UVU wrestling: Wolverines drop dual opener Friday at No. 24 Central Michigan
W. Randy Martin
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. — The Utah Valley University wrestling team fell to No. 24 Central Michigan, 27-9, on Friday night at McGuirk Arena in Mount Pleasant, Mich. The contest marked UVU's first dual of the 2013-14 season.
"Central Michigan is tough throughout their lineup and they were real solid tonight," UVU head coach Greg Williams said. "There were a few matches that we easily could have won if we would've wrestled a little bit better. We really didn't have a bad match, but with this being the first dual of the season I noticed a couple of things that we need to clean up and get better at."
The meet began at 157 pounds, and the Chippewas jumped out to an early 12-0 lead as they won the first three bouts of the night. UVU (0-1) junior Ethan Smith put an end to CMU's (1-0) run at 184 pounds by earning a hard fought 7-6 decision over Craig Kelliher.
Following another decision by Central Michigan at 197, junior heavyweight Adam Fager, who is ranked 20th in the country, took care of business against Adam Robinson as the returning 2013 NCAA qualifier for the Wolverines pinned his CMU counterpart just 1:31 into the match. Fager's six-point victory pulled Utah Valley to within 15-9 on the scoreboard, but that's as close as UVU would get the rest of the way as the Chippewas won the final four bouts of the evening to take the victory.
Despite winning just two of the 10 matches on the night, the Wolverines managed to keep things respectable as they lost seven bouts by decision. The only bonus-point victory that UVU allowed was a forfeit at 174 pounds.
In the first two matches of the evening, sophomore Chase Cuthbertson and senior Curtis Abner Cook wrestled a couple of tightly contested bouts for the Wolverines. Despite dropping their matches, the two combined to lose by just three points as Cuthbertson fell to Dakota Cooley by a point (5-4) and Cook dropped his contest to Nick Becker by two (6-4).
"We're a good team," Williams said. "We just need to get a little better in a couple of areas so we can prove it against these top-level opponents."
The Wolverines continue their Michigan road trip at the Eastern Michigan Duals on Saturday. UVU will face Michigan State at 9:30 a.m. MT, Ohio at 11 a.m. and Gardner-Webb at 12:30 p.m. Following Saturday's dual tournament, Utah Valley will head to Palo Alto, Calif., in two weeks to take on No. 13 Nebraska, Stanford and Bakersfield at the Stanford Duals on Nov. 30.
No. 24 Central Michigan 27 — Utah Valley 9
157: Dakota Cooley (CMU) Dec. Chase Cuthbertson (UVU), 5-4
165: Nick Becker (CMU) Dec. Curtis Abner Cook (UVU), 6-4
174: No. 15 Mike Ottinger (CMU) won by forfeit
184: Ethan Smith (UVU) Dec. Craig Kelliher (CMU), 7-6
197: Jackson Lewis (CMU) Dec. Derek Thomas (UVU), 3-1
285: No. 20 Adam Fager (UVU) Fall Adam Robinson (CMU), 1:31
125: Corey Keener (CMU) Dec. No. 12 Jade Rauser (UVU), 8-4
133: Tyler Keserlring (CMU) Dec. Bracken Nipko (UVU), 8-1
141: No. 16 Zach Horan (CMU) Dec. Avery Garner (UVU), 8-2
149: Scott Mattingly (CMU) Dec. Trevor Willson (UVU), 4-0
James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit www.WolverineGreen.com.