Last week’s waterline-break forced wrestlers to match in the practice room of the testing center, where North Dakota State came out victorious 23-10.
Part of the loss could be blamed on the long injured list. Gehrhart Vuksinick, who has a broken nose, sat the bench with Flint Ray, who was recovering from a knee injury.
"When our guys are hurt, they can’t practice full go, so we can’t push the pace," coach Greg Williams said. "We just need to get healthy right now. We have a week and a half, so we’re going to go back in and let some of those guys heal up a little."
Mark Fenwick pulled off an exceptional match and was just short of a technical fall, taking his opponent Shannon Fettig of NDSU on a 13-0 run in the first round.
"That round was awesome," Fenwick said. "I felt really good and was able to move him on the takedown. We’re banged up and we’re tired, but we were able to compete with these guys."
The three of the 10 Utah Valley wins were an improvement from last year’s complete sweep against North Dakota.
Even red-shirt, fill-in Logan Jones pinned his opponent 16-10. The match was his first since a serious concussion a week and a half earlier.
"I was a little out of it," Jones said, "I’m a little out of shape."
Jones suffered his concussion when he was hit in the head during wrestling practice. Jones has been wrestling in place of Flint Ray since the first week of January.
"I can’t be displeased," Williams said. "I think our guys went out and fought hard."
Crowd-pleaser Ben Kjar finished over Hoffman 7-4, and Kasen Eldridge came out with a winning final 9-6.
The wrestlers go on the road to face conference foes North Colorado and Wyoming Feb. 8 and 9.