Jan. 28, 2015 By Chris Clapper
In the last conference dual meet of the year, the UW-Whitewater Warhawks wrestling team participated in the WIAC conference match up against the No. 5 ranked UW-LaCrosse Eagles.
Both teams entered the night undefeated in the conference, they were again wrestling for top of the WIAC conference dominance.
The ’Hawks got out to a 13-3 lead on the back of No. 4 ranked 149 pounder Elroy Perkin in the match against No. 2 ranked Kasey Einerson. After jumping out to a 7-2 lead in the first period, Perkin finished with a major decision and four points for the ’Hawks.
“Honestly, I thought it [the match] was going to be a lot tougher than it ended up being,” Perkin said. “I expected him to come out and be tough because he was undefeated this year, but I knew that my stuff was better than his was.”
Head coach Ned Shuck was impressed with Perkin’s performance.
“I was really impressed with his ability to score from multiple positions, and he just wrestled a total complete match, so that was really exciting to see,” Shuck said.
Other ’Hawks with memorable nights included junior Shane Siefert, the consensus top wrestler at 197 pounds, defeating No. 5 ranked Eric Twohey with an 8-3 decision and senior 285 pounder Anthony Edgren with a 9-0 major decision, over Cody Endres.
The meet ended with a 23-9 ’Hawks victory and competition that was closer than the score would indicate.
The ’Hawks turned its attention to its own tournament, the Rocky Rococo Border Brawls, where it went 2-0 in an excellent showing deserving of the No. 2 ranking in the country.
The ’Hawks defeated Concordia University-Wis. 32-12 with Zac Denny, Matt Adcock, Siefert, and Perkin all earning technical falls. They followed that match up with a 38-0 dismantling of North Central College.
“This is probably one of the most important tournaments of the year,” Perkin said. “It’s a big deal, it’s a really hard individual tournament where we take our 10 best guys, and if you come out of that tournament a champion, it’s really good for your national seeding.”
The team looks forward to the Wheaton Invitational, which is typically the final tune up before the national tournament. It has garnered such a reputation that the team has begun calling it the “mini-national tournament.”
“This tournament will be a really good test for us because it’s so tough and will get us ready for conference, regionals and nationals,” Shuck said.
The tournament is next weekend at 11 a.m. on Jan. 30 and 9 a.m. on Jan. 31 in Wheaton, Illinois.