Old Dominion rolls over Scots

Category:  Sports
Thursday, January 30th, 2020 at 8:00 AM
Old Dominion rolls over Scots by Paul Petrianni
Jacob Oliver put the Scots in the win column against Old Dominion. | Photo: Jamie Heinrich

An early hole against Old Dominion University was too much for ‘Boro, as despite winning three of the final four matches, the Fighting Scots wrestling team fell 24-9. 

Old Dominion is 6-8 on the year, but has packed their schedule with ranked opponents (five to be exact). The Edinboro wrestling staff knew that it would be an uphill battle all night long.  

“I think most of the matches went exactly how we thought they would,” said head wrestling coach Matt Hill. “I think we kind of have to come out of our shell and go out there and take these victories. We need to take these opportunities and run with them.”

The Scots would struggle coming out of the gate, falling down 21-0, including losses to two ranked contenders. 

Lucas Rodriguez would struggle against the 20th ranked competitor at 125 pounds, Killian Cardinale. Rodriguez, who has had a nice season thus far, would fall 15-5. 

Redshirt sophomore Peter Pappas would also face off against a highly ranked opponent, taking on Larry Earley, No. 14 at 157 pounds. Pappas also struggled but never quit. He found himself down only two points after a successful challenge was initiated by Hill. He continued to fight but would lose 5-1. 

Within this start, however, came a handful of very close matches.    

This was highlighted by freshman Tye Varndell, who wrestled an incredible match against Old Dominion’s Shannon Hanna II; Varndell would lose a nail biter, seconds before the overtime match ended. 

“Tye is in the process of figuring out who he is as a wrestler,” said Hill. “He probably works harder than anyone else on our team; once he gets another year of maturity, strength and knowledge, he will be right there with the top guys in the country.”

Jacob Oliver finally got the Scots on the board. He put on quite a dominant performance, beating Alex Cramer 4-1. 

“Jake is a dynamic wrestler. He’s on a great winning streak right now, so we just have to keep him consistent,” explained Hill. “He is a super strong kid, and as long as we keep him on track until the end of the season, we think he can do big things for us.”  

Oliver’s winning streak was extended to eight straight after defeating Cramer, moving his record to 18-4. 

Another thriller took place between ‘Boro’s Cody Mulligan and Old Dominion’s Antonio Agee. At 184 pounds, the wrestlers traded escapes between rounds leading to a fantastic finish. Mulligan came within inches of ending the match via takedown with single digits remaining on the clock. However, the match went into overtime where Mulligan would get taken down early in the extra period. 

Dylan Reynolds and Jon Spaulding helped the Scots close out on a high note, both capturing decision victories to wrap up the evening. The victory improved Reynolds’ record to a solid 15-8, while the win for Spaulding bolstered his record to 18-5. Spaulding has now won eight of his last nine bouts. 

“We have four dual meets left, including our own Edinboro Open, and we are looking to win every one of them,” said a confident Hill. “We have a lot of tough opponents left of our schedule, including Michigan. We have Davidson coming up from the south. I think we have a good opportunity to win some matches.” 

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