Three of Utah Valley's (4-10, 0-4 Big 12) four seniors capped their home careers with a victory on Saturday, while 18th-ranked senior Chasen Tolbert sat the contest out with an injury.
"The guys came out with a lot of energy tonight. They were excited to wrestling in front of the crowd being the last home meet and Senior Night," said head coach Greg Williams. "That was the most consistent effort that we've had throughout our lineup where everyone came out and wrestling with a lot of energy."
Redshirt sophomore Jarod Maynes got the Wolverines off to a strong start with a hard earned 5-4 decision over GCU's (5-19) Uzo Owuama in the opening bout of the contest at 141 pounds. Junior Trevor Willson (149) and redshirt freshman Raider Lofthouse (157) then followed with back-to-back first-period falls to catapult UVU to an early 15-0 lead.
Following a trio of decision victories by sophomore Brayden Humpherys (165), senior Ross Taylor (174) and redshirt freshman Will Sumner (184) -- by respective scores of 5-4, 8-4 and 5-4 -- senior 197-pounder Derek Thomas returned to the lineup for the first time since late December with a bang as he earned a 15-0 technical fall victory over GCU's Austin Trujillo. Thomas recorded a pair of takedowns and a trio of nearfalls en route to his 10th victory of the season (10-3).
After a win by forfeit by sophomore Dustin Dennison at heavyweight and a double forfeit at 125, senior 133-pounder Jade Rauser capped the contest with a 14-4 major decision over Trayton Libolt. Rauser was the aggressor in the match, as he jumped out to a 10-3 first-period lead following four takedowns and a two-point nearfall. He then sealed his 12th win in his last 13 matches with two more takedowns in the second stanza. With the victory, the three-time UVU NCAA qualifier now sits in sixth place on the all-time school record books with a 70-28 career record.
The contest marked the 2015-16 regular-season finale for UVU and was its first shutout victory since it blanked Northern Colorado by the same score (39-0) on Jan. 26, 2013.
The Wolverines will now prepare for their first trip to the Big 12 Championships on March 5-6 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri. There, UVU will try to qualify as many of its 10 grapplers that it can for the NCAA Championships that will be held March 17-19 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
141: Jarod Maynes (UVU) over Uzo Owuama (GCU), Dec. 5-4
149: Trevor Willson (UVU) over Joseph Huber (GCU), Fall 2:46
157: Raider Lofthouse (UVU) over Steven Abayon (GCU), Fall 1:20
165: Brayden Humpherys (UVU) over Casey Larson (GCU), Dec. 5-4
174: Ross Taylor (UVU) over Kenneth Moore (GCU), Dec. 8-4
184: Will Sumner (UVU) over Austin Gaun (GCU), Dec. 4-3
197: Derek Thomas (UVU) over Austin Trujillo (GCU), TF 15-0 (6:09)
285: Dustin Dennison (UVU) over Unknown, For.
125: Double Forfeit
133: Jade Rauser (UVU) over Trayton Libolt (GCU), MD 14-4
Exhibition: Trayton Libolt (GCU) over Tyler Scott (UVU), Fall 4:27