UVU wrestling falls to fourth-ranked Wisconsin in thrilling home matches
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.
The match of the afternoon between Orndorff and Hillger started off slowly. The two spared back-and-forth for the entire first period. In the second, Hillger began in the bottom part of the referee position. He then stood up and spun out to score the first point of the match.
With the third period under way Orndorff continued fighting as Hillger managed to get on top of him, but with some strength Orndorff broke free making the score 1-1. As the clock wound down, Orndorff managed to grab Hillger’s leg and began the process of pinning his opponent. But it was too late as the period had ended, taking the match into overtime.
Overtime would show why these two heavyweights were nationally ranked as sophomores. Both wrestlers continued sparing, occasionally making moves for the others legs or waist. But the two were evenly matched and one overtime wouldn’t be enough to decide the champion. Hillger again started on bottom in the referee position and once again escaped, finally taking the lead 2-1. Following the escape, Hillger made a nice move and took Orndorff down winning the stunning match by a 4-1 score.
“You don’t see a lot of heavyweights take it out like that,” said UVU head coach Greg Williams. “They aren’t afraid to lose, they both wrestled smart, they knew their opponents. There’s a reason that they’re both doing well.”
Coach Williams plans on continuously drilling the team with technique in practice so that they can show it in upcoming tournaments. The Wolverines will have two weeks to train back up before heading to Las Vegas, Nevada where they’ll wrestle at the annual Cliff Keen Invitational.