Wrestlers struggle in conference

Zach Perry

Zach Perry

Conference matches have not been kind to the SDSU wrestling team this season, as the Jackrabbits dropped a pair of duals over the weekend in their first conference road tests of the season.

On Jan. 30, the Jacks (7-8-1, 0-3 WWC) took on the Cowboys of Wyoming in Laramie and struggled from the start. Wyoming (9-2, 2-0 WCC) won the first seven matches of the evening on their way to a 38-7 victory. The ending was never in doubt, as the Cowboys were up 33-0 before SDSU was able to notch a win.

The first win on the night for the Jacks was a 10-2 major decision for No. 16 Tyler Sorenson in the 197-pound class. Undefeated on the year, Sorenson continues to prove that he deserves to be recognized as one of the nation’s top wrestlers in his class.

SDSU’s Jason Stripling followed Sorenson’s performance with a win of his own in the heavyweight class – a 3-0 decision against Jacob Scharbrough, which made the overall score 33-7.

At 174 pounds, SDSU freshman Scott Elliot came close to taking down a ranked opponent in No. 19 Shane Onufer and was within two points late in the match. But in the end, Onufer managed to do just enough to secure an 8-5 decision.

On Jan. 31, the Jackrabbits fell 31-19 in a match against the Air Force Academy Falcons in Colorado. It was the first conference win for Air Force (4-9, 1-3 WWC), and it left SDSU still seeking their first conference victory on the season.

The Falcons took a quick 12-0, but the Jacks battled back. In the 141-pound class, Dustin Walraven recorded a pin of Derek Gillespie at 3:41 to make the score 12-6. In the next match, Nick Flynn would add to SDSU’s point total with a 5-2 decision in the 149-pound class, running the overall score to 12-9.

That was as close as the Jackrabbits would get as Air Force went on to win the next four matches of the evening to take a 31-9 lead.

The Jackrabbits were not quite done, as once again No. 16 Sorenson impressed with a 19-5 major decision against James Ciccone. With the victory, Sorenson kept his win streak intact and is now an unblemished 9-0 on the season.

In the next match, Stripling would improve to 15-1 in duals with a pin of Stephen Larson at 5:07. Stripling was behind 3-1 in the match after two periods but tied it at 3-3 in the third before recording the fall. Stripling is now 27-9 overall on the year.

SDSU will return home to Frost Arena in search of that illusive conference victory against the Utah Valley Wolverines at 7 p.m. on Feb. 6. Utah Valley (7-2, 1-0 WCC) will come into the match having won their last seven duals on the season.