Pioneers win first home dual over UW-Eau Claire

It was a successful home opener Dec. 5 for the Pioneer wrestling team, as they won their dual against University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, 29-16.

Freshman Aaric Spencer, junior Robbie Kerr, sophomore Randy Wade and freshman Kyle Andreae all won their individual matches, helping University of Wisconsin-Platteville succeed on the night.

After the first three matches of the night were forfeits due to the Blugolds and Pioneers not having a wrestler at those weights, Spencer, wrestling at 157 pounds, was the first to earn a win for the Pioneers.

After a back-and-forth first period, Spencer secured the only Pioneer pin of the night after 46 seconds into the second round.

“I came out really slow,” Spencer said. “Then, the second period started and it started to turn around for me; I caught him off guard and won. I feel the team has come a long way, and it was a great way to start the season.”

Following Spencer, Kerr won by an 11-5 decision at 165 pounds over UW-Eau Claire’s Matthew Laugen. Kerr scored five points in the third period to secure the win.

At 174 pounds, Wade won a 12-4 major decision victory over Blugold Jacob Hoffstatter to bring the Pioneers team score to 25-10 with two matches left, sealing the win for the Pioneers.

Heavyweight Kyle Andreae finished the night with a 15-7 major decision, after scoring eight points in the third period.

“I think I saw a lot of things we have been working on in the practice room pay off tonight,” Pioneer head coach Chris Walter said.  “I saw some real improvement from before Thanksgiving. We had a good, first home meet.”

The Pioneers traveled to Milwaukee this weekend to compete in the MSOE Invitational, where eight UW-Platteville wrestlers placed in the top six of their brackets, while the team, as a whole, placed sixth of 12 teams.

Sophomore Cole Ferguson, who won by forfeit against the Blugolds, placed third in the 125-pound bracket at MSOE. Sophomore Mason Bohm, who also won by forfeit against UW-Eau Claire, took fourth at MSOE.

Spencer and Andreae took fifth in their brackets, while junior Trent Larson and senior Nathan Schmitz also took fifth in the 165- and 184-pound brackets.

The Pioneers wrestled another conference dual at University of Wisconsin-La Crosse last night and will wrestle tomorrow night at home against University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.