UVU wrestling: Wolverines head to Palo Alto for Saturday's Stanford Duals

By James Warnick

For the Deseret News

Published: Friday, Nov. 29 2013 1:43 p.m. MST

The Utah Valley University wrestling team heads to Palo Alto, Calif., this weekend to continue dual action at the Stanford Duals on Saturday. UVU will face a challenging slate of competition, as it will take on No. 10 Nebraska, No. 18 Stanford and Bakersfield of the Pac-12 conference.

The Wolverines will begin the dual meet tournament against the Cornhuskers at noon MT. UVU will then take on the Roadrunners at 1:45 p.m., before closing the day against the host Cardinal at 3:30.

No live scoring or video will be available Saturday.

Utah Valley will enter the dual meet tournament with a 1-3 record on the season. UVU last wrestled on Nov. 16, going 1-2 at the Eastern Michigan Duals. The Wolverines defeated Gardner-Webb, 29-12, but fell to Michigan State (21-18) and Ohio (26-13). UVU's other loss came the previous night at the then No. 24 Central Michigan Chippewas, 27-9.

Sophomore 125-pounder Jade Rauser, who is ranked 13th in the nation, and senior 141-pounder Avery Garner are leading the Wolverines with identical 3-1 records. Sophomore 157-pounder Chase Cuthbertson as well as juniors Adam Fager (heavyweight) and Ethan Smith (184 pounds) are next as all are 2-2.

With two pins on the season, Fager leads UVU in that category, while Rauser and redshirt freshman Bracken Nipko (125/133) are tops on the team in major decisions with two.

About Nebraska

Nebraska will enter Saturday with a perfect 2-0 overall record and a 1-0 clip in Big Ten action. The 10th-ranked Huskers began their dual slate with a 25-16 win over Big Ten foe Northwestern before beating fellow Western Wrestling Conference member South Dakota State, 36-6, last Sunday.

The Cornhuskers have five wrestlers ranked in the latest InterMat rankings, and 157-pounder James Green (5-0) and 174-pounder Robert Kokesh (7-0) lead the way as each are fourth in the nation in their respective weight class. Jake Sueflohn (6-2) is next as he is ranked fifth at 149 pounds, while 125-pounder Tim Lambert (6-1) is 15th and 165-pounder Austin Wilson (3-1) is 20th.

Saturday will mark the second all-time meeting between UVU and Nebraska, and the Huskers hold a 1-0 series advantage. Nebraska defeated the Wolverines, 22-12, when they were ranked 16th in the country at the time at the Lone Star Duals on Jan. 15, 2011.

About Bakersfield

The Roadrunners, who are an affiliate member of the Pac-12 in wrestling, are 2-1 on the season and 0-1 in Pac-12 action. CSUB fell to conference foe Cal Poly, 25-6, in its opener before defeating Appalachian State (21-18) and Grand Canyon (32-4) at home on Nov. 15. The `Runners most recently hosted the Roadrunner Open on Nov. 17 and placed fourth out of nine teams.

Bryce Hammond leads the way for the Roadrunners as he is ranked 15th at 174 pounds and holds a 6-3 record. Spencer Hill (157) and Reuben Franklin (197) are also having solid 2013-14 seasons as they currently hold identical 9-3 records.

Saturday will mark just the second all-time meeting between the Wolverines and `Runners on the wrestling mat with CSUB holding a 1-0 series advantage. In the only prior meeting, Bakersfield defeated Utah Valley, 41-3, on Jan. 10, 2005, in Tempe, Ariz.

About Stanford

After defeating No. 15 Maryland (17-16) two weeks ago as well as No. 17 Michigan (21-13) and No. 25 Central Michigan (18-13) last weekend on the road, the Cardinal have moved up five spots in the rankings as they are now ranked 18th in the country. Stanford is 6-1 overall, which also includes a 30-4 victory over WWC foe Air Force on Nov. 16.

Two-time All-American Ryan Mango is back for his senior season this year after redshirting a year ago. Mango leads the way as he is ranked third in the nation at 133 pounds with an unblemished 11-0 record. Evan Silver is next as he is ranked 11th at 125 pounds with an 8-1 clip, while Jim Wilson is a perfect 12-0 at 165 pounds and ranked 15th.

The Stanford Duals will mark the third consecutive season that the Wolverines and Cardinal have met on the mat. UVU holds a 2-0 all-time advantage as it defeated Stanford in both previous meetings. The Wolverines took the first contest 25-10 in Palo Alto two seasons ago and 18-15 in Orem last year.

Up next for the Wolverines

UVU will head to Las Vegas next weekend for the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational, which is traditionally recognized as one of the largest and toughest tournaments of the season. The widely renowned tournament will be held Dec. 6-7, at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit www.WolverineGreen.com.