It's easy to hang your head when things aren't going your way but today it seemed like everyone had a better attitude and worked harder. The guys fought well and created some opportunities because of that and were able to capitalize and win some matches. —UVU head coach Greg Williams
PALO ALTO, Calif. — Utah Valley snapped a five-match losing streak with a bang Friday night by defeating two solid Pac-12 wrestling programs at Burnham Pavilion in Palo Alto, Calif. The Wolverines (5-7, 0-3 WWC) started the night with a 19-17 win over Cal Poly and followed it up with a 25-10 victory over Stanford.
"I was very pleased with how well we fought. We did a much better job in some areas as a team than we have done in the past," UVU head coach Greg Williams said. "I told the guys before the matches that a lot of them were ready to start turning the corner in some areas and I saw that tonight."
In the nightcap against the Cardinal (8-7, 3-1 Pac-12), the Wolverines jumped out to an early 16-0 lead after they won the first four matches of the contest and didn't look back as they went on to win seven of the 10 bouts.
UVU 125-pounder Colby Christensen started off the scoring by receiving a forfeit victory. Blake Mangum (133 pounds) then followed it up with an 11-3 major decision win over Stanford's Jordan Bryan. Wolverine 141-pounder Avery Garner and 149-pounder Josh Wilson, who is currently ranked 12th nationally, then came through with 8-2 and 9-4 respective wins over Alex Manley and Timmy Boone.
Garrett Schaner then got the Cardinal on the scoreboard with a 7-1 victory over Napoleon Aniciete (157) but UVU's Ethan Smith (165) responded by pulling off a 2-1 win over Stanford's Bret Baumbach with a late third period reversal to give the Wolverines a commanding 19-3 lead.
Top-ranked Nick Amuchastegui, who was the NCAA runner-up a year ago, and Spence Patrick then cut into the deficit for Stanford with consecutive victories over UVU's Monte Schmalhaus (174) and David Prieto (184) to cut the team score to 19-10. But two more wins by the Wolverines helped Utah Valley cruise to the win.
Wolverine 197-pounder Brian Chamberlain and heavyweight Dustin Dennison sealed the victory with 6-4 and 4-2 respective wins over Stanford's Alan Yen and Brendan Ter Wee.
In the opening dual of the evening, the Wolverines and Cal Poly (5-6, 3-2 Pac-12) each won five bouts apiece but a first period win from Smith over Paul Woodman was the difference, as Utah Valley pulled out the contest by two points.
Christensen and Mangum got the Wolverines off to a solid start against the Mustangs by picking up back-to-back wins to give Utah Valley an early 7-0 lead. Christensen won his match over Britain Longmire 5-2, while Mangum won his first dual bout of the season with a 19-5 major decision over Michael Clemmenson.
Cal Poly then tied the score at 7-all with two straight wins of their own. Second-ranked Boris Novachkov defeated Garner 12-4 and Kyle Chene pulled out a hard fought 2-1 win over Wilson. The Wolverines answered back with two more consecutive victories however as Aniciete beat Gianpier Yanez 6-1 and Smith followed it up by pulling off his second straight pin as he defeated Woodman by fall just 2:03 into the match. The wins put UVU up 16-7.
The Mustangs battled back by winning three of the final four matches of the contest but Prieto's late win helped Utah Valley stay in it.
After fourth-ranked Ryan DesRoches defeated Schmalhaus 4-1, Prieto's 5-1 overtime victory over Derek Hawkins helped the Wolverines pull out the win.
Cal Poly's 197-pounder Ryan Smith (ranked 18th) and heavyweight Atticus Disney finished off the contest with wins over Chamberlain and Dennison, 15-6 and 4-1 respectively, but the Wolverine lead was too large for the Mustangs to overcome.
The two dual victories improved UVU's season mark against Pac-12 opponents to a perfect 3-0, as the Wolverines previously defeated Boise State 19-18 in Orem on Jan. 12.
"It's easy to hang your head when things aren't going your way but today it seemed like everyone had a better attitude and worked harder," Williams added. "The guys fought well and created some opportunities because of that and were able to capitalize and win some matches."
The Wolverines will return home for three duals in the UCCU Center next weekend. On Friday, Feb. 10, UVU will take on two conference foes when it hosts South Dakota State and North Dakota State at 5 and 7 p.m. respectively. The next night, the Wolverines will then welcome No. 2 Penn State to town for a 7 p.m. contest.