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Warriors finish season in national tournament

waldorf-warriors-outline_1By Matt Oliver

OKLAHOMA CITY – Eight members of the Waldorf College women’s wrestling team hit the mats on the biggest stage, closing out the season with hard-fought efforts in the Women’s Collegiate Wrestling Association (WCWA) National Championships this weekend.
“There were really good moments this weekend, but we need those same moments for a solid six minutes each time they step in the circle to come out and do well at the big one,” Waldorf coach Tyreece Gilder said.
Rachael Coleck (130 pounds) and Justice Losee (143) posted 2-2 records to provide the top performances for the Warriors in the two-day tournament, which concluded on Saturday.
Coleck (20-19) received a first-round bye and the redshirt freshman from Spokane, Wash. started off with a dominant performance, notching a 10-0 technical fall over McKendree University’s Isabella Fuentes. Missouri Valley College’s Samantha Higa topped Coleck behind a 9-1 decision in the third round. Coleck bounced back, shutting down McKendree’s Camyla Hernandez in a 7-0 decision. Southern Oregon University’s Alejandra Rodriguez won by fall over Coleck in 3 minutes, 54 seconds during a fifth-round consolation match.
Losee (8-11) couldn’t keep pace with Oklahoma City University’s Ilania Keju, losing a 12-5 decision in the opening round. She responded with an 11-0 technical fall over Ottawa University’s Samantha Edwinson and pinned freshman teammate Cherydan James (8-14) in 3:34. Losee, a junior from St. Ansgar, ended the tournament in a third-round consolation bout as Missouri Valley’s Carla Garcia scored a 10-0 technical fall.
Waldorf sophomore Bailey McLaughlin (136), freshman Harmony Maitland (170) and James each won one of three matches.
McLaughlin (6-27) came off a first-round bye and picked up a fall over Life University’s Sophie Gorman in 4:20. King University’s Hannah Jewell, who’s ranked No. 3 in the WCWA poll, pinned McLaughlin in 1:13 in the third round. Missouri Baptist University’s Marki Simmons secured a fall over McLaughlin in 1:48 during a fourth-round consolation match.
Maitland (5-17) was pinned by the University of the Cumberlands’ Courteney Tompkins in 1:05 during the opening round. Rebounding in the consolation bracket, Maitland earned a 10-6 decision over Southwest Oregon Community College’s Bree Tate-Johnson. Maitland was defeated by Menlo College’s Brazel Marquez in a 10-0 technical fall in a second-round consolation bout.
James started strong, pulling out a 3-1 decision over Southwest Oregon’s Olivia Pizano. Oklahoma City’s sixth-ranked Maggie Douma put together a 49-second pin over James, who then lost by fall to Losee in a second-round consolation matchup.
Freshman Hope Cordoviz (101), sophomore Rose Heurtelou (109) and freshman Marinna Vela (123) each finished with 0-2 tournament records for the Warriors, who showed a promising offensive approach while tying for 21st place in the team standings with 14 points.
“As a team, we wrestled decently in our counter offense,” Gilder said. “It’s good to have that when you need it, but relying too much on it can get you in trouble out there.”
Cordoviz (6-21) received a first-round bye and lost by fall to Cumberlands’ fifth-ranked Sarah Allen in 41 seconds. Cumberlands’ Crystal DeLucio walked away with a 12-0 technical fall, ending Cordoviz’s day in a second-round consolation bout.
Heurtelou (10-18) was pinned by King’s sixth-ranked Daisy Santos in 2:08. Menlo’s Diamond Freitas pulled away from Heurtelou, recording a 14-4 technical fall in the opening round of consolations.
Vela (0-6) lost by fall to Wayland Baptist University’s De’Anna Price in the first round. Following a first-round consolation bye, Vela was pinned by Lindenwood University’s Savanna Nobile in 18 seconds.
Top-ranked King captured its third straight national championship, racking up 208 points. Second-ranked Oklahoma City (190.5) claimed runner-up honors, No. 3 Simon Fraser University (170) took third while No. 5 Campbellsville University (162.5) and No. 6 Lindenwood (139.5) rounded out the top five in the team standings.
Losee and McLaughlin competed in the national tournament for the second time while Waldorf’s remaining wrestlers made their debuts. Learning to trust their attack is the next step for the Warriors moving forward.
“There was not a lack of effort, just offense and confidence in it,” Gilder said.
Fourteen freshmen, two sophomores and a junior comprised Waldorf’s team this season. The eight grapplers who closed out the year in the national tournament look to build on their experience to generate further success during the 2016-17 campaign.
“Overall, we have a young group,” Gilder said. “Once we get them believing in their offense, we’re going to start putting points up and the results will come.”