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    Utah Valley caps trip with 20-15 win at CSU Bakersfield

    BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -- The Utah Valley University wrestling team concluded a perfect weekend trip with a 20-15 win at Pac-12 foe CSU Bakersfield on Saturday evening at the Icardo Center.

    The Wolverines won six of the 10 bouts on the night, including two by bonus points, to improve to 7-3 on the season (3-1 Big 12). The Roadrunners dropped to 4-8 on the year with the setback (0-1 Pac-12).

    Sixth-ranked Taylor LaMont (125 pounds), Matt Findlay (141), 16th-ranked Demetrius Romero (165), Kimball Bastian (174), Gary Jantzer (184) and 26th-ranked heavyweight Dustin Dennison all picked up wins for UVU on the night.

    "Bakersfield is a solid team that is good throughout their lineup, so we knew that it was going to be a tough battle," head UVU coach Greg Williams said. "It was a great match and I have a lot of respect for them (CSU Bakersfield) and the job they do here. But this was definitely a team win, and I'm proud of our guys for battling well."

    With the contest opening up with the big boys at 285 pounds, the Wolverines got off to another strong start thanks to back-to-back wins from 26th-ranked senior Dennison (285) and sixth-ranked redshirt freshman LaMont (125). After suffering a setback at Fresno State on Friday night, Dennison did a nice job of bouncing back with an 8-2 decision over CSUB's Mark Penyacsek to tie a career-high in victories by earning his 24th victory of the season (24-7). Leading by just a point entering the final period (4-3), LaMont then made his move by picking up an escape, a takedown, and a four-point nearfall to defeat Bakersfield's 27th-ranked Sergio Mendez by major decision, 11-3, and give the Wolverines a 7-0 lead in the dual meet.

    The 'Runners then bounced back by winning three of the next four bouts to take a 12-11 lead. Twenty-eighth ranked Sean Nickell started the spurt with an 8-0 major decision over Durbin Lloren at 133 pounds, and following a win from UVU 141-pound redshirt freshman Findlay, CSUB's Kalani Tonge (149) and No. 13 Coleman Hammond (157) responded with back-to-back wins over UVU's Matthew Ontiveros and Raider Lofthouse by respective scores of 6-4 and 20-2. Utah Valley's lone win during the stretch was a dominant 19-6 major decision from Findlay at 141 pounds.

    Trailing 12-11 in the team score, 16th-ranked Romero once again got the Wolverines going with an 8-3 decision over Bakersfield's Jacob Thalin to give UVU a 14-12 lead in the dual. After a scoreless opening period, Romero made his move by recording an escape and a takedown to take a 3-0 lead. He then sealed the victory with two more takedowns and an additional riding time point in the final stanza to take the bout by a score of 8-3.

    Romero's victory was the first of three straight wins for the Wolverines, as sophomore 174-pounder Bastian and 184-pound redshirt freshman Jantzer both followed with wins of their own. Bastian added to UVU's lead with a hard fought 5-3 win over Bryan Battisto to give Utah Valley a 17-12 advantage. With the contest tied at 2-2 in the third frame, Bastian picked up an escape point and a decisive takedown to seal the victory by two points. Jantzer then recorded a tightly contested 3-2 victory over Dom Ducharme to lock up the dual victory for the Wolverines by taking a 20-12 lead with just one match to go. Deadlocked at 1-1 in the final period, Jantzer picked up the go-ahead takedown and managed to just give up an escape point late, as he held on for the 3-2 win.

    In the final match of the night that marked a rematch from last year's NCAA Championships, CSUB's 14th-ranked Matt Williams picked up the final win of the contest by defeating UVU sophomore 197-pounder Tanner Orndorff by a score of 10-8. Trailing 8-3 in the third, Orndorff responded with an escape and a pair of takedowns to make things close, but in the end Williams managed to hang on to win by two.

    After going a perfect 2-0 on the weekend with wins over Big 12 opponent Fresno State and Pac-12 foe CSUB, the Wolverines will now return home to host fellow Big 12 foe Oklahoma on Friday, Feb. 2 at UVU's Lockhart Arena. The Big 12 Conference dual meet will begin at 7 p.m. MT and will be televised locally on UVU TV.

    285: #26 Dustin Dennison (UVU) Dec. Mark Penyacsek (CSUB), 8-2
    125: #6 Taylor LaMont (UVU) Major Dec. #27 Sergio Mendez (CSUB), 11-3
    133: #28 Sean Nickell (CSUB) Major Dec. Durbin Lloren (UVU), 8-0
    141: Matt Findlay (UVU) Major Dec. Noah Blakely-Beanes (CSUB), 19-6
    149: Kalani Tonge (CSUB) Dec. Matthew Ontiveros (UVU), 6-4
    157: #13 Colemand Hammond (CSUB) Tech Fall Raider Lofthouse (UVU), 20-2 {2:46}
    165: #16 Demetrius Romero (UVU) Dec. Jacob Thalin (CSUB), 8-3
    174: Kimball Bastian (UVU) Dec. Bryan Battisto (CSUB), 5-3
    184: Gary Jantzer (UVU) Dec. Dom Ducharme (CSUB), 3-2
    197: #14 Matt Williams (CSUB) Dec. Tanner Orndorff (UVU), 10-8

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