(Argo Athletics Media Release)
GREAT FALLS, Mont. – A multi-dual night brought the (T17) University of Providence women’s wrestling team’s best dual performance of its brief history, keeping it close in a 20-15 loss to (12) Southern Oregon University after falling to the University of Regina 38-6 earlier in the night.
The night’s first dual came against the U of R Cougars, a Canadian that isn’t in the WCWA. UP’s thin numbers in lighter weight classes led to three forfeits to Regina in the first four matches. When the team did actually wrestle, the Cougars were the stronger side, winning four of the five matches that actually had two wrestlers competing.
Junior (5) Tatum Sparks was the team’s one winner, getting a win by Fall (1:26) over Regina’s Haley Pearce at 170. Even before the pin, Sparks was already dominating. She led 10-0 which would have ended the match with a technical fall even if she didn’t complete the Fall.
UP’s sixth team point came from Sparks’ former junior college teammate, Kaylynn Hixenbaugh at 130. The junior lost by technical fall (14-4) but score 4 points early in the match to earn a point for the Lady Argos.
Later in the night, the Lady Argos took on SOU and that one was much closer. Based on forfeits that were expected heading into the match, the Raiders came in with a 5 point advantage. That proved to be the difference in the 20-15 contest, and for just the second time in program history, multiple Lady Argos won their match in a dual.
To accommodate a planned exhibition at the end of the dual, Sparks went first in the dual, wrestling up a weight class at 191. She once again demonstrated why she is one of the WCWA’s best wrestlers, winning by Fall (1:06) while already holding an 8-0 lead.
The win from Sparks was no surprise, but the 136 bout brought an unexpected result. Freshman Gabrielle Hernandez entered the day without a win in competition for the Lady Argos, but she changed that against SOU’s Kirra Saunders.
Hernandez earned the match’s first takedown but soon gave up an equalizer. That didn’t deter her and she took a 4-2 lead by the end of the first period. The second period was all Hernandez, who scored 8 straight points to win by technical fall (12-2).
While, the dual wasn’t the closest of the Lady Argo’s inaugural season with the team losing to Warner Pacific 18-17 in November, almost all of UP’s points against WPC came from forfeits.
The loss brings UP’s dual record to 0-4 on the year. Next for the team will be a road trip to Oregon for the Oregon Classic Dual Tournament on January 13.