Kyle McDonald, Sports Writer, @kylesportsbias
Road trips are often times a positive experience. For the UVU wrestling team, this road trip, although a “step in the right direction” according to assistant coach Ethen Lofthouse, didn’t go as well as they would have liked. On Friday February 6, 2015 the Wolverines invaded Frost Arena in Brookings, South Dakota in Western Wrestling Conference action. The Wolverines were hoping to rebound from two losses to Oregon State and Stanford the weekend before but it didn’t happen on this night. The Jackrabbits defeated the Wolverines 27-10 improving to 10-7 overall and 3-1 in the conference while the loss drops UVU to 2-7 overall and 1-2 in conference dual meets.
Redshirt freshman Jordan Karst got the start at heavyweight for UVU but lost in a tight battle to JJ Everard of SDSU to get the night started 6-3. It wouldn’t deter the Wolverines as they fought back to take the lead in the next two matches. Being ranked for the first time in his career, 24th ranked Chasen Tolbert easily defeated Isaac Andrade 10-3 to tie the dual meet at 3 points. 26th ranked Jade Rauser then defeated Brance Simms by a score of 9-5 and UVU found themselves on top at 6-3. “Chasen and Jade did a great job of taking care of business and solidifying their rankings,” head coach Greg Williams said.
That was the only lead the Wolverines would have the rest of the night as they would go on to lose the next six matches. Some of those matches were heartbreakers for UVU. Dalton Harmon lost 1-0 at 165 pounds and senior Ethan Smith lost in overtime 5-3 at 174 pounds. “Losing all three matches at 165-184 in the final 10 seconds shows a lack of toughness in those situations in our part,” Williams said.
UVU was able to end the night on a positive note as junior Derek Thomas out of Layton, Utah earned a major decision win over Hunter Weddington by a score of 17-3. “Derek did a good job tonight as well,” Williams would go onto say.
UVU had to look to rebound quickly as they had to travel to Fargo, North Dakota to take on the 24th ranked Bison of North Dakota State. UVU was able to jump out to an early 4-0 lead in the dual meet thanks to Rauser. At 133 pounds he scored a major decision over Kyle Gliva 11-3. Rauser has now won five out of his last six matches to improve to a team-leading 19-6 on the year.
UVU would win one match out of the next six as Trevor Willson defeated Clayton Ream 5-4 at the 149 pound weight class and give the Wolverines a 7-3 advantage in the dual. NDSU would take the lead over the next four matches’ 18-7 heading into the 197 pound match. UVU had a shot to win this in the last three matches. Derek Thomas score a decision over Thomas Peterson 3-1 to make the dual score 18-10. Heavyweight Jordan Karst couldn’t hold off Evan Knutson and eventually lost by fall putting the dual score at 24-10 and end the Wolverines hopes of pulling off the upset. Chasen Tolbert would end the night with another victory, this time over Joshua Rodriguez 5-3 improving to 14-5 on the year.
UVU returns home to finish out their regular season on Saturday February 14, 2015 against Northern Colorado. It will mark senior night for heavyweight Adam Fager, 141 pounder Derek Malan, and 174 pounder Ethan Smith. They will look to close out the season on a strong note as they get prepared for the Western Regionals.
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