I think I am going to forgo the Monday Musings for a little while longer, but I did want to review a pretty big weekend for the Tigers which they just had down in Oklahoma. Used to be the Tigers would travel down to OK and be lucky to come out with one win of the two. The power has shifted a bit, especially with Okie State rebuilding like they are (more on that in a bit). The Tigers were looking to rebound from their tough, one-point loss at home against NU from the previous weekend and to pick up some needed wins in the Big XII as they wind down the dual (and conference) season. Mizzou took on OU on Friday night in Norman before traveling to Stillwater Saturday night to take on the pokes. Let's take a look back at the action, as we have plenty to cover. As always, rankings are from Intermat Wrestle.com as of 2/3/09
vs. #14 Oklahoma
No bonus points were achieved in this dual, as the Tigers would get down early (as they often do), but fight back through the middle and heavy weights to take six matches of the ten for the 18-12 win. Troy Dolan put up a decent effort against #7 Joey Fio before losing 8-4. At 133, Todd Schavrien would make the start (as he has been battling injury and splitting time with Taylor Crane) and lose a tight one to Brian Shelton 5-3. Mizzou found themselves down 6-0 as #10 Marcus Hoehn took the mat against Seth Vernon. Hoehn would come away with another solid win by the score of 8-2, halving the Sooner lead at 6-3. Up next at 149, Andrew Sherry stepped out against #8 Kyle Terry. Falling 8-3, the Tigers would be back down six points at 9-3. But as has happened most of the season, the bigger weights would step up and start the process of pulling away.
Starting the move at 157, Mike Chandler would take on a Sooner veteran in Will Rowe. Chandler would defend his #8 ranking with a hard-fought and solid 6-2 win. This moved the Tigers back into striking distance at 9-6 as #5 Nick Marable looked for the tie against Ryan Smith. Marable would not be taken down and would do enough to get his pretty standard 3-2 win, tying the dual at 9-9. The match of the night was up next, as #5 Raymond Jordan would wrestle #7 Jeff James. Jordan controlled the match well and that resulted in a 6-4 win, giving the Tigers their first lead of the night. After Dorian Henderson would lose a tough 2-0 decision to #19 Pat Flynn which would get the Sooners back tied at 12, #4 Max Askren would put theTigers up to stay with one of his best performances of the season, winning a dominating 11-4 decision over #11 Eric Lapotski. The dual would be closed out by #1 Mark Ellis, who defeated #16 Nathan Fernandez 6-3 to put the final score at 18-12.
vs. #15 Oklahoma State
Pretty interesting to see Okie State both at #15 nationally and in the basement of the Big XII. They even lost to Nebraska for the first time since 1921-1922....I mean...that was one hell of a winning streak. The dual against the Tigers could not have started off better for the Cowboys, as #15 Obe Blanc stuck Troy Dolan in the first minute, giving OSU the early 6-0 lead. #14 Chris Notte would add to that lead, winning a tough match against Todd Schavrien 3-2, which made the dual lead 9-0. That would be the last match the Pokes would win on the evening, as the Tigers would rip off eight straight wins.
Starting the streak would be Marcus Hoehn, who just continues to collect wins. Taking on #15 Jamal Parks, the two went to sudden victory each with one escape. Hoehn would earn the two point takedown in the sudden victory period, closing out the 3-1 win and getting the Tigers on the board at 9-3. Andrew Sherry would continue the exciting wins, as he too entered OT tied, this time at 6-6 with Luke Silver. Earning all six points off of two point reversals in regulation, Sherry scored his first takedown of the night to earn the 8-6 win. The first big match of the night featured #8 Mike Chandler and #10 Neil Erisman. Some back points in the 2nd round would be the difference, as Chadler tied the dual for the Tigers thanks to his 7-5 win.
The domination of the Pokes would continue at 165, as #5 Nick Marable faced his second ranked opponent of the weekend in #10 Brandon Mason. It would be another 3-2 win for Marable. Tied at 1, Marable would takedown Mason with just a few seconds to go in the 3rd before letting him go, sealing another 3-2 win. Raymond Jordan would keep it going at 174, winning a strong match by the score of 4-1 against #14 ranked NEWLY MCSPADDEN!!!! This put the Tigers up 15-9, and they would add the dagger in suprising fashion when Dorian Henderson would stick Cody Hill for his first career pin with just 15 seconds left in the match to earn the big six points and clinch the dual for Mizzou at 21-9. Max Askren dominated #8 Clayton Foster 4-0 before the match of the night between #1 Mark Ellis and #3 Jared Rosholt. Ellis had never defeated Rosholt in six previous matches, but Ellis would affirm his status at #1 with the 5-3 win in OT, the THIRD OT win for the Tigers on the evening. That would put the final score at a pretty impressive 27-9.
Mizzou now sits at 17-3 on the season, which is a record number of dual wins, as well as 2-1 in conference (which counts for nothing really :-) Okie State has now suffered their first ever winless season in the Big XII at 0-4, and are 12-7 overall.
Where they stand in the Big XII
With one more dual meet in conference remaining for the Tigers (against Iowa State next Sunday), let's take a quick look at where the wrestlers stand in their three previous conference match-ups. I will also include my guess as to where they will be seeded. Remember, a top-3 seed is preferred as it means you need only to win your first match to guarantee a spot in the NCAA Tournament.
