The student news site of University of Wisconsin-Platteville.


The student news site of University of Wisconsin-Platteville.


The student news site of University of Wisconsin-Platteville.


Wrestling falls to No. 5 Warhawks

The Pioneers put up a fight, but the talent of the no. 5 University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Warhawks wrestling team prevailed 31-9.

The dual was the Pioneers WIAC and home debut this season, and the young squad started the contest with a surprise.

University of Wisconsin-Platteville freshman Cole Ferguson picked up a 4-3 win over UW-Whitewater’s Trevor Pruett in the 125-round match.  Ferguson used a up-tempo pace to score and was able to keep Pruett on the mat for the last ten seconds of the third round to secure the win.

“Cole really wore (Pruett) down. Put constant pressure on him. Pruett’s weight cut really hurt him in the end,” Pioneers head coach Chris Walter said.

The Warhawks answered quickly, winning the next three matches, one of which by pin, which gave them the lead in the dual 12-3.

The Pioneers scored again when senior Peter Crocco faced off with UW-Whitewater’s Willie Anaya at 157 lbs. Anaya suffered a shoulder injury in the first round but decided to wrestle on.  Early in the second round, Crocco turned a visibly hurt Anaya to his back for an easy pin.

“Pete really mixed up his offense well and kept getting in his oppenent’s face, which helped him win the match,” Walter said.

The win for the Pioneers put the team down by just three halfway through the match, 12-9.

The Warhawks responded by sweeping the last five matches of the night.  Pioneers’ 285-pound freshman Josh Dust had the closest match of the dual’s second half, dropping a tight 4-3 decision to UW-Whitewater’s Justin Birchbach in double overtime.

Walter was visibly upset after the last match.

“Those one- and two-point matches are really the difference in winning and losing duals,” Walter said.

Despite the loss, Walter was happy with his team’s will.

“We started seven freshman, and we really battled well against the number-five ranked team in the nation,” Walter said.

The Pioneers had a quick turnaround after the dual, competing in the Knox open Nov. 10.

Freshman Mason Baum placed second in the 155-pound division, junior Austin Holland won third place in the 174-pound bracket, while Ferguson and freshman Mike Uliana took fifth place in the 125-pound and 165-pound brackets, respectively.

“I was really aggressive in the top position and was able to use my leg rides to score,” Holland said. “I also won some scrambles.”

Walter was also happy with the Pioneers’ development in between competitions.

“We cut down on the mistakes that we made Thursday on Saturday, and that’s what we want to see,” Walter said.

The Pioneers will travel to Mequon on Saturday for the Concordia Open.

Walter referred to the meet as “Fall semester Nationals” because of the strong competition that the 32-team field presents.

The tournament features mostly NCAA Division III opponenets from Midwestern states like Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin, including the top-ranked team in the nation for D-III wrestling, Wartburg.

“We want to see the same improvement between meets that we have been,” Walter said.

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Wrestling falls to No. 5 Warhawks