Warhawk grapplers wrap up strong regular season

Warhawk grapplers wrap up strong regular season

Augie Spankowski, Staff Reporter

As the University of UW-Whitewater wrestling team spends the weekend preparing for the NCAA Division III Regional Championships next weekend (February 23-24th), here’s a recap of their successful 2017-18 regular season.

The Warhawks finished off the season with an overall record of 10-5, remaining undefeated in conference (5-0).

This season was decorated with standout performances, both individually and as a team. At the Candlewood Suite Duals at UW-La Crosse, the Warhawks managed to overthrow No. 1 ranked Wartburg (Iowa) in a 21-20 upset victory. They finished third in both the Pete Wilson Invitational in Illinois and the Spartan Mat Classic in Indiana before claiming second in last weekend’s (Feb.9) WIAC Conference Championship in Whitewater.

The team has just two graduating seniors this year, Jordan Newman and Austin Quartullo, who have both had themselves standout seasons while filling vital leadership roles for the team. Newman, the No. 1 ranked wrestler at 197 pounds and returning 184-pound national champion, finished the regular season with a record of 21-2, and leads the team with 11 pins. Remarkably, Newman was only taken down ten times this entire regular season, and was also crowned champ at last weekend’s WIAC Conference Championships. Quartullo was also able to finish in first place last weekend, and finished his last regular season with a 21-9 record.

But the seniors weren’t the only standouts. This season, the team came equipped with an arsenal of dominate sophomores: Hazen Rice finished with a record of 23-6, Devin Tortorice finished at 17-2, Mike Tortorice at 27-3 and Wilder Wichman at 28-9 (95-20 collectively). Two of this season’s most remarkable stats include the season total takedowns/conceded ratio from Mike Tortorice (63/15) and Wilder Wichman (83/30), a testament to their mat IQ and efficiency on their feet.

Looking ahead to the postseason and NCAA Division III Regional next weekend (Feb. 23-24), the team’s focus to consistently improve will remain unchanged.

“The biggest thing is consistency in training and continuing to look forward to the future,”  head coach Ned Shuck said.

Shuck also stressed the importance of making sure the team finishes up strong academically and keep up with their training.

The Warhawks kick off postseason play Feb. 23-24 at the NCAA Regional Championships in Minneapolis, Minnesota.