Behind a perfect 3-0 day from sophomore 165-pounder Demetrius Romero, the Utah Valley University wrestling team recorded a 2-1 outing at the Wolfpack Duals on Saturday evening in Raleigh, North Carolina.
The Wolverines (4-2, 1-0 Big 12) recorded wins over both Reinhardt (34-6) and UNC Pembroke (36-9) on Saturday, as well as suffered a 34-6 setback to the host and seventh-ranked North Carolina State Wolfpack.
The 25th-ranked Romero led the way for the Wolverines by going a perfect 3-0 on Saturday with a pair of bonus-point victories, as well as a 6-4 decision over No. 19 Brian Hamann of NC State. Eleventh-ranked 125-pounder Taylor LaMont and heavyweight Benjamin Andrew were next by each posting unblemished 2-0 records, while 133-pounder Durbin Lloren, 149-pounder Matthew Ontiveros and 197-pounder Tanner Orndorff each went 2-1.
"We basically did what we were expected to do in our matches against UNC Pembroke and Reinhardt. We felt Taylor, Demetrius, Gary (Jantzer) and Tanner wrestled very hard through their whole matches against NC State. Demetrius had a big win against a top-20 opponent and Taylor dominated his match," head UVU coach Greg Williams said. "We were disappointed that we didn't step up in some of the weights where we had starters out. We need everyone on our team to contribute when they step out on the mat with a UVU singlet on, and that didn't happen tonight."
Match one vs. Reinhardt
UVU won eight of the 10 matches in the opening dual of the day against NAIA foe Reinhardt (1-3) en route to earning a 34-6 victory. Josh Jensen (125 pounds), Matthew Ontiveros (149), Raider Lofthouse (157), Demetrius Romero (165) and Tanner Orndorff (197) led the way by each winning their respective bouts by bonus points. Of the group, Ontiveros (4:43) and Orndorff (2:42) both won by fall, while 25th-ranked Romero won by technical fall (17-0) and Jensen (19-6) and Lofthouse (11-1) each earned major decision victories.
Durbin Lloren (133), Will Sumner (184) and Benjamin Andrew (285) also picked up victories in the opener against the Eagles, as they all won by decision. Lloren defeated Tristin Blansit, 4-2, while Sumner defeated Antonio Stewart, 5-0, and Andrew beat Hinton Bolinger, 3-1, in his first dual meet.
Match two vs. No. NC State
Utah Valley managed to take an early lead over the seventh-ranked Wolfpack (6-0) thanks to an 8-3 decision victory from LaMont in the opening match. The ranked redshirt freshman and 2016 Junior World bronze medalist jumped out to an early lead on his way to recording an 8-3 win over NCSU's Tommy Cox. NC State then responded by winning the next four matches to take a 19-3 lead.
Romero then put a stop to NC State's streak by earning an upset overtime win over 19th-ranked Brian Hamann. With the match all deadlocked at 4-4 after regulation, Romero managed to secure the decisive takedown to win the bout in the first sudden victory period. The Wolfpack then answered, however, by winning the final four matches of the contest, including a 3-1 overtime win from heavyweight Malik McDonald over No. 14 Dustin Dennison in the final match.
Match three vs. UNC Pembroke
After falling to the top-10 ranked Wolfpack, the Wolverines responded nicely in the final dual against Division II foe UNC Pembroke (1-2). UVU once again won eight of the total 10 bouts en route to earning a 36-9 victory over the Braves. LaMont, Lloren, Jarod Mayes (141), Ontiveros, Romero, Orndorff and Andrew also picked up bonus-point wins for the Wolverines.
LaMont (4:32) was the lone Utah Valley grappler to pin his opponent in the contest, while Ontiveros (15-0), Romero (18-2) and Orndorff (17-2) each won by technical fall and Lloren (10-0), Maynes (17-3) and Andrew (17-7) won by major decision. Gary Jantzer (184) was UVU's final grappler to post a win over the Braves, with a 5-3 decision over UNCP's Faris Teai.
Up next for UVU
The Wolverines will conclude the trip by taking part of the Wolfpack Open in Raleigh on Sunday. The all-day tournament will begin at 7 a.m. MT, and will be streamed live on FloWrestling. Following Sunday's action, UVU will head to the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational on Dec. 1-2, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit GoUVU.com.