The Utah Valley University wrestling team closes its regular season Saturday when Northern Colorado comes to town. The contest will mark Senior Night for UVU as a pair of four-year letterwinners in Adam Fager and Ethan Smith will be honored prior to the first match.
The Western Wrestling Conference dual meet begins at 7 p.m., in the PE Building. Live video will be available on the Wolverine Green website, while live results can also be followed by visiting the Trackwrestling website.
The Wolverines enter the regular season finale 2-8 on the season and 1-3 in WWC action. UVU has dropped it last four duals, including two conference contests in the Dakotas last weekend.
After falling to South Dakota State by a score of 27-10 on Feb. 6, the Wolverines responded by wrestling better against No. 24 North Dakota State in Fargo the following day. UVU dropped the contest by a score of 24-13, but won four of the 10 bouts including a major decision from junior Jade Rauser at 133 pounds and a huge upset victory from fellow junior Chasen Tolbert over No. 13 Josh Rodriguez at 125.
Tolbert earned WWC Wrestler of the Week honors earlier this week after knocking off the higher ranked foe, as well as jumping four spots in the national rankings as he now finds himself 16th in the most recent InterMat poll. He is second on the team with a 14-5 record and has won three-straight matches, including two over ranked foes. Rauser leads the Wolverines with a 19-6 clip and has won five of his last six bouts.
UVU will recognize its two seniors on Saturday for their stellar careers in a Wolverine uniform. Fager is one of the most decorated wrestlers in school history as he holds a career record of 74-36 at heavyweight and is a just one of five Wolverines to be a multiple qualifier for the NCAA Championships as he is a two-time qualifier. After transferring to Utah Valley from Purdue, the 174-pound Smith too has had a strong career for the Wolverines as he's recorded 52 wins at UVU (52-48), as well as earning third team all-conference honors during his redshirt freshman campaign.
About Northern Colorado
The Bears come to Orem with a 2-5 record and a 0-2 clip in WWC duals. UNC will take on Colorado Mesa in Grand Junction, Colorado, on Thursday night before traveling to Orem to face UVU on Saturday. Northern Colorado picked up one of its two wins over Grand Canyon a couple of weeks ago, and it also holds a win over Cal Poly on the year.
Senior 165-pounder Mitchell Polkowske leads the Bears with a 16-4 record on the year, while sophomore Trey Andrews is next at 15-8 at 125 pounds. Andrews is currently ranked 20th on the most recent NCAA Coaches' Panel Ranking, while Polkowske comes in at 22nd.
Saturday's contest will mark the 15th all-time meeting between UVU and UNC. The series is deadlocked at 7-all, but the Wolverines have won the past two meetings with a 25-12 victory in Greeley last year and a 39-0 shutout in Orem two years ago.
Up next for the Wolverines
UVU is off until the NCAA West Regional/WWC Championships that take place March 7, in Fargo, North Dakota. There, 10 Wolverines will try to punch their tickets to the NCAA Championships that run March 19-21, in St. Louis, Missouri.
James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.