125: Troy Dolan - Dolan had a nice win against Pokorny of NU, but two losses this weekend (and a likely loss against #10 Tyler Clark of ISU) should mean Dolan will have to wrestle in the dreaded 4-5 battle for the right to wrestle the #1 seeded wrestler.
133: Todd Schavrien or Tyler Crane: - Schavrien was very competitive this past weekend, though he did drop both decisions. Crane got majored in a big way against Nebraska, and neither is likely to get a win against #7 Fanthorpe of ISU. 4-5 seed is their (I am guessing Schavrien in the Big XII Tourney) destination
141: #10 Marcus Hoehn - Once again, what a plesant surprise Hoehn has been this season. Sitting at 3-0 in conference, Hoehn is guaranteed a top 2 seed at this point, and can obviously wrap up the #1 spot with a win next weekend against #3 Nick Gallick. A tall order certainly, but Hoehn is looking to be in great shape to make the NCAA dance in St. Louis
149: Andrew Sherry - Sherry is sitting at 1-2, after a close loss to Sanders of NU along with an OT win against Silver of OSU. His last match will be against #18 Mitch Mueller who I believe Cyclone fans feel has been a slight disappointment this season. A win there, and a #3 seed may be possible.
157: #8 Mike Chandler - One of the more stacked divisions in the Big XII, Chandler sits 2-1 currently after a loss to #3 Jordan Burroughs of NU and wins against OSU and #15 Vernon of OU. His final match will be against #7 Cyler Sanderson, and they had had some wars over the past year or two. A win there guarantees a top 2 spot, but Chandler is looking good for a top 3 spot regardless.
165: #5 Nick Marable - Marable owns 1 point wins over all three previous opponents, but wins are wins. He will face current #7 Reader of ISU for the right to a #1 seed. Marable has always wrestled Reader well, and I would expect a low-scoring match to be sure next weekend.
174 - #4 Raymond Jordan - Here is another Tiger staring down a #1 ranking in what might be the toughest division the Big XII has to offer. His final match will be against #18 Duke Birk who is ranked fifth of the five conference grapplers. Jordan has wins against #2 Browne of NU, #7 James of OU and #14 NEWLY MCSPADDEN of OSU.
184: Dorian Henderson - Big win for Henderson against Hill of OSU for his first of the conference season. With pretty close losses (4-0 to NU's #11 Jones and 2-0 to OU's #19 Flynn), Henderson is in need of an upset win next weekend against #18 Jerome Ward of ISU. A win could mean that #3 seed, but Henderson has shown to be capable of beating some ranked opponents, and will have to be considered dangerous in the Big XII Tourney no matter what the seed.
197: #4 Max Askren - TOUGH loss for Askren against #2 Brester of NU, but Max bounced back in a great way this past weekend with big wins against #11 Lapotski of OU and #8 Foster of NU. What does he face next weekend? Just #1 Varner. That's right, for those of you doing the math at home, #11 Eric Lapotski is the lowest nationally ranked wrestler in the Big XII. This weight class will be FUN to watch at both the conference and national tournament time, though I can see this class getting TWO wild card berths (which does not happen really often)
HWY: #1 Mark Ellis - Ellis has not lost to a Big XII wrestler this season, earning wins this past weekend against #16 Hernandez and #3 Rosholt. It was Dom Bradley who took a win over #19 Tucker Lane, and who has already defeated #2 David Zabriskie earlier in the season. Crying shame Mizzou cannot put two wrestlers into either tournament, as both have a ton of AA and maybe even national champion potential.
Up Next for the Tigers:
Next weekend, the Tigers will wrestle #10 Central Michigan in the annual "Beauty and the Beast" evening, as the gymnastics team will also be in action against Illinois. There will be ranked matches at 165 (#5 Marable vs. #13 Stewart) and 174 (match of the night with #4 Jordan vs. #8 Mike Miller) and should have other classes which are contested well. Sunday will be Senior Day against the #2 Cyclones, with a number of ranked matches (as outlined above) for the dual season closer. The team will then get a break until March 7th when the Big XII Tourney wil be in Lincoln, with the NCAA Tourney following in St. Louis two weeks after.
All Sports Review:
OK, so I feel bad...here are the results of the week, sans musings
- Men's hoops won two road games this week (who knows how long it has been since we have done that) with wins at Texas and Iowa State. They are 19-4/7-2
- Women's hoops fell in a tough one at #14 k-State before coming home and beating kU by 14 points. The team is now 11-11/2-7
- Women's swimming blasted NU this weekend, evening their dual record at 5-5 and 3-1 in conference.
- #13 Gymnastics posted their highest score of the season in beating SEMO 195.750-193.400 Sarah Shire scored 39.400 in the all-around, just edging out Adrienne Perry who tallied 39.300
- Softball (that's right...Softball) had their annual Black and Gold game. Black won 7-2 in 11 innings, though the game was not tied past 6. Freshmen Chelsea Thomas was the best pitcher on the day with junior Jana Hainey, besting freshman Kristen Nottleman and senior (starter) Stacy Delaney. Redshirt senior Micaela Minner (who did not play last season and will bring a HUGE bat to the Mizzou lineup) had a HR for the Tigers, along with freshman catcher Jaydee Young. Junior Julie Sliver went 3-6 with two doubles. Back to Minner, with the Tigers already returning a lot of talent from their Super Regional team, the fact she is returning is very exciting.