Forfeit Costs Wolverines Victory

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UVU loses by two points to Northern Colorado

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Kyle McDonald, Sports Writer, @kylesportsbias

For the Utah Valley University wrestling team, wrestling on their home mat hasn’t brought forth much success all year long. In the final home meet of the regular season, UVU hosted the Northern Colorado Bears and it didn’t start out well.  UVU chose to forfeit the 133 pound match and it gave Northern Colorado six team points to start the meet.  It would come back to haunt the Wolverines.

Down by a score of 17-3 after 5 matches, UVU would go on a run to make things interesting.  Dalton Harmon got the ball rolling for the Wolverines in the 174 pound match.  He defeated Josh VanTine 6-2 and earned three team points.  Ross Taylor would follow that up in the 184 pound match winning by fall over Keith Johnson in the second period earning UVU another six team points.  Derek Thomas kept the momentum going with a hard fought decision over Trent Noon 3-2 in the 197 pound matchup. Thomas got a little revenge on Noon as at a tournament in Las Vegas, Noon dominated Thomas from start to finish. “Derek did a great job and it was a great match for him,” Head Coach Greg Williams said.  The wins for UVU brought the score to 17-15 with two matches to go.

Redshirt freshman Jordan Karst couldn’t keep the momentum as he lost a heartbreaker in the heavyweight matchup to Brian Macchione of Northern Colorado, who was able to force overtime with an escape late in the third period.  He would eventually take Karst down in overtime to secure the 3-1 win.  The win by Macchione made for an interesting final match.

With the Northern Colorado leading the dual meet 20-15 over the Wolverines, Chasen Tolbert needed to win by fall for UVU to win the meet or by technical fall to at least tie the meet. Tolbert controlled the match from start to finish and was able to win by decision over Trey Andrews and solidify his ranking for nationals. “That was a good win for Chasen. He’s been wrestling really well this month….the only thing that would keep him out of nationals now is getting hurt,” Williams said about his nationally ranked junior.

Tolbert’s win wasn’t enough to make up the difference the forfeit at 133 pounds caused and Northern Colorado would take the meet 20-18.  “Jade which is wrestling a kid that is not as talented and is probably a pin for us but instead we’re giving up six,” Williams would say in reference to UVU wrestler Jade Rauser, who normally wrestles at 133 pounds but didn’t on this night, and how he could have brought home victory for UVU.

UVU now has three weeks to prepare for the NCAA West Regionals/WWC Championships that will be held March 7, 2015 in Fargo, North Dakota.  Coach Williams is excited for the opportunity and feels he has some guys that can make some noise.  “I feel really good about Jade and Chasen and their opportunity….we have some guys that have some talent…we’ve got some work to do….our goal is to get as many guys to nationals as possible,” Williams would say.