Whitewater over La Crosse in battle of nationally-ranked squads

By TomM January 18, 2018 22:32

Whitewater over La Crosse in battle of nationally-ranked squads

Whitewater bests La Crosse in battle of nationally-ranked squads

#8 UW Whitewater 19 – #12 UW La Crosse 15

By Nate Woelfel  for Wisconsin Wrestling Online | January 18, 2018

In a battle of Wisconsin’s top NCAA Division III teams, host No. 8 UW-Whitewater emerged victorious, scoring a 19-15 win over No. 12 UW-La Crosse in a Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference dual on Thursday night.

The Warhawks (9-5, 4-0 WIAC) won six of 10 matches, including three of the four that involved nationally-ranked wrestlers.

Ninth-ranked Mike Tortorice got UWW off on the right foot. He handed No. 7 Zach Villarreal an 8-0 loss to put the Warhawks up 4-0.

It was the first loss of the season for Villarreal. He is now 16-1 on the campaign.

“That was a big win at 125,” Whitewater head coach Ned Shuck said in a phone interview. “That kid was undefeated. Going out and getting a major against him was a big win there for us. We hadn’t seen him yet this year, but he’s had some good wins this year. So going out and getting that win was big. It was a good way to kick things off.”

No. 7 Hazen Rice kept things rolling for the home team with a shutout of his own. He topped Sawyer Sarbacker by decision 4-0.

La Crosse (8-4, 2-1) broke through at 141 pounds as Hayden Schlough recorded a 21-2 win via technical fall.

But the Warhawks bounced back with a pair of victories in tightly-contested matches.

At 149 pounds, Austin Quartullo hung on for a 5-3 win.

Isaiah Vela erased a 3-1 third-period deficit by scoring an escape followed by a takedown in the closing moments to earn a 4-3 victory.

“You have to keep attacking. He was really close [to scoring] a couple times,” Shuck said of Vela. “If you just keep the pressure on guys and keep putting them in positions where they are in danger, that’s tough to defend all the time. He [Vela] just has some incredible attacks. I was happy to see he continued to hit them. I thought he could have hit some more, to be honest with you. But he found a way. I’m real proud of his effort.”

Mitch Hertel put the Eagles back on track with a 7-3 win at 165.

However, Nicholas Bonomo provided an answer for Whitewater. He tallied a buzzer-beating reversal at the end of regulation to pick up a 6-5 decision over UWL’s Sawyer Massie at 174 pounds.

Sean O’Neill, the No. 6 wrestler in Division III at 184 according to InterMat, scored a decision for the Eagles.

Top-ranked Jordan Newman survived a scare from La Crosse’s Wesley Schultz and sealed the dual victory for UWW with a 7-4 win at 197.

Konrad Ernst recorded a major decision for the Eagles at heavyweight to cap the night.

Thursday marked Whitewater’s ninth match against an opponent that was ranked in Division III. The Warhawks are 6-3 in such matches. UWW has also dropped a dual to UW-Parkside, the No. 3 team in Division II and also took a loss to Wisconsin, the No. 23 team in D1.

La Crosse has faced five top-25 opponents this season. Its lone victory in those matches was a 36-6 win over then No. 21 Concordia (Minn.) at the Candlewood Suites Duals in La Crosse at the beginning of December.

Whitewater’s triumph over La Crosse was its second in the span of 13 days. The Warhawks bested the Eagles at the NWCA Duals in Fort Wayne, Indiana at the beginning of the month.

“We want to put them down every time, no matter if we are wrestling them day after day,” Shuck said with a chuckle. “It’s something we’re excited about. We know they train hard. They prepare they guys well. They have good coaches too and they’re doing good things.”

Though they are 2-0 this season against a quality in-state foe, Shuck wants to see his team continue to build. After all, many of the season’s most important matches are yet to come.

“We’ll see them again. We’re going to see these guys a lot,” Shuck said. “Starting off like that, getting two victories over them, is great. We want to keep it going so at the end of the year we’re in the same boat. We don’t want them finishing ahead of us. Not just them, anybody. It’s a good place to be right now. We don’t need to lose to learn. We will learn plenty from tonight.”


#8 UW Whitewater 19 – #12 UW La Crosse 15

125- Mike Tortorice(UWW) dec. Zach Villarreal (UWL) by major 8-0
133- Hazen Rice(UWW) dec. Sawyer Sarbacker (UWL) 4-0
141- Hayden Schlough (UWL) dec. Jaime Valdez(UWW) by technical fall, 21-2 (6:46)
149- Austin Quartull(UWW)o dec. Spencer Nevills (UWL) 5-3
157- Isaiah Vela(UWW) dec. Grant Zamin (UWL) 4-3
165- Mitch Hertel (UWL) dec. Ryder Sigler(UWW) 7-3
174- Nicholas Bonomo(UWW) dec. Sawyer Massie (UWL) 6-5
184- Sean O’Neil (UWL) dec. Nick Stencel(UWW) 4-1
197- Jordan Newman(UWW) dec. Wesley Schultz (UWL) 7-4
285- Konrad Ernst (UWL) dec. Nick Graziano(UWW) by major, 14-1

Photo: via UW Whitewater

By TomM January 18, 2018 22:32