Nebraska-Kearney 28, CSU-Pueblo 9
The ThunderWolves faced a monumental task Wednesday in a dual with ninth-ranked Nebraska-Kearney, but a couple untimely pins and miss opportunities in close matches broke the dual for the Lopers by a 28-9 score.
The Pack got wins from 197-pounder Tony Chavarria (So., Pueblo West, Colo.) and Patrick Carey (Jr., Tempe, Ariz.) at heavyweight, as well as Nick Stahler (Fr., Palmer, Alaska) in the 141-pound match. Chavarria eeked out a 3-2 decision over Justin McKain, clinching his second consecutive 20-win season, while Carey held on for a 4-3 win over Ben Hohensee.
The different, however, was a trio of matches decided by two points or less that went to the Lopers. The most frustrating close loss was in the 125-pound match, as Treven Delaune (Fr., Marrero, La.) saw a close match break for his opponent due to riding time. The riding time points were controversial, as Delaune got an apparent reversal 15 seconds into the match, only to see it waved off by the official. Though Delaune managed to stay on his opponent's back for most of the period, control was never declared for the ThunderWolves, and as a result, Kearney's riding time went over the one-minute mark needed to award a point.
The Pack also got a stellar effort from Kellen Desmond (Sr., Escondido, Calif.), who pushed the top-ranked 174-pounder in the nation in Kearney's Marty Usman to the brink over the first two periods. Desmond held a 2-1 lead after the first period and was poised to finish the second period trailing just 3-2. But Usman converted some late back points in the second period and put Desmond on his back in the third, turning a would-be upset into a 14-2 major decision that was much closer than the final score indicates.
CSU-Pueblo will immediately embark for Gunnison as the ThunderWolves travel to Western State to face the 12th-ranked Mountaineers.