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Utah Valley posts 3-0 record at NIU Duals

DEKALB, Ill. -- Behind dual victories over Clarion, Northern Illinois and Harper College, the 21st-ranked Utah Valley University wrestling team recorded a perfect 3-0 day at the NIU Huskie Duals on Saturday at NIU's Victor E. Court in DeKalb, Illinois.

The 21st-ranked Wolverines went undefeated with a 25-12 victory over Clarion, a 21-14 win over the host Northern Illinois Huskies, and a 44-3 shellacking over Junior College foe Harper College that included eight bonus-point wins. UVU improved to 5-1 on the season with the victory and will next face off against No. 17 Wisconsin of the Big Ten Conference on Sunday afternoon in Madison.

Matt Findlay (141 pounds) led UVU by going a perfect 3-0 on the day with a fall, while Mitch Brown (133), No. 14 Demetrius Romero (165), Gary Jantzer (184), No. 23 Tanner Orndorff (197) and his younger brother and 11th-ranked Tate Orndorff (285) all posted 2-0 outings.

In the opener against the Golden Eagles, who are currently receiving votes for the top 25 poll, the Wolverines got a much-needed fall from Brown (133) followed by a 10-5 decision from Findlay to give UVU an early 9-6 lead. After back-to-back wins from Clarion's ninth-ranked Brock Zacherl (149) and Mike Bartolo (157) later gave the Golden Eagles a 13-9 advantage, back bounced Utah Valley by closing the contest with five consecutive victories to earn the 25-12 win (after a team point was deducted from Clarion late in the match).

The 2018 NCAA qualifier and 14th-ranked UVU 165-pounder Romero started the winning streak with an 11-4 decision over Evan Delong. Fellow returning NCAA qualifier and 14th-ranked 174-pounder Bastian then followed that up with a 7-1 win of his own over Taylor Cahill and Will Sumner (184) and two-time NCAA qualifier and 23rd-ranked Tanner Orndorff then followed with respective 6-4 and 7-5 decisions over Ty Bagoly and Greg Bulsak. The 11th-ranked redshirt freshman heavyweight Tate Orndorff then capped the dual victory with a 17-8 major decision over Edgar Ruano to give UVU's its second win over Clarion in as many seasons.

The Wolverines then matched up with JUCO foe Harper in the second dual of the day and UVU pulled out nine of the 10 victories en route to recording a 41-point win. Josh Jensen (125), Brown (133) and Findlay (141) got the Wolverines off to a strong 18-0 start after back-to-back-to-back falls. Landon Knutzen (149) then followed with a 14-2 major decision while 21st-ranked Grant LaMont (157) then picked up an 11-4 decision over his opponent to give the Wolverines a commanding 25-0 lead. Harper's Michial Foy then bounced back for the Hawks with a 12-7 decision over Koy Wilkinson at 165 pounds, but UVU finished off the contest with bonus-point wins from Dante Springsteen (174), Jantzer (184), Ashton Seely (197) and Benjamin Andrew (285) to help the Wolverines record the 44-3 win.

Springsteen (13-3) and Jantzer (12-1) each won their bouts by major decision, while Seely (1:17) followed with a first-period fall and Andrew capped the contest with a 16-0 technical fall.

In the finale against the host Huskies, NIU got off to a strong start with a decision from Bryce West at 125 followed by a tech fall at 133 to jump out to an early 8-0 lead. The Wolverines then bounced back with a 10-6 decision from Findlay along with an 11-6 decision from Matthew Ontiveros (149) to make it 8-6, but again NIU responded with a victory at 157 pounds to make it 11-6 Huskies.

Romero then helped jumpstart the Wolverines with a 10-2 major decision over Kenny Moore to pull UVU within a point at 11-10. Brit Wilson then picked up a big win for the Huskies with an 8-6 decision over No. 14 Bastian at 174 to put the pressure on, but the Big 12 Wolverines managed to respond with back-to-back-to-back victories in the final three bouts of the contest to seal the win.

