Wrestling falls to UW-Stevens Point

For almost two decades, the volleyball program at UW-Eau Claire had one leader, one mentor and one head coach. Lisa Herb, in her 18th season as the Blugolds head volleyball coach, has seen more athletes develop on and off the court than most coaches could ever dream of.

Story by The Spectator Staff

The UW-Eau Claire men’s wrestling team lost 47-3 on Saturday to nationally ranked UW-Stevens Point. The meet, which was at  McPhee Center, was the men’s last meet of the regular season.

Sophomore Mat Rieckhoff, who wrestles at 184 pounds, was the only Blugold to win his match. He beat Stevens Point’s Andy Borchardt 6-1. The win puts Rieckhoff at 28-12 on the season.

“I went out there with the mentality that I wasn’t going to give up any points and I focused on staying in good position the whole time,” Rieckhoff said.

Head coach Russ Peloquin had only good things to say about Rieckhoff’s performance.

“His opponent was a pretty tough kid, but Mat was able to wear him down and break him and score a bunch of points,” Peloquin said. “It was a good win for Mat.”

Although the numbers don’t show it, the Blugolds had some close matches throughout the night. Junior Ryan Seidler, who wrestles at 149 pounds, lost 8-6. Freshman Brandon Stradel, who wrestles at 157 pounds, lost 10-8 in overtime.

Coach Peloquin said that Stradel’s opponent was nationally ranked earlier in the season.

“Even though he didn’t win, it was a good, hard-fought match for Brandon,” Peloquin said. “I’m not sure Brandon even realized how good the kid he was up against was.”

Peloquin also said that Stevens Point is traditionally a strong program. They are currently ranked 26th in the nation, and he said they are consistently within the top 20.

The men have a few things to work on in preparation for the WIAC Championship this coming weekend.

“We need to focus on not giving up so many points, keeping matches close, and always staying in a position to win,” Rieckhoff said.

Peloquin believes that his team needs to get going earlier in their matches in order to come out with the win.

“Sometimes they’re waiting longer than they should and their opponent starts to dictate what happens throughout the match,” he said.

With their loss on Saturday, the Blugold men drop to 5-18 overall on the season. The WIAC Championship will take place on Feb. 26 at UW-Whitewater.