By Patrick Carey
CSU-Pueblo’s wrestling team lost to No. 9 Western State Friday night by a score of 29-12 in Massari Arena.
Western State came out strong early and didn’t let up the rest of the night. No. 9 Western State won seven of the ten matches winning the first five matches of the night from 125 pounds up to 157 pounds.
CSU-Pueblo tried to come back winning three consecutive matches at 165 pounds, 174 pounds and 184 pounds. In the 165-pound match, Justin Grant started out slow when his opponent, Zack Frazier got the first takedown. However Justin Grant recovered quickly, reversing him in the first period.
The rest of the match Grant dictated the pace and went on to score a 6-2 decision. The victory gave CSU-Pueblo three points on the scoreboard putting them down 22-3 in the dual.
The 174-pound match between Trevor Grant and Jorge Benitez was a closer match than the previous one. Both wrestlers started out aggressive going for numerous takedown attempts throughout the first period. With time winding down Grant scored a quick takedown at the end of the period taking a lead into the second period.
Trevor Grant had control for the rest of the match and came close to scoring a couple takedowns but went out of bounds each time. Trevor Grant won the match 3-2 reducing Western States lead to 22-6.
“I was really upset how our team started out slow so I was really fired up to win tonight” said Adam Carey.
Carey won the 184-pound match against John Finkbiner by pin at 1:44 in the match. Carey came out aggressive from the start securing two takedowns right away and then finishing Finkbiner. Carey’s pin gave CSU-Pueblo six points cutting the lead down to 22-12 but that would be the final victory of the night.
CSU-Pueblo had a couple of close matches that didn’t go their way earlier in the night. The 149 pound-match between Jake Snider and Justin Keys of Western State was very close with Snider losing a 6-4 decision. Keys got a takedown early in the first period to take a 2-1 lead.
Snider spent the rest of the match trying to come back, he scored a late takedown in the third period but it wasn’t enough for the victory.
The 157 pound-match between Matt Addington and Kurtis Ramsay of Western State was a very close 14-12 decision victory for Ramsay. The match was back and forth as both wrestlers scored repeated takedowns against each other. The difference maker in the match was when Ramsay scored three near fall points in the match to clinch the victory.
Western State proved to be too much for CSU-Pueblo scoring bonus points in four of their seven victories. Western State overwhelmed CSU-Pueblo early being the aggressor in most of the matches, they scored takedowns early and often while working for bonus points.
CSU-Pueblo is 2-6 in dual matches this year and will be wrestling against Grand Canyon University Wednesday, Jan. 26 at Massari Arena.