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Warriors battle in Blue Chip OCU Open

Waldorf Warriors LogoBy Waldorf Sports Information Director

OKLAHOMA CITY – Six members of the Waldorf University women’s wrestling team battled in the Blue Chip Oklahoma City University (OCU) Women’s Open, closing out the two-day tournament on Saturday.

“The ladies wrestled hard this weekend,” Waldorf coach Tyreece Gilder said. “We had some gutsy performances both in wins and losses.”

Freshman Dennielle Phillip earned 11th place at 116 pounds for the Warriors, putting together a 4-3 tournament record. Sophomore Abigail Flores (155 pounds) secured 13th with a 5-3 record on the weekend.

Waldorf junior Rose Heurtelou (109) claimed 14th, winning three of seven matches. Junior Bailey McLaughlin (136) placed 15th while sophomores Victoria Lyons(136) and Amanda Mercier (109) each finished 19th.

The Blue Chip OCU Women’s Open featured a large and stacked field, which pitted the Warriors against some of the best grapplers in the nation.

“This tournament is always one to get to,” Gilder said. “You always get to see tons of top competition. It really shows us where we’re at and right now, we’re not where we want to be.”

Phillip (4-5) opened the tournament losing by fall to Bacone College’s Laylani Allen in 49 seconds. Following a second-round bye, Phillip bounced back to pin Bacone’s Star Chase in 2 minutes, 32 seconds. Emmanuel College’s Victoria Gutierrez won by decision over Phillip, who responded with back-to-back victories. Phillip claimed a 3-0 decision against Menlo College’s Autum Pacheco and dominated MacMurray College’s Edith Martinez in a 10-0 technical fall. Oklahoma City’s Cassidy Jasperson put together an 11-0 technical fall over Phillip in a consolation semifinal match. Phillip won the 11th-place bout, topping Pacheco by decision.

Flores (8-5) squared off against Menlo’s Iman Kazem, who’s ranked No. 6 in the latest Women’s Collegiate Wrestling Association (WCWA) poll. Kazem won the opening-round match with an 11-0 technical fall. Flores rebounded as she scored a fall over MacMurray’s Jezebel Pardo in 3:36. McKendree University’s Andrea Sennett secured an 18-3 technical fall against Flores in the third round. Flores notched a 7-2 decision over Midland University’s Gabriela Hunter and rolled to a 12-2 technical fall in a fifth-round match against McKendree’s Kerlie Richemond. Emmanuel’s Ophelia Lara took an 8-4 decision from Flores in a consolation quarterfinal. Flores closed out the tournament strong, pinning Midland’s Michelle MacDavid in 2:54 and winning by fall over Pardo in 2:53 during the 13th-place bout.

Heurtelou (3-6) was defeated by Lindenwood University’s seventh-ranked Tori Degginger in a 12-0 technical fall during the opening round. MacMurray’s Eymie Moreno won a 10-0 technical fall over Heurtelou, who received a third-round bye. Heurtelou got on the winning track, making quick work of Emmanuel’s Jesse Childs with a 26-second pin. She earned her second straight fall over Wayland Baptist University’s Clarissa Martinez in 2:14 during the fifth round. Ottawa University’s Tabitha Sparks edged Heurtelou in an 8-6 decision. Heurtelou won by injury default over Lindenwood’s eighth-ranked Andrey Diaz and closed out the tournament losing a 10-0 technical fall to McKendree’s Katherine Sumner in the 13th-place match.

McLaughlin (2-5) earned an opening-round bye and was handed a second-round loss as Emmanuel’s Abigail Nette scored a 14-4 technical fall. McLaughlin picked up an 8-2 decision over McKendree’s Samantha Barrientos. Oklahoma City’s Natalia Hinojo brought down McLaughlin in a 10-0 technical fall. Menlo’s Solin Piearcy pinned McLaughlin in 1:33. Missouri Valley College’s Anna Poyner earned a 12-2 technical fall over McLaughlin, who then lost a 12-2 technical fall to Lindenwood’s Jasmine Hernandez. McLaughlin won the 15th-place bout by injury default over Oklahoma City’s Brianna Holcomb.

Lyons (2-8) lost a 10-0 technical fall to McKendree’s Alexia Ward in the first round and lost by fall to MacMurray’s Hailey Meyers in 24 seconds in the following round. Wayland Baptist’s Brittany Bates pinned Lyons in 1:43 and Bacone’s Tatiana Velazquez scored a 59-second fall over Lyons. Ottawa’s Jenna Wilson escaped with an 8-4 decision over Lyons, who won the consolation quarterfinal by disqualification against Bacone’s Linette Ambriz.

Mercier (1-7) was pinned by Campbellsville University’s Charlotte Fowler in 2:28 during the opening round. McKendree’s Vanessa Ramirez won a 10-0 technical fall against Mercier, who then lost by fall to Bacone’s Christy Satterfield in 4:28 in the third round. Menlo’s Brandy Illac-Wong earned a 10-0 technical fall over Mercier. After back-to-back byes, Mercier fell short in an 8-4 decision to Emmanuel’s Cristal Reyes. Mercier ended the tournament by pinning Childs in 1:34 during the 19th-place match.

Facing solid competition during the weekend, Waldorf’s team is progressing through the first two tournaments of the season. Further improvement will be a priority for the Warriors, who return to action on Nov. 5 in the Can-Am Open at Jamestown, North Dakota at 9 a.m.

“I’m happy about the effort level, but we have adjustments to make,” Gilder said. “We have a couple of weeks to make them. Consistency is going to be key.”