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March 22, 2019

Jason Nolf

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

157 Pounds

THE MODERATOR: Congratulations, Jason. Talk a little bit about your match. You're heading to the national championship match. Talk about how that feels to you.

JASON NOLF: About that match I just had or the match I have tomorrow?

Q. Just the match that you just had.
JASON NOLF: Well, Hayden is a really tough wrestler, and I knew he was kind of hard to get to his legs. I got to his leg right away, but I had a sloppy finish so I didn't get a takedown. And then I wasn't sure how much time was left at the end, so I went to readjust, and he got two. They called it back, and then I got a quick takedown, which is -- he kind of fully committed to his shot, and when he came up, I just went for the cradle and got a takedown, but then close call at the end. But whatever.

Q. Jason, would you describe those last 10, 15 seconds? Also the fact that this was a close match, something you really haven't had much this year? Does it change your mindset at all during the match?
JASON NOLF: Well, we worked on short time a lot, so I was trying to keep my hands down. He must have got under them, but I know how to scramble so I kind of just tried to keep a position moving and not stand still, and luckily I got my foot out at the end there so he didn't score.

Q. And on the close match situation? You haven't had that many.
JASON NOLF: I've had a lot in practice, yeah.

Q. Jason, you've come a long way as the kid who arrived on campus as an 18-year-old. With tomorrow kind of being your final college match, can you describe maybe some more of the personal changes that have made you a better person in your five years, and especially what this tournament -- you took a tough loss your freshman year and then the wins? How has that changed you?
JASON NOLF: Can you repeat the last part of that question?

Q. How has wrestling in this tournament four years -- you had a tough loss, and then you won the last two to wrestle in the final. How has that changed you, the lessons you've learned from that?
JASON NOLF: Well, from the start of campus, I came in, I was kind of naïve a little bit, and then I met my future wife at that time and grew with her in faith. I kind of found my relationship with Jesus, and I think that's definitely changed me as a person.

I feel like I'm wiser. But yeah, wrestling at this tournament is tough, and I've had a lot of great matches at this tournament, but I'm still focused on one match at a time, not looking ahead, and just trying to do the best I can.

That match was probably not the best that I could do, but I gave 100 percent attitude and effort, and that's all I really ask of myself. Just didn't have the offense tonight, but I got it done, and I will tomorrow. I'll be ready.

Q. The change of the call there at the end of the first period, how does that change your mindset if it's 0-0 as opposed to 2-0 at that point?
JASON NOLF: Well, if it was 2-0, I know I had to score three points, but if it was 0-0, I only had to score one point. But no, I don't really think about it that way. It didn't really matter what the score was. I was going to try to continue to score, and I was looking for my scores, but he was staying really low so it was hard to get a tie up, and he was shooting for the open and backing up right away, so it was hard to get reshots going.

He's just a good wrestler, had a good, solid defense and solid offense, obviously. But yeah, my mindset is always to keep scoring points.

Q. You didn't grow up too far from here, and you get a chance to take the finals mat about as close to your hometown as you can get in the finals. What are you expecting? Would you rather do that anywhere else?
JASON NOLF: No, I mean, I don't really care where I wrestle. It's cool because a lot of people that have known me through high school get to come and watch, whereas if it was in like next year's in Minnesota, they wouldn't probably come watch that.

But for me, I don't focus on anything on the outside. I focus on me and my match, and that's what I'm ready to do.

Q. When did you become funny? Because I remember interviewing you in high school, and it was a tough interview. And now all of a sudden you're cracking jokes and stuff. Is that Bo Nickal maybe rubbing off on you a little bit?
JASON NOLF: I'm not sure how to answer that. Probably Coach Cael. We kind of have very similar humor.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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