Against Stanford, UVU was able to grind out a victory having not earned a single pin in the match.
Senior wrestler and no. 22 Josh Wilson (149 lbs) was able to win his match and set the tone for the team after a shocking Jade Rauser (125) loss.
“Sometimes as a captain, you have to set the tone,” Wilson said. “I felt if I pushed the pace and wrestled hard, I could do it.”
Wilson took the match to his opponent, showing big flashes of energy and aggression, getting an early takedown in the opening seconds of the match. Wilson kept it going in the second period, keeping his opponent on his toes and earned all of the rest of his points, adding two more takedowns to win the match 10-2.
Despite losing the next two matches, the Wolverines did hold on to 18-15 victory against Stanford. Head Coach Greg Williams knows that even though they won, the Wolverines still have a long way to go.
“A win is a win,” Williams said. “Anytime you can beat a team from the PAC-12 it’s a good thing, but I feel like we took a step back tonight. I saw some weaknesses in some of our guys that we’ll take back to the room and work on to make us better.”
Continuing the momentum of having won five straight over PAC-12 teams, and now their third straight dual, the Wolverines took to South Dakota for a conference dual against the mighty Jack Rabbits.
The Wolverines had huge wins from Wilson again and Chase Cuthbertson (157) to help the team rally back and win the match. Wilson handled his match over a ranked opponent and won by major decision, while Cuthbertson pinned his man, giving the Wolverines a much needed 11-point boost.
For the second time, the dual came down to the last two matches at 197 lbs and heavyweight. The Wolverines needed to win both matches to win the dual; they had been trailing 16-18 at that point.
For the third straight match, David Prieto (197) went into overtime with his opponent. Unlike the previous overtime he faced, Prieto was able to walk away with the victory, giving the Wolverines a 19-18 edge.
It was up to Adam Fager (285) to hold off the Jack Rabbits and secure the win. Fager grinded out the match and won 5-3, giving them their fourth straight victory.
“Those last two matches were important wins for us, but [Wilson’s] and [Cuthbertson’s] wins were even bigger,” Williams said. “It came down to 197 and heavyweight tonight, and I’m proud of the guys for getting it done.”
UVU has a few more road matches but will return for their final home dual against Air Force on Feb.16.