The anticipated matchup between Utah Valley and Boise State was a hard-fought duel, almost a repeat of the last time the two teams took it to the wrestling mat. The result was the same as it was two years ago, with a narrow 19-18 victory going to UVU.
Toughness was the key to victory for the Wolverines, according ot head coach Greg Williams. A great example of this toughness was shown by Josh Wilson (149). Wilson took his match into overtime and it looked as if he was about to lose his match. He was taken down, but rolled with it and was able get the takedown points instead, winning the match to help secure the win.
“The key was guys going out there in finishing things,” Williams said.
Although the Wolverines took an early 16-0 lead on Boise State, the Broncos came roaring back to narrow the overall margin. Heading into the night’s final matchup, the Wolverines held a 19-15 lead on the Broncos. UVU heavyweight Dustin Dennison (4-6) lost to J.T. Felix by decision, a margin slim enough to clinch the Wolverines’ second consecutive victory over Boise St.
“It’s always great to get a win, especially when it’s over Boise State,” Williams said. “Despite the win, I thought that we were a little flat. Besides that though, I thought there were some great matches. Napoleon (Aniciete) held his own against a ranked guy and Avery (Garner) also looked good. Even though Ethan (Smith) lost in overtime, he did a really good job in certain situations.”
The match may have been a repeat victory for Utah Valley, but it held redemption for sophomore Monte Schmaulhaus. The sophomore 174-pounder won his match with a 7-3 decision over Boise State’s Scotty Bacon, avenging his loss to former Bronco and No. 1 ranked Kirk Smith in 2010.
Garner’s performance earned a team-high four points for the Wolverines, whose victory over the Bengals came without graduated standouts Ben Kjar, Brad Darrington and Flint Ray. As they have in previous invitationals, Utah Valley proved it boasts enough talent to compete – and win – in duals featuring quality opponents.
Garner’s major decision victory over Ben Demuelle followed a 3-2 decision win by 141-pounder Derek Malan. The redshirt freshman continued what has been a strong month of play after finishing fourth in this month’s UVU Open and earning three straight wins at the Midlands Championships in Illinois.
Wolverine freshmen Ethan Smith and David Prieto both lost their matches by one point, with Smith’s loss coming in double-overtime. Bryan Chamberlain lost by pin following Prieto’s match, setting up Dennison’s small margin for error.
Utah Valley left the following day to compete in the Lone Star Duals held in Arlington, Texas, a tournament featuring No. 12 Oklahoma. The Wolverines’ next home match will be held Jan. 27 against Northern Iowa.
By Garrett Coleman & Matt Petersen