No. 12 Western State 21, CSU-Pueblo 15.
GUNNISON - The ThunderWolves entered the final match of the night with a chance to win Thursday over 12th-ranked Western State, eventually falling 21-15 to the Mountaineers, arguably the top team in the RMAC.
The Pack split the 10-match dual down the middle with Western State, emerging victorious in five matches. More quality wins by Western State in the person of a fall and three major-decision wins spelled the difference in the slim dual.
Six matches into the dual, CSU-Pueblo led 12-8, thanks largely to a big win by Patrick Carey (Jr., Tempe, Ariz.) in the heavyweight match. Carey upended Charlie Alexander, the fourth-ranked heavyweight in the nation, with a takedown in the overtime period, netting a 3-1 sudden-victory win. Alexander entered the match 22-4 while Carey improved to 26-9 with the win.
The Pack saw a big match not go the ThunderWolves' way at 197 pounds, as Tony Chavarria (So., Pueblo West, Colo.) couldn't best fourth-ranked Donovan McMahill, falling 11-1 in a major decision. Chavarria has faced McMahill more than any other wrestler, losing to the Mountaineer junior three times this season and six times over the past two seasons.
After Western State earned a major-decision and pin in the next two matches, CSU-Pueblo was suddenly behind 18-12 with two matches remaining. Justin Grant (Sr., Winnemucca, Nev.) scored a big win with a 5-0 decision over 17-11 Cody Frankum in the 165-pound match, but the Pack fell short when one of the Mountaineers' win-leaders in 15-11 Kyle Frazier bested Kellen Desmond (Sr., Escondido, Calif.) in the dual finale in a 7-4 decision.
The ThunderWolves will look to build upon Thursday night's showing when it travels to Grand Junction for a dual with Mesa State, the same squad that spoiled the Pack's home-opener last season. First match is scheduled for 7 p.m.