with 223 points behind Virginia (541.5), Texas (414.5), Stanford (333), Louisville (288) and NC State (223).

The Buckeyes also finished with the most points of any Big Ten program. They were four points ahead of seventh-place Indiana, 123 points ahead of 15th-place Wisconsin and 170 points ahead of 17th-place Minnesota. Ohio State also lapped Michigan by 190 points, Purdue by 191 and Northwestern by over 200 points.

Here is a list of Ohio State's All-American honorees (* denotes honorable mention):

  • Hannah Bach – 100 breast, 200 medley relay
  • Jessica Eden – 800 free relay*
  • Amy Fulmer – 200 free relay, 200 medley relay, 400 free relay, 50 free*, 100 free*, 200 free*, 800 free relay*
  • Nyah Funderburke – 200 medley relay, 200 free relay, 400 medley relay
  • Maya Geringer – 1650 free*
  • Lena Hentschel – 1-meter dive*, 3-meter dive*
  • Teresa Ivan – 50 free, 200 medley relay, 200 free relay, 400 free relay
  • Josie Panitz – 100 breast, 400 medley relay
  • Felicia Pasadyn – 400 IM*, 800 free relay*
  • Catherine Russo – 400 free relay
  • Katherine Zenick – 100 fly, 100 free, 200 medley relay, 200 free relay, 200 medley relay, 400 free relay, 800 free relay*

Other News and Notes

  • Ohio State women's golf recorded a program-best 54-hole score of 837 (-27) en route to a second-place finish at the Mountain View Collegiate. The Buckeyes were paced by Caley McGinty, who shot a program-record 63 (-9) in the final round of play. She placed second in the tournament with a three-round score of 198 (-18).
  • Ohio State baseball (11-6) continued its hot streak on Sunday, defeating Dayton to win its seventh straight game. The Buckeyes have also won nine out of their last 10 games dating back to late February.
  • Ohio State softball (17-7) opens its home schedule Tuesday when it welcomes Kent State to Buckeye Field for a 4 p.m. first pitch. The contest will also be streamed on BTN+. Admission to Ohio State softball games is free. 
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