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Ohio State women’s ice hockey wins first-ever conference championship

Plus, wrestling earns individual Big Ten titles. 

NCAA HOCKEY: MAR 16 Women’s - Division I Championship - Clarkson v Ohio State Photo by David Berding/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The No. 5 Ohio State women’s hockey team kept its storied season going this weekend after winning its first Western Collegiate Hockey Association Championship in program history.

The Buckeyes continued their impressive campaign, first defeating No. 3 Minnesota in overtime Saturday to earn a berth in the WCHA for the first time since 2001 and subsequently holding out against No. 2 Wisconsin, also in overtime, Sunday.

In Saturday’s matchup, Ohio State brought home a 4-3 victory after a three-all tie to end regulation, despite being down 2-0 at one point. Junior forward Tatum Skaggs’ overtime goal secured victory for the Buckeyes. Sunday, neither team found the back of the net in regulation, but Skaggs once again proved herself the hero of the weekend, connecting for her second game-winning overtime goal of the weekend.

The Buckeyes don’t get much of a break before the NCAA Quarterfinals, which are scheduled to open Saturday.

No. 5 Ohio State wrestling competed in the Big Ten Championships this weekend, crowning two individual champions on the way to a third-place team finish. Senior Luke Pletcher won the 141-pound title, defeating Penn State’s Nick Lee for the first-place finish and his first individual conference title. Redshirt senior Kollin Moore, meanwhile, overcame Nebraska’s Eric Schultz in the 197-pound finals for his third Big Ten title. Redshirt freshman Sammy Sasso, meanwhile, made the 149-pound finals before falling to Iowa’s Pat Lugo.

The Buckeyes finished the weekend third-overall with 112 points behind Iowa and Nebraska and ahead of Penn State and Purdue. In all, eight Buckeyes qualified for the NCAA Championships, which are scheduled to open March 19 in Minneapolis.

Ohio State women’s basketball posted quite the weekend, winning its first three games in the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis before falling to Maryland in the finals Sunday to earn a runner-up finish. First, the Buckeyes opened with a 77-56 win over Minnesota Thursday. Ohio State continued its antics Friday, rolling over Iowa 87-66. Saturday, the Buckeyes emerged with a narrow, 66-60 win over Michigan. Finally, rounding out the weekend, Ohio State fell 82-65 to the Terps Sunday.

Ohio State has to wait, unfortunately, to learn its postseason fate, as the selection show for the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament is scheduled for next Monday.

No. 11 men’s ice hockey, meanwhile, is also on its way to a conference tournament title after a truly dominant performance in Columbus this weekend. First, the Buckeyes topped Wisconsin 9-1 Friday in a crushing offensive display. Senior forward Carson Meyer led Ohio State with four goals — the first time a Buckeye has scored four times in a game since 1992. Sunday was a different story, with Ohio State posting a narrower, 2-1 overtime victory. Freshman forward Jaeden Leslie scored the game winner in overtime to give Ohio State its second win in the best-of-three series and allowing the Buckeyes to advance to the tournament semi-finals.

Next up, the squad returns to Columbus to host Michigan in the Big Ten semi-final at Nationwide Arena Sunday.

Synchronized swimming and fencing extend postseason runs

Ohio State synchronized swimming stayed perfect on the year after the Buckeyes’ performance at the North Regionals in Ann Arbor. Ohio State took home the Overall Institution award, collecting 103 points with first-place finishes in every category to defeat Minnesota, Michigan, Lindenwood and Colorado State. The Buckeyes have a couple weeks off before they head to the US Collegiate Championships in Mesa, Arizona, which are scheduled for March 25.

Fencing, meanwhile, competed in the NCAA Regionals in Detroit last weekend, with two fencers taking top finishes and seven medaling. In all, 22 fencers competed, with 19 earning top-10 finishes to build their resumes for the upcoming championships. Next, the Buckeyes head to the NCAA Championships, also in Detroit, March 19. Qualifiers for the finals are scheduled to be announced Tuesday.

Tennis and lacrosse continue to impress

While many Ohio State programs furthered their postseason runs in recent days, men’s and women’s tennis and lacrosse have continued to churn away with impressive regular season victories.

Kicking things off Saturday, women’s lacrosse earned its first road win of the season, posting a 16-14 victory over Marquette in Milwaukee. In all, seven different players scored for the Buckeyes, anchored by senior attack Liza Hernandez and freshman attack Nicole Ferrara, who had four goals apiece. Defensively, senior goalie Jill Rizzo registered 17 saves on the afternoon. With the win, the Buckeyes improve to 5-3 on the season. The team continues its road trip Tuesday when Ohio State travels to Maryland to take on Towson.

Also Saturday, 18th-ranked Ohio State men’s lacrosse earned a 12-10 conquest over Hofstra in Columbus. The Buckeyes led 8-3 at the half, thanks in large part to an outstanding, 19-save effort in goal from redshirt junior goalie Josh Kirson. Junior midfielder Griffin Hughes led the offense with three goals and an assist on the day. The Buckeyes now improve to 4-2 on the season, and will be back in action against No. 10 Notre Dame Tuesday in Columbus.

Rounding out Saturday, No. 2 Ohio State women’s tennis earned a 5-2 victory over Northwestern in Columbus. After dropping the doubles point, the Buckeyes won five-of-six singles courts to seal the victory. With the win, Ohio State moves to 9-3 on the year, including 2-0 in conference play. The Buckeyes will be back in action next against Michigan State in Columbus Friday.

Sunday, fifth-ranked men’s tennis defeated Penn State 6-1 in the Buckeyes’ Big Ten opener in Columbus. Ohio State took the doubles point before posting wins on five singles courts to secure the dominant victory. Ohio State now moves to 14-3 on the season, and is scheduled to be back in action next Sunday against Michigan State in East Lansing.

In other news…

  • Men’s volleyball topped No. 8 Penn State 3-1 in Columbus Sunday, completing the season sweep. Next up, the Buckeyes head to New Jersey to take on NJIT Thursday.
  • Ohio State women’s gymnastics earned a second-place finish in a tri-meet with 195.700 total points. The Buckeyes finished behind host Arizona and ahead of Bridgeport.
  • Fifth-ranked men’s gymnastics fared better on the weekend, defeating No. 9 Iowa and No. 23 Northern Illinois at the Arnold Challenge in Columbus Saturday. Ohio State finished in first place in all six events, earning a total of 407.650 points.
  • Freshmen Gaby Gonzales and Kylie Murr, two members of the Ohio State women’s volleyball team, earned spots on USA Volleyball’s Collegiate National Team, and will train alongside Team USA ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
  • Junior Anavia Battle and director of track and field Karen Dennis both earned Big Ten honors following the Buckeyes’ victory in the Big Ten Indoor Championships. Battle earned Track Athlete of the Championships recognition, while Dennis was unanimously named Coach of the Year — the fourth time Dennis has received the honor.