Wrestling loses lead against UW-L

Loss means La Crosse jumps into 1st place in WIAC

Carter Secor, Staff Reporter

The No.19 ranked UW-Whitewater Wrestling squad was unable to hold off a late run Thursday night in Whitewater as they fell to No.9 ranked UW-La Crosse 25-20.

The Warhawks and Eagles competed in a close affair featuring close matches as both squads were able to take five out of 10 matches each. Whitewater had a 20-10 point advantage after seven matches.

With crunch time approaching, La Crosse’s Connor Williams was able to score a major decision over Nick Sundberg, sparking the rally that was polished off by La Crosse’s Isaac Lahr and Isaac Gust who both scored falls over their opponents and won the duel 25-20. This result placed the Eagles at the top of the conference standings. Their overall record is 6-4. Whitewater fell to third place with an 8-6 record on the season.

Head Coach Matt Zwaschka felt good about his squad’s performance in the meet despite the outcome.

“Anytime you wrestle La Crosse it’s a big conference rival. It’s always going to be a tough due,” said Zwaschka after the meet. “We won some tight matches. We got some good bonus points in matches where they were trying to keep it close. Overall I was happy with our effort. I think we got to be smarter when we’re wrestling out there. Besides that, I’m happy with the way our guys are training right now and I like the way that we’re projecting forward.”

While Whitewater was unable to put the Eagles away, there were some bright spots for the squad, including Hazen Rice continuing his 18 match undefeated streak with an 11-2 major decision over La Crosse’s Hayden Schlough.

“It feels good, I’m taking it one match at a time,” Rice said on his 18-0 season. “You’re only as good as your last match. I feel good about my season so far.”

Another highlight of the night was Mike Tortorice starting off the night with a strong 11-2 major decision over Sawyer Sarbacker where he took control late in the first period and never let it go.

“It felt awesome, being able to get a major decision,” said Tortorice. “I just kept pushing the pace and knew he’d get tired. I just brushed it off after getting taken down. I wasn’t worried.”

The Warhawks will hope to return to form and continue their season when they face off against UW-Eau Claire in the Kachel Gymnasium on Tuesday, Jan. 21.