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OSU wrestling notebook: Cowboys gearing up for Columbia, regaining confidence

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Trevor Mastrogiovanni

Trevor Mastrogiovanni, Oklahoma State's 125-pounder, defeated Brandon Kaylor, 3-2, in the Cowboys' 20-12 win at Oregon State.

Oklahoma State was not at its best against the Beavers, but that could change leading into the Columbia dual.

Oklahoma State will travel this weekend to Columbia, New York and wrestle in The Big Apple. OSU should be motivated following a close win over the Beavers last weekend. The Cowboys have a great opportunity to wrestle a lower-ranked opponent and presuming the Cowboys are able to notch a win in the dual, it would have them on the right trajectory entering the toughest part of their dual slate.

Here are some storylines to follow going into the Columbia dual and beyond.

Can Mastrogiovanni keep up the consistency?

Anyone who’s watched OSU wrestling this year noticed that No. 16 Trevor Mastrogiovanni has had a rough start to the year. However, after a first-place finish in Reno and a fourth-place finish at the Southern Scuffle, Mastrogiovanni defeated (then No. 12) Brandon Kaylor. Mastrogiovanni’s most glaring issue when he wrestles is his inability to get out from the bottom. He displayed good defense and quick escapability against Kaylor.

OSU needs more out of the starting 125-pounder, especially considering the slate he personally has lined up. Mastrogiovanni is slated to wrestle Nick Babin against Columbia, but he will have to wrestle five top 15 wrestlers going forward, and more outside of the top 15. It’s not an easy slate for Mastrogiovanni, but it’s not his first rodeo in an orange singlet.

Reason for worry at heavier weight classes?

Not exactly. OSU had a bad stretch of matches against the Beavers, but it isn’t one to be concerned about. Wyatt Sheets, Dustin Plott, Travis Wittlake and Luke Surber all dropped their matches against the Beavers and OSU’s chances at a victory in the dual looked grim. However, heavyweight Konner Doucet ended the streak at Oregon State and set the Cowboys on a winning trajectory.

Plott’s loss against No. 29 Aaron Almos is not one to get up in arms about, but it was an eyebrow-raising defeat. There has been some inconsistency at 197 pounds and 165 pounds that needs to be figured out before the stretch of Iowa duals. OSU has Northern Iowa and Iowa State on back-to-back days in late January. OSU has who they need at the weights, it’s just a matter of wrestling with consistency, which the Cowboys have struggled to do from time to time.

Carter Young still trying to get back into form

There’s no doubt that Mastrogiovanni’s bottom struggles have been a talking point this offseason, but nobody has had a rougher season than Carter Young. The second-year 141-pounder has a 6-6 record on the year and has struggled in tournament play in addition to dual meets. Coach John Smith stated in December that he believes some struggles are boiling down to “having common sense” during matches.

For Young, he doesn’t believe talent is an issue, but just wrestling smarter, instead of harder. Young is one of OSU’s most talented young wrestlers and everyone in the room knows it. It’s just a matter of regaining confidence and getting back to the wrestler Young knows he can be.