Ohio Northern tussle next for Black and Gold

Manchester University resumes its 2017-18 dual schedule Friday, Dec. 8.

Meet details: Start time between the Spartans (1-1) and Ohio Northern University Polar Bears (0-2) is 7:30 p.m. at Stauffer-Wolfe Arena on MU’s campus … Live audio and video can be accessed at www.muspartans.com, the Internet home of Manchester University athletics … Last season’s 29-15 ONU decision at Ada, Ohio, was one of the closest results in recent series history.

SPARTAN SHORTS: MU’s early-dual campaign has seen a thrilling 25-21 win at Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association institution Adrian College and a 33-5 loss to in-state rival Wabash College last month. Lake and his staff leaned on their lower weights to decide the victory over Adrian. Freshman 125-pounder Josh Stephenson (Yorktown, Ind.) got the roll started by receiving a forfeit, and junior 133-pounder Ben Cauffman (Fort Wayne, Ind.)produced 19 points in seven minutes in route to a technical fall to cut a once 21-8 deficit to 21-19 with one match remaining. As the tension built, sophomore 141-pounder JaVon Phillips (Centerville, Ind.) stepped up and got the deciding pin at 3:55. The evening began with a flurry. Senior 149-pounder Chase Wilson (Peru, Ind.) proved his top contender status on D3Wrestle.com, roaring past Noah Nieman 21-7, and sophomore 157-pounder Jordan Napier (Indianapolis, Ind.) gained a wild 20-11 major decision, putting the Black and Gold up 8-0 … The Black and Gold are fresh off a top-five team effort at the Indiana Little States Invitational Dec. 2. The Spartans honored their hosting duties of the annual event by bringing a large crowd inside Stauffer-Wolfe Arena to its feet throughout the afternoon, as Chase Wilson, Cauffman and Napier reached the finals. Phillips battled for third place, and senior 197-pounder Alex Roberts (Campbelltown, Ind.) and sophomore heavyweight Tristin Choate (Mt. Vernon, Ind.) also found themselves in the placing matches at days’ end, each aiming for seventh place. Wilson broke away from a close-knit first round match against Indiana Tech’s Da’Vion Williams by pouring on six points in the third period to win 9-4; put Marian University unattached entrant Ryan Surguy to his back in less than 30 seconds in the quarterfinal; survived an early takedown by Marian’s Levi Moss and rallied for a 6-3 semifinal decision and then caught the University of Indianapolis’ Matt McKinney early in the third period for a fall in 5:49 to find himself on the podium. He was nearly joined by his teammate in the finale, but McKinney waylaid those plans with a semifinal round fall. Phillips, concluding a 3-1 day in which he toppled top-seeded Anthony Robles of the University of Indianapolis 10-3 in the opening round, rebounded with a hard-fought 8-6 victory over Moss to take third. The Black and Gold added to its 86.5-point fifth team ending in the eight-school field, as Cauffman and Napier each wound up second. The 133-pounder used two technical falls as part of his finals’ path, while the 149-pounder took a technical fall and a major decision to gain the final four where he upended Wabash College’s Griffin Schermer, ranked as high as No. 6 by InterMat, 10-8 to stamp his championship round berth. Choate and Roberts each closed three-win outings with victories in the seventh-eighth matches.

On the Horizon: Manchester University moves into training mode following Friday’s dual to observe winter break. When their competition schedule resumes in early January, it will be a frenetic start to the second half. They are part of the field at the National Wrestling Coaches Association’s Division III National Duals hosted by Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne Jan. 4 and 5 and host their Spartan Mat Classic Jan. 13 to get back into the swing of things.

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