NAPLES, Italy – The Oklahoma State wrestling team picked up its sixth victory of the season Friday evening, holding off No. 5 North Carolina State at Naples High School in the first-ever NCAA wrestling dual held overseas. The Cowboys and Wolfpack split the dual at five bouts apiece, but it was bonus point wins from Derek White, Chandler Rogers and Kaid Brock that was the difference in the win.
The Cowboys and Wolfpack were neck and neck throughout the dual, with both teams trading blows and leads; however, trailing, 16-12, with two bouts to go, OSU used wins from Rogers and 174-pound junior Jacobe Smith to come away with the victory.
"I thought it was going to be a competitive dual meet," head coach John Smith said. "I thought we were in control after 133 with Kaid Brock picking up the tech fall. I thought we had something rolling. We ended up losing 141, 149 and 157. I've got to give them credit. They came back and punched us in three-straight matches and we had a chance to win two of the three."
"We looked a little too hesitant," Smith said. "These are matches where we can really see ourselves for who we are. They had something to do with it. They performed and put themselves in position to win the dual."
The win puts the wraps on a week in Italy for the Cowboys, who had the opportunity to explore Rome and Naples while also preparing for the dual.
"We had a good time," Smith said. "It was a good experience. We don't get to do this all the time, and we made history. I just really appreciate the people who were involved and made it comfortable for us to get good workouts in good facilities. I enjoyed our clinic yesterday. You saw a bunch of young athletes that really love wrestling, both men and women. Those things are fun to be a part of. That's our future and our future looks good."
NC State struck first, as No. 3 Pete Renda dealt Cowboy freshman Keegan Moore a 3-0 loss in a tough match at 184 pounds. Heading into the third period trailing, 1-0, Moore chose neutral to open the final frame. The Cowboy took a couple of shots in the frame but couldn't convert on a score, and Renda finished the match with a takedown on a counter to finish off the 3-0 decision.
The Cowboys regained control of the dual with a couple of consecutive wins at 197 pounds and heavyweight.
Matched up with No. 7 Mike Macchiavello at 197, Preston Weigel bounced back from an early, 2-0, deficit to come up with a 5-4 decision. Weigel was able to tie the match up at two early in the second period with an escape before seizing control of the lead with a takedown midway through the frame. The OSU junior didn't allow Macchiavello an offensive score the rest of the way and racked up a couple of minutes of riding time to lock up the victory.
Derek White boosted his team-leading major decision total to six Friday with an 8-0 shutout win over Malik McDonald. White racked up a takedown and nearfall in the win, overwhelming McDonald to give the Pokes a 7-3 lead.
NC State picked up another win at 125 pounds with Nick Piccininni dropping a 9-5 decision to No. 8 Sean Fausz in his second loss of the season.
Kaid Brock got the Cowboys back on track at 133 with a big 16-1 technical fall over Tariq Wilson. Jumping on Wilson from the start, Brock scored two takedowns and four nearfalls in the match to win his 14th of the year.
NC State won three-straight matches at 141, 149 and 157, including a Kevin Jack victory over Dean Heil, to retake the lead.
With their backs against the wall and needing a couple of wins to remain undefeated, the Cowboys looked to Rodgers and Smith to carry them to victory.
Rogers had little trouble with Brian Hamann at 165 pounds, opening with a takedown and nearfall that put the redshirt junior in the lead for good. Rogers added another couple of takedowns before the final buzzer to walk away with the 13-1 major decision and tie the match at 16.
The night came down to 174 pounds, as Jacobe Smith and Daniel Bullard battled it out to decide the dual. Smith scored a takedown in the opening seconds to quickly take the lead, before adding another prior to the end of the first period. Smith would go on to win, 7-2, and help the Cowboys to their sixth win of the season.
The Cowboys head back to the States next week when they travel to Iowa City, Iowa, to continue their historic rivalry with the Iowa Hawkeyes. The dual is scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 14 at 3 p.m.
No. 3 Oklahoma State 19, No. 5 NC State 16
Jan. 5, 2018 | Naples High School | Naples, Italy
184: No. 3 Pete Renda (NCST) dec. Keegan Moore (OSU) 3-0
197: No. 4 Preston Weigel (OSU) dec. No. 7 Mike Macchiavello (NCST) 5-4
HWT: No. 8 Derek White (OSU) MD Malik McDonald (NCST) 8-0
125: No. 8 Sean Fausz (NCST) dec. No. 3 Nick Piccininni (OSU) 9-5
133: No. 5 Kaid Brock (OSU) TF Tariq Wilson (NCST) 16-1
141: No. 4 Kevin Jack (NCST) dec. No. 3 Dean Heil (OSU) 4-3
149: No. 17 Beau Donahue (NCST) dec. Boo Lewallen (OSU) 6-4, SV1
157: No. 3 Hayden Hidlay (NCST) MD Jonce Blaylock (OSU) 12-4
165: No. 8 Chandler Rogers (OSU) MD Brian Hamann (NCST) 13-1
174: No. 10 Jacobe Smith (OSU) dec. Daniel Bullard (NCST) 7-2