Kyle McDonald, Sports Writer, @kylesportsbias
Facing their third ranked opponent in 2 weeks, the Utah Valley wrestling team had a tough task ahead of them on Saturday afternoon. After losses to #18 Wyoming and #20 Oregon State, UVU was looking to rebound against #25 Stanford. It wasn’t to be on this Saturday as the Cardinal came in and wrestled their way to a 28-6 win over the Wolverines.
The match got off to a hot start at the 184 pound weight class. Ross Taylor of UVU took on Zach Nevills of Stanford and after a first period that saw no action, the match would heat up in the second. Taylor would score first after escaping to begin the second period and then score another take down to take a 3-0 late in the period. Nevills was able to score a reversal for 2 points right before time expired to come within a point and then scored another reversal to start the third period to take the lead. Taylor was able to escape and tie up the match and send it into overtime. Neither wrestler would score in overtime so they had to go through two tie-breaker sessions of 30 seconds each. In the first session, Nevills was able to score a point by escaping and in the second session was able to hold off a reversal try by Taylor to walk away with the 5-4 victory. “I felt like we should have won that match…….if we do that right then we win that match,” Head Coach Greg Williams said in reference to the first match of the night. “Instead we try to do something creative and can’t finish.”
It seemed like that was the story of the night for the Wolverines. The match would start out slow and then heat up as time went along. Derek Thomas at 197 pounds took an early lead only to fall to Garet Krohn 3-1 by giving up a take down with 34 seconds left in the match.
Adam Fager of UVU couldn’t get anything going in his match against Nathan Butler in the heavyweight matchup. He attacked but couldn’t finish and Butler made the most of it taking the 5-2 decision.
This was followed up by one of the most exciting matches of the night. At 125 pounds Chasen Tolbert of UVU has had a tough stretch as 3 out of his last 4 matches have been wrestlers ranked in the top 20 of their weight class. It was no different against #15 Evan Silver. There was no score after one but after scoring an escape to start the second period, Tolbert wouldn’t look back. He would score a take down in the second period and even after dispute by Stanford coach Jason Borrelli, would hold on to upset Silver and put his name in as a guy to be reckon with.
UVU would win one more match after that. Matthew Ontiveros would get an impressive win over Mason Pengilly 4-0 in which he stayed in control and dominated the match.
UVU continues to struggle in the middleweights though. “We got to get better in our middle weights….it looks to me like we are still trying to figure things out and at this time of year we really shouldn’t be doing that,” Coach Williams said in reference to the his wrestlers in the 149, 157, and 165 pound weight classes. Trevor Willson at 149 attempted a shot for a takedown but got flipped and eventually got pinned by Garrett Schaner 1:20 into their match. Logan Addis at 157 lost to Max Hvolbeck 16-6 in a matchup that was never really close. Dalton Harmon fell to #13 Jim Wilson in which Wilson really dominated and had it not been for his coaches telling him to constantly let Harmon up could have been much worse that it was.
2 Wolverines who won the night before, Ethan Smith at 174 and Jade Rauser at 133, couldn’t continue the momentum as they both fell in their weight classes to Keaton Subjeck and Connor Schram respectively.
“Overall our guys are working hard and I feel like we are in good shape,” Williams said in reference to where his team is right now as they head into the home stretch of their regular season and their preparation for the conference tournament as well as nationals.
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