The Mount Union Wrestling team (No. 8) defeated Baldwin-Wallace 37-6 on Tuesday Feb. 15 earning its first Ohio Athletic Conference championship since 1997.
The Purple Raiders won eight of nine of the ten bouts, one by forfeit to wrap up an undefeated season and a conference title.
Mount Union improved its record to (14-0, 6-0 OAC), and is the only undefeated team remaining in the nation.
At 125, nationally ranked Rikki Reynolds got the team rolling with a 14-3 major decision victory, going undefeated in the conference with his sixth win.
Colin Dennis excited the crowd by coming back from four points down, recording a takedown and securing back points to get an 11-9 decision victory.
At 141, Josh Malave (No. 8) showed his strength on his feet by taking down his opponent numerous times before coming away with a 16-3 major decision victory.
Recording the only pin on the night for the Purple Raiders was Kevin Shadrach at 149, who also went undefeated in conference matches.
At 157, Joe Spooner won by a 12-8 decision and John Piechuta followed by winning by a forfeit at 165 to give the Purple Raiders a commanding 23-0 lead.
Andrew Scavuzzo kept the Yellow Jackets from getting shutout with a pin of Jeremy Hathaway, who is continuing to wrestle with a shoulder injury.
The Purple Raiders proceeded to win the remaining three matches of the night with a 5-3 decision from Andy Jenkins who improved his record to 4-0 in conference action.
No. 4 ranked Bill Schinedl recorded a 10-1 major decision to continue his umblemeished record against DIII wrestlers, and Derick Hessom recorded a 9-1 major decision to close out the match.
The Purple Raiders continue action on Saturday Feb. 26 in Ada, Ohio at the University of Ohio Northern’s campus competing for the OAC Championship.
Schindel and Reynolds won individual championships last season and Schindel garnered All-American honors.
The only loss Schindel has on the year is a wrestler from Lindenwood University, a NAIA school that does not compete in the Division III national tournament.
Malave and Hessom took second a year ago and are both undefeated in conference matches this season.
Malave has the most wins on the team this season and is continuing to climb up the polls in individual national rankings.
Hessom lost a tough decision last season in the OAC finals, but has continually progressed this year. He is an active 285 pounder who excels because he continues to push the action.
Shadrach should also contend for a title at 149. He is continually getting better and he recorded pins his last two OAC matches, not to mention his close 5-2 loss to defending national champion Issac Dukes from Case Western Reserve.
From top to bottom the Purple Raiders have a solid lineup with every starting wrestler securing at least 15 wins on the season.
The Purple Raiders took three wrestlers to nationals last season and this year they could take more than half the team.
Mount Union placed second the last two years at the OAC tournament as a team and this year they are the heavy favorite to win the team title.
Heilderberg is the defending conference champion and the Purple Raiders defeated them earlier in the season 30-12.