Trailing 14-10, Jantzer first picked up a big 7-4 victory over Mackael Aldrich to pull the Wolverines within a point and the two-time NCAA qualifier Tanner Orndorff gave UVU a late 18-14 advantage with a 17-2 tech fall over Ross Sealby. His younger brother Tate Orndorff then helped preserve the win for the Wolverines with a 10-4 decision over Caleb Gossett in the final match of the day.

UVU improves to 5-1 on the season after previously knocking off No. 15 Rutgers and Niagara County CC at the Journeymen Northeast Duals last week. The Wolverines' lone loss of the season was a tightly contested 19-15 setback to No. 12 Nebraska a week ago.

The 5-1 start ties for the best start in program history, as the 2009-10 Wolverines too began 5-1 with wins over NC State, Brown, Harvard, Gardner-Webb and UNC Greensboro.

The Wolverines will look to continue their winning ways on Sunday when they head to Madison, Wisconsin, for a date against the 17th-ranked Badgers. No. 21 Utah Valley and No. 17 Wisconsin will go head-to-head against one another at the UW Field House at 1 p.m. MT/2 p.m. CT. The Big Ten versus Big 12 dual meet will be streamed live on FloWrestling.

#21 Utah Valley 25, Clarion (RV) 12
125 - Tyshawn White (Clarion) FALL Josh Jensen (UVU), 1:28
133 - Mitch Brown (UVU) FALL Seth Koleno (Clarion), 2:34
141 - Matt Findlay (UVU) DEC Tate Ortz (Clarion), 10-5
149 - #9 Brock Zacherl (Clarion) MD Matthew Ontiveros (UVU), 11-3
157 - Mike Bartolo (Clarion) DEC #21 Grant LaMont (UVU), 9-3
165 - #14 Demetrius Romero (UVU) DEC Evan Delong (Clarion), 11-4
174 - #14 Kimball Bastian (UVU) DEC Taylor Cahill (Clarion), 7-1
184 - Will Sumner (UVU) DEC Ty Bagoly (Clarion), 6-4
197 - #23 Tanner Orndorff (UVU) DEC Greg Bulsak (Clarion), 7-5
285 - #11 Tate Orndorff (UVU) MD Edgar Ruano (Clarion), 17-8
*Clarion had one team point deducted from the team score for control of mat area

#21 Utah Valley 44, Harper College 3
125 - Josh Jensen (UVU) FALL Mitchell Bastea (HC), 2:12
133 - Mitch Brown (UVU) FALL Manny Ramirez (HC), 3:24
141 - Matt Findlay (UVU) FALL James Foy (HC), 2:18
149 - Landon Knutzen (UVU) MD Darian Padgett (HC), 14-2
157 - #21 Grant LaMont (UVU) DEC Tristen Guaman (HC), 11-4
165 - Michial Foy (HC) DEC Koy Wilkinson (HC), 12-7
174 - Dante Springsteen (UVU) MD Juan Guiroz (HC), 13-3
184 - Gary Jantzer (UVU) MD Scott Anderson (HC), 12-1
197 - Ashton Seely (UVU) FALL James Martinez (HC), 1:17
285 - Benjamin Andrew (UVU) TF John Cooper, 16-0

#21 Utah Valley 21, Northern Illinois 14
125 - Bryce West (NIU) DEC Josh Jensen (UVU), 5-1
133 - Alijah Jeffery (NIU) TF Mitch Brown (UVU), 16-1 {7:00}
141 - Matt Findlay (UVU) DEC Anthony Cheloni (NIU), Dec. 10-6
149 - Matthew Ontiveros (UVU) DEC McCoy Kent (NIU), 11-6
157 - Mason Kauffman (NIU) DEC #21 Grant LaMont (UVU), 6-2
165 - #14 Demetrius Romero (UVU) MD Kenny Moore (NIU), 10-2
174 - Brit Wilson (NIU) DEC #14 Kimball Bastian (UVU), 8-6
184 - Gary Jantzer (UVU) DEC Michael Aldrich (NIU), 7-4
197 - #23 Tanner Orndorff (UVU) TF Ross Sealby (NIU), 17-2 {7:00}
285 - #11 Tate Orndorff (UVU) DEC Caleb Gossett (NIU), 10-4

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