Rebounding from a defeat is something Iowa senior wrestler Tony Ramos rarely has experienced.
He’s experiencing it now, though.
And what makes his most recent setback more unusual is that the opponent wasn’t Ohio State’s Logan Stieber, but rather A.J. Schopp from Edinboro. Schopp hung on to defeat Ramos 3-2 at 133 pounds in last week’s dual in which Iowa escaped with a 22-19 victory in Edinboro, Pa.
It was Ramos’ first loss this season in 10 matches and just his 13th loss overall as a Hawkeye. It also was Ramos’ first loss to somebody besides Steiber since dropping a 6-4 decision in overtime against Virginia Tech’s Devin Carter in 2011.
Ramos will look to get back on track in Thursday’s dual meet against Buffalo at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
“I don’t know if I want to take it out on my next opponent, but that’s the next person in front of you, so they’re probably going to get a little bit of it,” Ramos said of taking out his frustration. “But the biggest thing is that I don’t have to wait that long to wrestler Schopp again because I’ll probably see him at Midlands. And that’s exciting. That’s motivation.”
Ramos was referring to the Midlands Championships, which will be Dec. 29-30 at Northwestern’s Welsh-Ryan Arena in Evanston, Ill.
Before losing to Schopp, Ramos’ previous five defeats had come against Stieber, including a 7-4 setback in last year’s 133-pound NCAA title match.
Iowa coach Tom Brands seems confident that Ramos will turn the loss against Schopp into a positive.
“I know when he walks off the mat he’s analyzing it,” Brands said. “Are we worried about a guy like Ramos and how he comes back? Not really, unless it becomes a habit.
“I’m not worried about his motivation. We’re not worrying about him bouncing back, about his motivation about whether he’s going to train and work and do the things that he needs to do to not get caught in those situations. Finish when you have an opportunity, come off the bottom when you have to come off the bottom.”
Ramos knows why he failed against Schopp and knew it as soon as he walked off the mat last week.
“The first thing I thought about was I let him do what he wanted to do,”
Ramos said of Schopp. “I let him stall around the mat and run away and run away and get his one takedown and then just hang on to win a 3-2 match.”
Ramos didn’t necessarily need extra motivation, but now he has it, especially when he faces Schopp again.
“It’s motivation for the next time we wrestle, not keeping it close and go out there and make a statement the next time,” Ramos said.
The loss didn’t cause Ramos to change anything about his daily approach or his style on the mat.
“Why change anything,” said Ramos, who is five victories from becoming the 38th wrestler in program history to reach 100 career wins. “Something happened that didn’t go your way. I’m not going to change anything. I’m going to move forward and fix a few little things.”
Iowa wrestling vs. Buffalo
When: 7 p.m. Thursday.
Where: Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Did you know? Iowa is 23-0 in December dual matches under coach Tom Brands.
Radio: The match will be broadcast on KXIC AM-800 and streamed online at www.hawkeyesports.com.