At the end of the first day, five Utah Valley wrestlers were in contention for a podium finish. The wrestling team ventured to Tulsa, Oklahoma from March 7-8, to compete at the 2020 Big 12 Wrestling Championships with hopes to advance to the NCAA Championships.
In this WAC Weekly, we’ll touch on baseball and softball finally springing into action, men’s and women’s basketball prepping for WAC Vegas play, and UVU wrestling heading into the Big 12 wrestling tournament.
Between research papers, midterm preparation, and everything else that comes with being a college student, it can be hard to stay up to date with all of Utah Valley’s teams. To help you get caught up on everything in the wide world of Wolverine sports we’ll break down three key numbers that help explain why UVU won — or lost. This week we’re recapping the men’s basketball team’s abysmal shooting percentage, the softball team’s batting average and a top-5 ranked wrestler.
“They’ve got it all.” “It was easy for them to get there.” “They don’t have to work as hard now.” “They’re athletes so they probably don’t focus much on school anyways.” Those are phrases often associated with student athletes. If you know Utah Valley University athletes, you’d know it’d be hard for those phrases to fit them — especially UVU wrestlers Koy Wilkinson, a junior, and Chase Trussell, a freshman.
Despite their 1-9 team record entering the dual, the Wolverines have four wrestlers ranked in the national top-25, with sophomore Tate Orndorff ranked fourth in the heavyweight division. The team suffered their 10th loss of the season in a 20-15 contest, but UVU’s ranked wrestlers continued their dominant seasons as all four won their respective matches.
After dropping both a home dual the weekend prior to No. 22 Stanford University, and a quick turnaround road dual at Wyoming University two days later, Utah Valley attempted to rebound in a Big 12 matchup. It was on Thursday night, Jan. 30 that the Wolverines dropped yet another dual this time to the Air Force Academy in a 22-14 thriller.
The Utah Valley University wrestling team exchanged individual victories against Stanford University, who is currently ranked No. 22 in the nation. Despite the eventual 25-19 loss, the Wolverines showed that they could compete against any team in the nation.
Spring semester is now in session and WAC winter sports has hit its midway point. There have been successes and questionable disappointment seen throughout the first two full weeks of conference play. As a result, the question needs to be asked: Who’s been a winner, who’s been a loser and who’s been improving?
Utah Valley University put up a fight against the No. 4 ranked team in the nation, the University of Wisconsin. The Wolverines fell 31-13 overall as a team. The premier match of the day featured sophomore Tate Orndorff of UVU ranked No. 3, taking on fellow sophomore Trent Hillger of UW ranked No. 2. Hillger would ultimately end up taking home the victory.
Just like the very first WAC Weekly with fall sports, we’ll break down the preseason predictions for both men’s and women’s basketball and take a look at what may happen down the line, as well as UVU wrestling. Though the WAC does not have wrestling in the conference, UVU has boasted one of the best programs in the nation over the last couple of seasons, so the grapplers of UVU will get some well deserved recognition here.