COLLEGE WRESTLING: Top-ranked Raiders overcome early deficit to defeat Lady Argos

·4 min read
Providence 116-pounder Ashley Gooman takes down Southern Oregon's Carol Johnson during their dual at the conclusion of the Battle of the Rockies Tournament Saturday at McLaughlin Center. Gooman won the bout by pinfall.
Providence 116-pounder Ashley Gooman takes down Southern Oregon's Carol Johnson during their dual at the conclusion of the Battle of the Rockies Tournament Saturday at McLaughlin Center. Gooman won the bout by pinfall.

The University of Providence women wrestlers started like a house on fire Saturday evening as the Battle of the Rockies concluded at McLaughlin Center.

Unfortunately, top-ranked Southern Oregon had a fire extinguisher.

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The Lady Raiders got the final word in between the two NAIA-ranked teams, scoring a 31-17 dual victory in the final act of the 2021 tournament, the last home appearance for the Lady Argos this season until the Cascade Collegiate Conference Championships Feb. 27.

The extinguisher for the Raiders turned out to be their heavier weights. The Lady Argos took the first three bouts, but SOU rebounded to win six of the last seven, all by pinfall.

Ivy Navarro, the No. 1 girl in the country at 101 pounds, rolled to a 10-0 technical fall over the Raiders' Karly Scott to put the Lady Argos up 4-0.

"I kind of started off slow, but I did pretty good, I think," the senior from Lahaina, Hawaii said.

At 109, Lana Hunt earned what amounted to a pinfall victory (worth five points in women's wrestling, compared with six in men's) when her opponent, Valeree Orenelas, injured her knee and could not continue after an injury timeout.

Ashley Gooman made it 14-0 when she pinned Carol Johnson at 116 pounds, then Southern Oregon methodically picked apart the Lady Argos' advantage. Only Paige Respicio, at 136 pounds, earned Providence's final points via a 3-2 decision over Jordynn Robson.

Head coach Matt Atwood confirmed that the Raiders' No. 1 ranking in both the CCC as well as the nation is not a joke.

"No, it's not, but I think we gave up some matches that we didn't need to lose," Atwood, in his first full year as the helm of the Lady Argos, said. "I'm not sure there was a match in that dual that we should have lost, honestly.

University of Providence assistant women's coach Yurie Yoneoka, left, gives Lady Argo 109-pound wrestler Lana Hunt a demonstration during an injury timeout while head coach Matt Atwood looks on Saturday during the Lady Argos' dual with Southern Oregon at McLaughlin Center. Hunt won her bout by injury default.
University of Providence assistant women's coach Yurie Yoneoka, left, gives Lady Argo 109-pound wrestler Lana Hunt a demonstration during an injury timeout while head coach Matt Atwood looks on Saturday during the Lady Argos' dual with Southern Oregon at McLaughlin Center. Hunt won her bout by injury default.

"We gave up some pins that didn't need to happen, but we're ranked 14th in the country, and they're ranked No. 1. We put up a good performance tonight, and I think we should have won that dual. We're doing a lot of good things, there's a lot of stuff that we can fix, I think, after seeing where we're at, dominating that dual at one point 17-3.

"I think the girls are now starting to believe just how good they are," he added. "It wasn't a runaway. Every match was a battle, and we have got to learn to win those close matches."

For the Lady Argos, it was their first dual matchup of the season following their second-place finish at the Battle of the Rockies open on Friday. Next up for the Argo women will be the weekend of Jan. 6-7 at the National Duals in Louisville, KY.

THE PROVIDENCE MEN DIDN'T have any individual champions during the Battle of the Rockies men's open Saturday morning, but as a team, they squeezed out a first-place finish by three points over conference rival Montana State-Northern, 167-163.

A pair of freshmen, Dante Reviglio and Dougie Swanson, did come the closest to championships for the Argos. Reviglio, from Yerinton, Nevada, dropped a 5-2 decision to Dickinson State's Tayt Wolding at 149 pounds, while former Missoula Big Sky standout Swanson narrowly lost a 4-3 count to Hunter Meinzen, a former Big Sky state champion (145 pounds) who committed to Oregon State.

Gavin Gies, after faltering in the 149-pound semifinals, went through the back door and decisioned Northern's Colin Silverthorn. At 174, the Argos' Payton Hume also had a third-place outcome after he earned a 13-2 major decision over Southern Oregon's Ayden Wolgamott, and Alan Badley took third at 184 when he stopped Seth Suvak of Dickinson State at 2:22 of the first period.

Former Great Falls High standout Liam Swanson decisioned Southern Oregon's John White for third place, and heavyweights KC Buday and Rafael Leapaga, who had met in the quarterfinals (Buday won by decision), chose not to battle for the consolation prize.

Lee Vernoy covers sports and much more for the Tribune. Email him at lvernoy@greatfallstribune.com or tribsports@greatfallstribune.com, and follow him on Twitter @GFTrib_LVernoy.

This article originally appeared on Great Falls Tribune: Battle of the Rockies: Raiders defeat Lady Argos

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