Stevens Point downs seventh-ranked Warhawks for first time since 2008
UWSP downs seventh-ranked Warhawks for first time since 2008
STEVENS POINT, Wis. – Just 30 seconds away from going down 10-0 against seventh-ranked UW-Whitewater on Wednesday evening, David Granatelli (Appleton, WI/Appleton North) turned almost certain defeat into a victory by pin and helped give UW-Stevens Point wrestling the momentum it needed to earn a 19-16 conference dual meet victory over the Warhawks.
“We had a great crowd tonight,” said Pointers head coach Johnny Johnson of the nearly 500 fans who packed the stands of Berg Gym to watch the Pointers get their first Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) dual meet victory against Whitewater since Feb. 8, 2008.
“That’s not Whitewater’s best team, and we know that,” Johnson added. “It wasn’t all of our starters either. It was the team they put on the mat and the team we put on the mat and yeah, we did beat them. It is exciting to win a match like that.”
Granatelli’s win at 149 pounds knotted the score at 6-6 and Boone Roycraft (Omro, WI/Winneconne) put the Pointers in front 9-6 with his 10-5 win at 157 pounds.
“David Granatelli (Appleton, WI/Appleton North) is a dangerous kid,” said head coach Johnny Johnson. “He got a little flustered in the middle of the match but he kept coming back and put himself into a situation to get a win for us, and that was huge.”
The Warhawks rattled off three-straight victories, including a major decision at 184 pounds to retake the lead 16-9 with three matches remaining.
That’s when the Pointers took control.
Bo Seibel (Cambellsport, WI/Kewaskum) tallied a 13-1 major decision at 197 pounds and cut the Warhawks lead to just three, 16-13.
“Bo wrestled great,” said Johnson of his senior’s effort on the mat. “He went out there expecting to win and expecting to get the major and he was out there working the whole time to put the guy on his back.”
Then freshman Donny Ralston (Ladysmith, WI/Bruce) stepped on the mat. An early shove out of bounds was all the motivation he needed. Tied 3-3 after two periods, Ralston took a 5-3 edge early and added a takedown for a 7-3 edge. A late escape by Whitewater’s Jordan Festge made the final 7-4 for the big fella, tying the score at 16-16.
“Heavywight was pretty exciting,” said Johnson. “We put a freshman in a pretty tight situation. Donny wins that match and we have a chance to win the dual; if he loses it, it’s out of reach. He went in and fought his butt off, got in there and wrestled in the positions that he’s good at. He got a win for us, handed it off to Vosters and gave us an opportunity to win the dual.”
All tied up with just the 125-pound weight class remaining, sophomore Ben Vosters (Hatley, WI/Wittenberg-Birnamwood) took control in the second and never looked back, earning the 7-5 decision and the dual victory for the Pointers.
“The way our team has been wrestling this year, Ben is probably the guy I’d love to put it into his hands because I know he’s going to go out there and find a way to win matches,” Johnson said of the decisive match. “The interesting thing is he just loves to go out and wrestle. Because he loves it so much, he wins matches, and he’s going to continue to win matches.”
“Now we go to the next thing,” said Johnson, taking only a little time to savor the win. “I hope what the guys take from this is that they realize how good they really can be. There is not a guy that wrestled tonight for us that lost a match that couldn’t have won a match.”
Next up for the Pointers, the always difficult Candlewood Suites Duals, hosted by UW-La Crosse on Saturday, Dec. 5. The Pointers will face 19th-ranked Cornell (IA), 24th-ranked Concordia-Moorhead and defending national champion and top-ranked Wartburg (IA). Action gets underway at 9 a.m.
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