UVU wrestling: three conference duals on tap for UVU this week

By James Warnick

For the Deseret News

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 11 2014 8:20 p.m. MST

Sophomore 125-pounder Jade Rauser pins his opponent to the mat. He went a perfect 3-0 for UVU at the Eastern Michigan Duals on Saturday with a pin and two major decisions.

Mike Smith, MatShots

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The Utah Valley University wrestling team will head to the Front Range this week to conclude its regular season. Three Western Wrestling Conference duals will await the Wolverines on the trip, as they'll face Northern Colorado in Greeley on Wednesday, Air Force in Colorado Springs on Friday and Wyoming in Laramie on Saturday.

All three dual meets will begin at 7 p.m. and will feature either live results or live video. Visit UVU's website to find the live links for each dual.

Utah Valley will enter the trip with a 5-7 overall record and a 1-1 clip in WWC action after splitting a pair of home conference duals against South Dakota State and North Dakota State last week. UVU began its conference season by knocking off the first-place Jackrabbits at the time, 18-15, on Thursday but then fell to the 20th-ranked Bison the following night, 33-11.

With the dual against the Jackrabbits deadlocked at 15 entering the final bout of the contest, senior 174-pounder Monte Schmalhaus secured the victory for the Wolverines by defeating SDSU's John Nething II by decision. With Schmalhaus holding to a 3-2 lead entering the third period, the Wolverine senior then got the job done by picking up an escape and a late takedown to win the match by a score of 6-2. In all, UVU won six of the 10 bouts against the Jacks.

Friday's dual against North Dakota State didn't turn out as well for the Wolverines, however, as the ranked Bison handed UVU a 33-11 defeat. The contest marked Senior Night for Utah Valley, and the Wolverines held an 11-9 advantage halfway through the dual before NDSU managed to reel off the final five matches, including four by fall. Senior 141-pounder Avery Garner as well as sophomores Chase Cuthbertson (157 pounds) and Chasen Tolbert (133) recorded the wins for UVU in the contest. Both Garner and Cuthbertson managed to win their respective bouts by major decision as Garner defeated Clay Cathey by a score of 10-1, and Cuthbertson pulled out a 16-7 victory over Nick Olejnik.

Junior heavyweight Adam Fager leads the Wolverines as he is currently ranked 13th by InterMat and holds a 15-6 overall record. Sophomore 197-pounder Derek Thomas is next in victories for UVU with 14 (14-12), while Garner (11-6) and Tolbert (11-8) each have won 11 matches apiece. Garner also leads the team in dual meets as he holds a 10-2 dual record.

About Northern Colorado

The Bears will enter Wednesday's outing searching for their first conference victory as they are off to an 0-2 start in WWC action. UNC fell to Wyoming on the road last Friday, 41-6, before dropping a 28-11 contest to NDSU on Sunday. Overall, Northern Colorado is 5-10 on the season with wins over Arizona State, Cal Poly, Virginia Military Institute, Chadron State and Colorado Mesa.

Junior 157-pounder Mitchell Polkowske leads UNC with a 20-5 record and is currently ranked 20th by TheOpenMat.com. Redshirt freshman Trey Andrews is right behind him as he holds a 19-5 record at 125 pounds.

Wednesday's dual marks the 14th all-time meeting between the Wolverines and Bears with UNC holding a slight 7-6 advantage. Last season in Orem, Utah Valley recorded its first-ever shutout against a Division I opponent as it blanked Northern Colorado, 39-0.

About Air Force

The Falcons will enter the week with an 8-5 overall record and 0-2 clip in WWC duals so far. AFA will host Wyoming on Tuesday before taking on UVU and New Mexico Highlands on Friday. Air Force's two conference losses came on the road in the Dakotas a couple of weeks ago when it fell 41-6 to North Dakota State and 18-14 to South Dakota State.

Sophomore 125-pounder Josh Martinez leads the Falcons with a 28-2 record and a No. 4 national ranking (InterMat). Junior 133-pounder Carter McElhany is next as he holds an 18-5 record, while junior 165-pounder Jesse Stafford will enter the week at 17-7.

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