Wrestling team remains optimistic after string of losses

Blugold wrestling narrowly defeated by the Pioneers at dual meet

Lea Kopke

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Photo by Gabbie Henn

The crowd looks on as a Blugold wrestler takes on UW-Platteville. Next, the Blugolds will wrestle in a dual meet against UW-Stevens Point on Dec. 12.

After a closely fought battle, the Blugolds wrestling team was defeated by the UW-Platteville Pioneers at their home dual meet last Friday.

The Blugolds went into intermission with a lead of 8-6 after major decision wins by both David Dudych, a second-year, and Thomas Severson, a first-year.

The Pioneers took back the lead after the break, but Connor Hanson, a fourth-year, kept the Blugolds within one point of the Pioneers after winning by a decision of 5-2. Going into the final match, Blugolds remained just two points behind the Pioneers, thanks to second-year Evan Lawrence’s major decision win.

In the end, the Blugolds were defeated in the final match, leading to a loss against the Pioneers of 15-20. Despite this being the fourth dual loss of the season, Coach Tim Fader remains optimistic on the outlook of the wrestling season.

“Our fight and pride was a good environment for the dual,” Fader said. “We didn’t give up bonus points, which we had done a lot in the first three duals. Saving points is an important part of wrestling, and something we’ll continue to improve on.”

Connor Hanson, a fourth-year Kinesiology student and returning wrestler, echoed Fader’s satisfaction with the energy of the meet.

“Everyone who wrestled put in a lot of effort and had high energy,” Hanson said. “Everyone wanted to win for the team and you could tell from the cheering from the bench and crowd that everyone was really into the meet. We had positive energy and we wanted to win.”

As the season continues, Fader is confident the team will continue to improve.

“We’ve improved since the meet two nights before because in a couple of weight classes our guys were able to try out new techniques that we taught them,” Fader said. “We’re still early in the season, and we’ve gone through a number of different wrestlers in different weight classes. We’re going to continue to get healthy and work hard to figure out what our best lineup is.”

The Blugolds will wrestle in another dual meet against UW-Stevens Point on Dec. 12 before heading out to Nebraska for their last competition of the year on Dec. 15. After returning from winter break, the wrestling team will continue to compete.

“Wrestling is a long season and it’s a grind,” Hanson said. “I’m just being optimistic and looking to improve at every practice and event. It’s my last season, so I’m looking forward to competing with the team. I’ll never have the opportunity to wrestle in college again. It’s a unique experience and I’m excited for all that we have going up. We’re only going to get better.”

Kopke can be reached at [email protected]