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UVU Fights Back but Ends Up Dropping Match to UNI, 24-18
Jan. 27, 2012
OREM, Utah - Utah Valley entered the final match of Friday's Western Wrestling Conference dual trailing Northern Iowa just 20-18 but UNI's (5-3, 3-0 WWC) heavyweight Blayne Beale helped the Panthers pull out a 24-18 victory with a win over UVU's (3-7, 0-3 WWC) Dustin Dennison.
Earlier in the contest the Wolverines found themselves with their backs against the wall after they dropped four of the first five bouts to trail UNI 14-3. Back-to-back first period pins by Ethan Smith (165 pounds) and Monte Schmalhaus (174) got the Wolverines back into the dual however as the two bonus-point wins gave UVU a 15-14 lead.
UNI's sixth-ranked Ryan Loder (184) then put the Panthers back on top, 20-15, with a pin of his own over UVU's Dominic Borelli but Utah Valley's David Prieto (197) pulled the Wolverines back within two heading into the final bout, at 20-18, as he had one of the most impressive wins of the evening by bumping up a weight-class and defeating UNI's Taylor Kettman 6-3.
"I saw some really, really good things from our guys tonight," UVU head coach Greg Williams said. "Northern Iowa is a good team but I felt like some of our guys progressed nicely and did some of the things that we've been working on to give us a chance. We're starting to move forward and I'm beginning to see some signs of us getting better and that's a good thing."
UVU's Josh Wilson (149), who is currently ranked 12th nationally, was the first Wolverine to pick up a win on the evening, as he took care of business over UNI's Seth Noble by defeating him 7-4. The Panthers' David Bonin (157) then bounced back with a 16-4 major decision win over Napoleon Aniciete to give Northern Iowa the 14-3 advantage.
That is when Utah Valley's duo of Smith and Schmalhaus consecutively pinned UNI's Riley Banach and Onni Prestidge in 2:14 and 1:59 respectively, to give the Wolverines the lead.
"It was great to have those back-to-back pins," Williams added. "It was nice for both Ethan and Monte and it really helped our energy for the entire team. David's match was also huge for us as he really showed some progression out there."
Despite the comeback effort and Prieto's late win, Loder's victory by fall and Beale's major decision at heavyweight sealed the win for Northern Iowa.
The contest marked UNI's first-ever trip to Orem, despite the fact that the two squads have been in the same conference since the 2006-07 season.
UVU will next hit the road and travel to Palo Alto, Calif., to take on both Cal Poly and Stanford on Feb. 3. The following weekend, the Wolverines will return home to face WWC foes North Dakota State and South Dakota State on Feb. 10 and No. 2 Penn State on Feb. 11.
Northern Iowa 24, Utah Valley 18