After a historic team tournament title at the Clarion Open to open the season, the UVU wrestling team returned to action as they headed to Raleigh, North Carolina. The Wolverines took part in the Wolfpack Duals on Nov. 18 before competing in the Wolfpack Open on Nov. 19. In the duals, UVU was matched up against Reinhardt, No. 7 NC State and UNC Pembroke.
Against the NAIA Eagles of Reinhardt, the Wolverines put on a display of dominance, winning eight of 10 matchups. Matthew Ontiveros (149) and Tanner Orndorff (197) each won their matches by fall, while Josh Jensen (125), Raider Lofthouse (157) and Demetrius Romero (165) won their respective bouts by bonus points en route to a 34-6 victory.
In the second meet of the the afternoon, UVU faced off against no. 7 ranked and host team NC State. The Wolfpack fielded a lineup that featured five nationally ranked wrestlers, including three in the top ten. In the 125-pound match, no.11 ranked redshirt freshman Taylor LaMont recorded a decisive 8-3 victory over his opponent. Several bouts later, No. 25 Romero upset No. 19 Brian Hamann 6-4 in a tightly contested 165-pound match. Despite showing well at several other weights, the Wolverines fell to the Wolfpack 34-6.
Looking to bounce back, UVU met up with Division II UNC Pembroke in its final meet of the event. The Wolverines put on another dominant performance against the Braves, winning handily behind multiple outstanding performances. LaMont was able to pin his opponent in the 125-pound match, while Ontiveros (149), Romero (165) and Orndorff (197) each won their bouts by technical fall. Additionally, Durbin Lloren (133), Jarod Maynes (141) and Benjamin Andrew (285) each won their respective matches by bonus points.
Romero, the sophomore transfer from Boise State who cracked the top 25 this week at No. 25, led the way for the Wolverines with a perfect 3-0 record on the day.
With no time off between the events, UVU returned to the mat Nov. 19 for the Wolfpack Open tournament. The young Wolverines were afflicted with injuries all around, with five regular starters sidelined, yet still managed a remarkable third place finish in the tournament.
UVU competed very well across the board as seven Wolverines earned podium finishes at the tournament. Romero (165) LaMont (125), Tanner Orndorff (197) and the unattached Tate Orndorff (285) each advanced to the title match in their respective weight classes as each earned second place finishes. Will Sumner (184) wrestled his way to a third place finish, while Gary Jantzer (184) and No. 14 Dustin Dennison (285) each placed fifth.
The Wolverines will now turn their attention to the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational in which they’ll take part on Dec. 1-2. The team will then return home to prepare for their Big 12 opener and first home match of the season on Dec. 15 against North Dakota State in the Lockhart Arena.