GREELEY, Colo. -- Utah Valley University wrestling managed to overcome a 17-3 deficit by winning the final five matches of the night en route to record a 22-17 come-from-behind victory over Northern Colorado on Friday evening at Bank of Colorado Arena.
During the clutch final five matches, UVU (10-13, 1-7 Big 12) recorded four of the five victories for bonus points with major decision wins from No. 10 Demetrius Romero (165 pounds), No. 12 Kimball Bastian (174), No. 27 Will Sumner (184) and No. 17 Tate Orndorff (285).
On the night, senior Mitch Brown (125) and 14th-ranked Tanner Orndorff (197) also recorded hard fought victories over ranked opponents, as Brown knocked off two-time NCAA qualifier and 16th-ranked Rico Montoya while Tanner Orndorff managed to piece together a nice comeback to top No. 23 Jacob Seely in overtime.
"Great wins for both Mitch and Tanner against ranked opponents tonight. Both showed grit continuing to push the pace and attack while coming from behind," head coach Greg Williams said. "All six of our regular starters performed at a high level tonight. We were impressed with their effort."
Seeing his first action since November, the UVU senior Brown dropped a weight class to face off against two-time NCAA qualifier and 16th-ranked Montoya in the opening bout at 125 pounds. With Montoya holding to a 5-2 advantage after two periods of action, Brown got things going by picking up an escape, a takedown and a penalty point via a stall call to take a 6-5 lead. Montoya then responded with an escape and a takedown to take a late 8-6 advantage, but back answered Brown with a clutch reversal followed by a decisive two-point nearfall with just seconds to go to claim the upset victory over Montoya.
With Utah Valley holding to an early 3-0 lead, the Bears (4-8, 0-6 Big 12) then managed to reel off four consecutive wins to take a 17-3 advantage. Returning NCAA qualifier and 10th-ranked Romero then put a stop the UNC rally at 165 pounds with a 13-3 major decision over Macoy Flanagan to make it a 17-7 contest. Romero picked up five takedowns and nearly four minutes of riding time on his way to improving to a team-best 21-3 on the year.
Fellow UVU returning NCAA qualifier and 12th-ranked Bastian then followed with a 14-5 major decision win of his own over Trent Schultz to make it 17-11 on the scoreboard. Bastian recorded an impressive tally of four takedowns in the opening period and a total of six in all on his way to improving to 15-8 on the season. Utah Valley senior and 27th-ranked Sumner then kept the Wolverine streak going with an 11-2 major decision over Dalton Robertson to make it 17-15 with just two matches to go. Sumner (16-9) tallied a takedown, two reversals, a four-point nearfall and a riding time point on his way to victory.
In a matchup of two returning NCAA qualifiers and fellow ranked foes at 197, UNC's Seely got off to a fast start by building a quick 5-1 lead. Utah Valley two-time NCAA qualifier and 14th-ranked Tanner Orndorff then responded with an escape in the second followed by another escape and a takedown early in the third to deadlock the score at 5-5. The 23rd-ranked Seely then earned an escape of his own but Orndorff landed another late takedown to send the contest to overtime with Seely holding riding time. In the first sudden victory period, Orndorff (14-9) continued to be the aggressor late in the contest by securing the winning takedown to earn the hard fought 9-7 overtime contest and give the Wolverines an 18-17 advantage with one match remaining.
In the final bout of the night, 17th-ranked Wolverine heavyweight Tate Orndorff then sealed the victory for UVU with a 14-3 major decision over Robert Winters. The redshirt freshman Tate Orndorff managed to record five takedowns, a nearfall, an escape and a riding time point on his way to earning his 20th victory of the season (20-6).
The victory snapped a six dual meet skid by the Wolverines.
Utah Valley will close the trip and its 2018-19 regular season by taking on Air Force on Saturday, Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. MT at AFA's Clune Arena. The Big 12 dual will be streamed live on TrackWrestling.com.
125: Mitch Brown (UVU) DEC #16 Rico Montoya (NC), 10-8
133: Sean Cannon (NC) MD Isaiah Delgado (UVU), 14-1
141: Chris Sandoval (NC) DEC Dylan Gregerson (UVU), 7-4
149: Dante Rodriguez (NC) FALL Landon Knutzen (UVU), 2:24
157: Jordan Robinson (NC) MD Spencer Heywood (UVU), 13-3
165: #10 Demetrius Romero (UVU) MD Macoy Flanagan (NC), 13-3
174: #12 Kimball Bastian (UVU) MD Trent Schultz (NC), 14-5
184: #27 Will Sumner (UVU) MD Dalton Robertson (NC), 11-2
197: #14 Tanner Orndorff (UVU) DEC #23 Jacob Seely (NC), 9-7 (SV-1)
285: #17 Tate Orndorff (UVU) MD Robert Winters (NC), 14-3