UVU wrestling struggles in California trip

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Photos courtesy of Linsey Craig and UVU Athletics
Stanford 35 UVU 5

The Utah Valley University wrestling team might have had a little too much time off over the Christmas break as they struggled to find their footing in their dual mean against the 18th-ranked Cardinal in Palo Alto on Friday evening.  The Cardinal used wins by technical fall, major decisions, and a forfeit to overwhelm the Wolverines on their way to a 37-5 win at Burnham Pavilion. 12304526_1232247050135614_4152341365942008185_o

Jade Rauser was the only Wolverine to record a victory in the match as he dominated Eric Cramer with two take downs and four near falls on his way to a 20-1 win.

18th-ranked Chasen Tolbert of UVU took 20th-ranked Connor Schram to overtime before Schram got the sudden death takedown to win the match.

Heavyweight Dustin Dennison also fell just short in a 2-0 loss to Nathan Butler.

“We need to be tougher when things aren’t going our way. We had some guys with heavy legs tonight and they’ve got to find a way to wrestle through that,” head coach Greg Williams said in a statement to wolverinegreen.com. “It’s not going to get any easier on Saturday against Bakersfield. We’ve got to pick up our game or we’re going to have another long night tomorrow.”

Bakersfield 27 UVU 19

When one of your best wrestlers is injured and not able to compete it makes like a little difficult. For UVU that was just the case on Saturday evening in Bakersfield. It also makes it difficult to win a dual meet when you have to forfeit a weight and give up six points. Such was the case on Saturday evening when the Wolverines had to forfeit at the 165-pound match, giving the Roadrunners an easy six points. Add to the fact that 197-pounder Derek Thomas is injured for UVU and not wrestling and it makes for a tough night.

The Wolverines won five matches, including two by bonus points but Bakersfield used the forfeit and two wins by fall and a win by technical fall to pull out the 27-19 win in the Icardo Center.

Ross Taylor and Will Sumner got UVU off on the right foot as Taylor recorded a win by major decision and Sumner earned a hard-fought 5-2 win over Dylan Bollinger at 184 pounds. Ruben Franklin and Matt Williams then recorded wins by fall for Bakersfield to take a 12-7 lead in the match. 12309968_1232246763468976_2298286557456247857_o

Jade Rauser and Chasen Tolbert then posted back-to-back wins for the Wolverines, including Rauser winning by fall to take a 16-12 lead.

However, Bakersfield won three out of the last four matches of the night including the forfeit to win 27-19 and improve to 7-2 overall on the year. UVU drops to 3-5 on the season.

The Wolverines will face their fourth Pac-12 Conference foe of the season on Thursday night when they host Arizona State at 7 p.m. MST in the PE Building.