Photo by Brigham Berthold
Just over two months have passed since the UVU wrestling team began the 2016-17 season with a stellar showing at the Cowboy Open in Laramie, Wyoming.
The Wolverines began their dual season in Cedar Falls, Iowa with a double header. UVU opened with a terrific performance over No. 6 ranked (DII) Nebraska-Kearney en route to a dominant victory. The team had little time to celebrate the season opening win, however, as its second dual meet took place later that afternoon against No. 23 Northern Iowa. The Wolverines were unable to sustain the high level of play displayed earlier in the day, falling to the Panthers for their first loss of the young season.
Nearly a month after splitting the season opening double header, the Wolverines traveled to Boise, Idaho to take on Boise State. The infamously raucous crowd proved to be a deciding factor as the Broncos overpowered the Wolverines that night.
With only five days of preparation following their meet with Boise State, the Wolverines returned to Orem for their long-awaited home opener. UVU hosted top-25 ranked Oregon State of the Pac-12 in the newly renovated PE building gym for their first home match of the season. Falling behind early, the Wolverines staged a ferocious comeback eventually winning on criteria to bring their season record to 2-2 in dual meets.
After taking part in several high profile national tournaments, the team will head home to kick off conference competition. The come from behind upset of the Beavers could prove to be a launching pad for the Wolverines as they look forward to the fast approaching conference schedule.
Conference foes Air Force, Wyoming and Northern Colorado will make the trip to Orem. The Wolverines’ road schedule includes trips to North Dakota State and South Dakota State, two teams ranked in InterMat’s top-25 tournament rankings. The conference schedule will be broken up by visits from CSU Bakersfield and top-20 ranked Stanford.
Being a member of the Big 12 conference provides UVU the opportunity for quality competition every year. In its second season of Big 12 membership, UVU will look to make a splash not only in the conference but on the national scene. The Wolverines’ remaining schedule features four top-25 teams and 16 nationally ranked wrestlers, providing UVU athletes with a plethora of upset opportunities.
This young team still has several question marks regarding just how high it might climb, but there is no mistaking the positive direction the squad is heading. With half of the season in the books, this year’s team finds itself well positioned to make some noise heading forward.