Logan Riely | WOUB

Ohio Wrestling Prepares for Big Match against Northern Iowa

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The Ohio Bobcats (8-3, 3-3) look to extend their three-game win streak on Sunday when they travel to Northern Iowa (3-6, 2-3) for a dual-match against the Panthers.

Ohio has bounced back from its loss to Kent State two weeks ago with wins over Clarion, Northern Illinois and Buffalo. None of those teams has the pure talent that Northern Iowa possess, however. The Panthers are No. 23 in the country in InterMat’s tournament ranking.

The Bobcats will be well-rested for this match unlike the Panthers, who lost to Central Michigan 22-11 on Friday.

Freshman Cameron Kelly has been on a tear for the Bobcats recently, winning six straight matches including an upset victory over 10th-ranked Mack McGuire in the Kent State match. He will look to continue that trend against another fantastic freshman in Panther wrestler Josh Alber. The two have met once before in collegiate play, when Alber defeated Kelly 10-5 in the quarterfinals of the Midlands championship.

Alber, ranked 11th in the country by Intermat, was upset Friday night by Chippewa wrestler Corey Keener. Before losing, Alber was wrestling on a five-match winning streak, which included a victory over yet another 133-pound freshman phenom, 12th-ranked Emilio Saavedra of Old Dominion.

Northern Iowa boasts five wrestlers in the top 20 for their respective weight classes, including their three lightest competitors. Freshmen Shakur Laney, Kelly and redshirt sophomore Noah Forrider will have to show up against 7th-ranked Dylan Peters, Alber and 19th-ranked Jake Koethe. If Ohio cannot win at least one of these rounds, they may fall into an early inescapable hole.

Senior Cody Walters, 11th in the 174-pound weight class, joins Kelly as the Bobcat’s only ranked wrestler. Seniors Spartak Chino and Phil Wellington dropped out of the top-20 after their losses to Kent State.

The match is set to begin at 2:00 p.m. in Cedar Falls.