No. 4-ranked Ashland University wrestling welcomed Tiffin to Kates Gymnasium on Saturday (Feb. 3) night and won, 27-12.
In their last home dual of the season, the Eagles (12-4) extended their dual winning streak to nine by beating the Dragons (7-3). The two Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference schools were the only two of the 10 programs at the Region II Duals in Belmont, N.C., last week to go undefeated in six matches.
"Not only did they destroy the teams down south," AU head coach Josh Hutchens said, "but they've been getting better as we've seen them throughout the year. I think it was a really good win for us. That was the kind of match we needed right now."
Redshirt junior Sebastian Vidika (15-11) began the action with an 8-0 major decision at 125 pounds, marking a new career-high in single-season victories. The nation's leader with six technical falls against Division II opponents has won his last five matches by a combined score of 72-0.
No. 12-ranked 133-pound junior Lawrance Dudgeon (19-10) expanded Ashland's lead to 10-0, picking up his team's only pin of the night in 3:48.
Tiffin wrestlers were victorious at the next three weights, giving the Dragons a 12-10 lead. However, No. 3 sophomore Bret Romanzak reversed Ashland's fortunes at 165 with a 6-0 win. His team-leading win total is 31 now. He has three losses.
At 174 pounds, No. 9 Christian Price (21-8) beat a Dragons senior, 13-1, expanding the Eagles' lead to 17-12.
Since the top eight wrestlers in each weight class will earn All-American honors at the D-II National Championships on March 9-10, Price's ranking implies that he could be on the cusp of doing just that.
"The goal is to be on top of that podium," Price said. "I work out with our best guys everyday. We battle in the room all the time. Hopefully we can win a team national title. That's the goal, and I believe we can do it."
After trailing for two periods, No. 2 184-pound senior Jordan Murphy came back to beat Tiffin junior Hayden Bronne, 9-6. Murphy is 18-0 this season.
Also remaining undefeated was No. 1 Luke Cramer. He won his 17th match of the season, 11-1, over No. 11 TU sophomore Nick Mason at 197.
There is one dual and one open tournament left before regionals and nationals. At this point, Murphy and Cramer are still on course to become the first Eagles ever to complete a season as undefeated national champions.
Closing out the match for the Eagles was Deaken McCoy, who improved to 15-8 at 285 this season with a 6-0 victory against a Dragon senior.
"It means a lot to the seniors to get a win tonight," Price said. "I know they worked their butts off in all of their years here. We went out there and just wrestled for them and wrestled to win."
AU heads to Findlay on Wednesday (Feb. 7) for one final dual beginning at 7 p.m.