Wrestling capped off its season with a win Friday night, beating the Ohio Bobcats 22-17 and finishing off the regular season with a 8-12 overall record (4-3 MAC).
It was a back and forth match through the first eight weight classes. UB was down 17-13 going into the 197 lb. Matchup and needed to win the next two bouts to take the match.
Redshirt junior Sam Mitchell matched up against Ohio freshman Austin Starr at 197 lbs. . Mitchell was able to get the job done for UB, imposing his will on Starr in the third and holding control through the end of the third period. This closed the gap for UB, making the match deficit only one point, 17-16.
With one final match left to play out, tension was high and the audience was ready for UB to cap off its comeback.. The fans in Alumni Arena were not disappointed by heavyweight senior Greg Hodulick, who capitalized on the moment. It took him less than one minute into the first period to pin Ohio junior heavyweight from Jacob Padilla, using an underhook clinch to cement victory for the Bulls — 22-17.
The victory was the highlight of senior night and was the second meet-deciding pin of the season for Hodulick. He capped off his career in Alumni Arena with a pin, and got the overall match win for UB.
“I wasn’t looking for it [the pin], but there was an opportunity to get it. So I was able to capitalize on it,” Hodulick said following the match. “I’m just happy I was able to wrestle.”
Looking to the future, UB has the MAC Championships coming up in two weeks in Fairfax, Virginia. Hodulick says he’s excited for the opportunity. “I haven’t hit my peak yet,” he said.
The Bulls finished their “toughest schedule [they] ever wrestled,” according to head coach John Stutzman. The Bulls finished the regular season with a winning record in MAC competition at 4-3.
Stutzman talked about UB’s preparation ahead of the MAC Championships, saying, “We’ve got to do a better job of getting to our inside ties and holding center.”
He also said the Bulls need to “trust themselves and let it rip,” heading into the MAC Championships. The MAC Championships begin on March 3 at George Mason University.
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