With the upset win, the Wolverines improve to 5-3 on the season and 2-1 in Big 12 dual meets while the nationally ranked Bison drop to 12-4 overall and 2-2 in Big 12 action.
"We've been working really hard on improving every week and we progressed again tonight. We did some things very well, including attacking more than we have been as of late," said head coach Greg Williams. "North Dakota State is a good team and I felt like we did well in dictating the action most of the time. But we did have some lulls that we'll need to correct for tomorrow night (Saturday) against an even higher ranked team (No. 19 South Dakota State)".
Trevor Willson (141 pounds) and Grant LaMont (149) led the way for UVU on the night by each winning their matches by bonus points, which included a big first-period fall from LaMont, while Kimball Bastian (174), Will Sumner (184), Tanner Orndorff (197) and Dustin Dennison (heavyweight) all won their respective bouts by decision. Dennison highlighted the latter group of Utah Valley grapplers, as he scored a 9-3 upset win over No. 25 Ben Tynan.
"The big pin from Grant was huge for us, so was Dustin's win over No. 25 Tynan. Dustin truly dominated the match and looked great." added Williams. "Those two matches were key for us here tonight."
After the Bison deadlocked the score at 16-all after the eighth match of the night, the 31st-ranked Bastian helped UVU regain the lead with a 9-3 decision over NDSU's Dylan Urbach in a must-win bout. The 174-pound Wolverine recorded four takedowns and an escape to improve to 18-9 on the year and give UVU a 19-16 advantage with just one match to go. Sumner then sealed the win for the Wolverines by hanging on to defeat NDSU's Tyler McNutt by a point in a tightly contested 6-5 decision.
Following a scoreless opening period, the Wolverine 184-pounder Sumner managed to pick up a reversal to take a 2-0 lead. After giving up an escape, the UVU sophomore then secured a takedown late in the second period to extend his lead to 4-1. With Sumner later holding to a 6-2 lead, McNutt managed to record a late escape followed by a last-second takedown but it wasn't enough as the Sumner managed to hold on for the decisive victory.
The contest marked just Utah Valley's second all-time win over North Dakota State and its second victory of the season over a nationally ranked foe, as it previously defeated No. 23 Oregon State on Dec. 15 by criteria (17-16).
With the dual beginning at 197 pounds, 24th-ranked Orndorff and Dennison (heavyweight) got the Wolverines off to a strong start with a back-to-back victories to give UVU an early 6-0 lead. Trailing NDSU's Cordell Eaton 4-3 midway through the second stanza, Orndorff (19-10) managed to secure a takedown followed by a third-period escape to defeat Eaton by a score of 6-4. The 19-6 Dennison then followed with a 9-4 upset win over No. 25 Ben Tynan to extend Utah Valley's lead. The Wolverine heavyweight scored a trio of takedowns in the bout coupled with a reversal and a riding time point to easily defeat the ranked Tynan by a score of 9-4.
The Bison then took their only lead of the night, at 7-6, following consecutive wins from No. 4 Joshua Rodriguez (125) and No. 25 Cam Sykora (133), but back answered UVU with a pair of bonus-point wins from Willson (141) and LaMont (149) to regain the lead. The senior Willson started the rally for Utah Valley by dominating his match over NDSU's Taylor Nein. Willson erupted out to an 11-0 lead en route to earning a 12-1 major decision over Nein to give the Wolverines a 10-7 advantage. LaMont then made quick work of his opponent Mitch Friedman by converting an early takedown into a 46-second fall to give UVU six team points and extend its lead to 16-7.
Eighth-ranked Clay Ream (157) at and 20th-ranked Andrew Fogarty (165) then answered for the Bison with respective wins by major decision and technical fall to tie the team score at 16-16, but that's when Bastian and Sumner answered for the Wolverines by pulling out the final two wins of the night to give UVU the upset win.
The match not only marked Utah Valley's second win of the year over a ranked foe, but also its fifth consecutive dual meet to be decided by the final match of the contest.
The Wolverines will conclude the trip at fellow ranked Big 12 foe No. 19 South Dakota State on Saturday. The first match of the dual meet is set for at 6 p.m. MT/7 p.m. CT at Frost Arena and will be streamed live on FloWrestling.org. Following Saturday's dual at South Dakota State, the Wolverines will return home to close their regular season against No. 22 Stanford on Friday, Feb. 10 and fellow Big 12 opponent Northern Colorado on Saturday, Feb. 11.
197: Tanner Orndorff (UVU) Dec. Cordell Eaton (NDSU), 6-4
285: Dustin Dennison (UVU) Dec. #25 Ben Tynan (NDSU), 9-4
125: #4 Joshua Rodriguez (NDSU) Dec. Mitch Brown (UVU), 13-6
133: #25 Cam Sykora (NDSU) MD Jarod Maynes (UVU), 12-3
141: Trevor Willson (UVU) MD Taylor Nein (NDSU), 12-1
149: Grant LaMont (UVU) Fall Mitch Friedman (NDSU), 0:46
157: #8 Clay Ream (NDSU) MD Raider Lofthouse (UVU), 18-9
165: #20 Andrew Fogarty (NDSU) TF Koy Wilkinson (UVU), 18-3 (7:00)
174: Kimball Bastian (UVU) Dec. Dylan Urbach (NDSU), 9-3
184: Will Sumner (UVU) Dec. Tyler McNutt (NDSU), 6-5