UVU wrestling: Wolverines can’t overcome slow start, drop WWC dual at Air Force

By James Warnick

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, Feb. 15 2014 12:36 a.m. MST

UVU sophomore Logan Addis puts a move on his opponent. He picked up his first dual victory of the season Friday night with a 6-5 decision over Air Force's Connor Hedash.

W. Randy Martin

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The Utah Valley wrestling team couldn't overcome a sluggish start Friday night at Clune Arena as it fell to Air Force, 24-13, in Western Wrestling Conference action. The Wolverines fall to 6-8 overall and 2-2 in WWC duals with the loss, while the Falcons improve 10-6 overall and 1-3 in the WWC with the win.

"You've got to give Air Force credit. They came out and wrestled aggressively," UVU head coach Greg Williams said. "I was really pleased with a couple of our younger guys. Both Trevor and Logan did a nice job for us and Richard looked much better. Ethan also wrestled well against a very tough opponent. But overall we had a couple of matches where we didn't finish the way we are capable, and Air Force definitely fought for those wins."

The contest began at 197 pounds and Greg Isley got things going for the Falcons by pulling out a tightly contested 4-3 decision over UVU sophomore Derek Thomas. AFA kept the momentum from there as it managed to win five consecutive bouts to jump out to a 21-0 advantage.

Sophomore 149-pounder Trevor Willson finally broke through for the Wolverines in the sixth contest of the evening. The match headed to overtime as Willson found himself and AFA's Natrelle Demison deadlocked at 2-2 at the end of regulation. Willson managed to secure a sudden victory win by picking up a three-point nearfall over Demison in the first overtime period.

Fellow sophomores Chase Cuthbertson and Logan Addis then followed Willson's victory with wins of their own to pull UVU to within 21-10 with two matches to go. Cuthbertson won his match by major decision (10-2) as he dominated Gerald McGinty at 157 pounds, and Addis managed to pull out his first dual victory of the season with a hard fought 6-5 win over Air Force's Connor Hedash at 165.

The Falcons then locked up the dual in the next bout as 174-pounder Konner Witt made an early 4-1 advantage hold up to beat UVU senior Monte Schmalhaus by a score of 4-3.

In the final match of the evening, Wolverine junior Ethan Smith (184) bested Devin Hightower by decision, 3-1, but it was too late to help UVU to overcome the early hole.

In all, Utah Valley won four of the final five matches of the contest, but Air Force recorded a win by forfeit as well as another by fall to take the dual by 11 points.

The Wolverines will conclude their three-match road trip and regular season at Wyoming on Saturday night. The dual will begin at 7 p.m. at the UniWyo Sports Complex in Laramie.

Air Force 24, Utah Valley 13

197: Greg Isley (AF) Dec. Derek Thomas (UVU), 4-3

285: Marcus Malecek (AF) Dec. Richard Larsen (UVU), 6-1

125: No. 4 Josh Martinez (AF) won by forfeit

133: Greg Rinker (AF) Fall Chasen Tolbert (UVU), 1:18

141: Carter McElhany (AF) Dec. Avery Garner (UVU), 7-5

149: Trevor Willson (UVU) Dec. Natrelle Demison (AF), 5-2 {SV1}

157: Chase Cuthbertson (UVU) MD Jerry McGinty (AF), 10-2

165: Logan Addis (UVU) Dec. Connor Hedash (AF), 6-5

174: Konner Witt (AF) Dec. Monte Schmalhaus (UVU), 4-3

184: Ethan Smith (UVU) Dec. Devin Hightower (AF), 3-1

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