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ASU Wrestling: #8 Arizona State’s weekend woes continue against #2 Ohio State

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There is no shame in losing to the second best team in the country; still, the Sun Devils came up just short on Sunday.

Andrew Palla/House of Sparky

After losing a close meet against North Carolina on Saturday, the men were back in action this afternoon at Wells Fargo Arena to take on #2 Ohio State (3-0). Just like yesterday, the meet came down to the final match. Just like Saturday, Arizona State (1-2) came away with a loss.

The two teams split the first two matches: Senior Ryan Millhof (125 lb. weight class), made quick work of OSU’s Brady Koontz. Millhof got a technical fall in the second period and secured the victory 18-1. Sophomore Josiah Kline (133 lb.), who has wrestled extremely well for the Devils up to this point, could not shake Luke Pletcher and lost in a major decision 16-6. After two bouts, ASU led the dual meet 5-4.

The next three matches did not go in favor of Arizona State: Sophomore Cory Crooks (141 lb.) was shut out 13-0 by Joey McKenna and junior Josh Maruca (149 lb.) was held in check falling in defeat to OSU’s Micah Jordan in a major decision 18-8. Both Crooks and Maruca shouldn’t feel too bad, McKenna and Jordan are both ranked #2 in their weight classes (141 lb. and 149 lb.).

In the 157 lb. weight class match-up featuring grad student Christian Pagdilao for ASU, Pagdilao lost in a decision 4-3. With a little over a minute to go, Pagdilao was leading Ohio State’s Ke-Shawn Hayes 3-2. With time winding down, Hayes managed to score a takedown for two points giving himself the one point advantage. It would be just enough as he would go on to win the hard-fought match 4-3. At this point, Ohio State had stormed back to take a 15-5 lead with five bouts to go.

The comeback started with junior Josh Shields (165 lb.) getting a well-deserved win against Kaleb Romero. After taking a 3-0 lead in the second period, Shields secured another takedown to make it 5-0 by the end of the third giving himself the W. Junior, Zahid Valencia (174 lb.), would keep ASU’s hopes alive with a 6-1 decision against OSU’s Te’Shan Campbell to make it 15-11 Ohio State going into the final three bouts. In the 184 lb. weight class duel between sophomore Kordell Norfleet and Buckeye Ethan Smith, Norfleet would come up huge by securing a fall in the third period giving the Devils the 17-15 lead over the number two team in the nation with just two matches left.

Sadly, freshman Chad Porter wrestling in the 197 lb. division could not match the intensity of Ohio State sophomore, Kevin Snyder. Snyder scored three takedowns in the first period to jump out to a 6-2 lead over Porter. As the match continued, Snyder continued to dominate. A reversal in the third period tacked on two more points in his favor and in the end Snyder was victorious 12-3. Ohio State now led 19-17. Once again, the fate of the Sun Devils would be determined in the heavyweight bout.

After one period of heavyweight (285 lb.) wrestling, Arizona State freshman Brady Daniel and Ohio State’s Chase Singletary were scoreless. Singletary managed only one point off an escape in the second period making it 1-0 going into the third. In the third, Daniel would also score off an escape tying the match at 1-1. Just when it looked like there might be a sudden victory round, OSU’s Chase Singletary scored the only takedown of the match making it 3-1 and silencing the crowd in the process. The match would end with Singletary getting the 3-1 decision win over Porter. The meet would also end with the Buckeyes coming out on top 22-17. For the second day in a row, Arizona State would lose a meet by just five points.

The Sun Devils get next weekend off before heading to Illinois to compete in the SIUE Cougar Clash December 2nd.