Utah Valley 18, Stanford 15 • Even in win, Wolverines coach sees room for improvement.
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Orem • It's a sign of where Utah Valley's wrestling program is that a victory against a Pac-12 team isn't anything to get excited about anymore.
On Friday, the Wolverines defeated visiting Stanford 18-15 in a nonconference dual meet. UVU is now 5-0 all-time against the Pac-12, including a victory against Arizona State earlier this season.
Each school won five matches. When UVU wrestlers were successful, they dominated. Four of the five losses, however, were by a point, which left coach Greg Williams disappointed.
"We're a young team, and one of the things we enjoy is progression," Williams said. "I felt like we took a step back. That's mental, and mental will get in the way of progress."
Josh Wilson was one UVU wrestler who didn't disappoint. A qualifier for the NCAA Tournament last year, Wilson started the season slowly.
However, the senior dominated his match Friday at 149 pounds, winning by a major decision, 10-2, against Timmy Boone.
"I was trying to come out and be positive and ready to go," said Wilson, now 4-2 in dual meets this year. "I [won] 3-2 with him last year, so I knew I was in for a battle. I felt if I pushed the pace and wrestled hard, I could do it.
"Sometimes as a captain, you have to set the tone."
Early on, it was Stanford (5-13), coming off its first conference victory, which set the tone at 125 in a battle of redshirt freshmen. UVU's Jade Rauser led for most of the match but lost on a late takedown, 4-3.
However, Utah Valley rebounded to win the next three bouts by wide margins, including two major decisions.
Brett Baumbach, a runner-up in the Pac-12 last year at 165 pounds, provided the Cardinal with their only multi-point victory.
"This is a great win, don't get me wrong," Williams said. "Our goal is to keep getting better and be a ranked team the next couple years. I feel like we're on track for that."