Pack shows fight, but loses to 10th-ranked Mesa

Pack shows fight, but loses to 10th-ranked Mesa

By Dalton Ries, Insider

PUEBLO, Colo. ( - Jan. 22, 2013) - The tenth-ranked Colorado Mesa Mavericks handed the Thunderwolves a hard-fought 24-14 defeat Wednesday night at Massari Arena.

All-American senior Jesse Hillhouse (Sr., Casper, Wyo.) started things off positively for the Pack with a 12-3 major decision victory against Colorado Mesa freshman Jonathon Stelling in the 125-pound match. Hillhouse dominated action from the start with two early takedowns in the first period and continued his domination scoring a near-fall in the third period to clinch the victory.  
"It was alright, but I could have been better," Hillhouse said. "I'm not too happy about it, but these are just practice matches to get ready for the end of the season." Hillhouse said, who is the top-ranked 125-pounder in the nation.

"His (Hillhouse) performance was a little sluggish.  He knows that," Pack head coach Dax Charles said. "He should have had a pin in the third period. But he is still getting used to the 125-pound weight class." 

Colorado Mesa quickly showed why they are in the top ten nationally and countered with back-to-back pins and a 7-2 decision in the next three matches to take a commanding 15-4 lead.

Senior Nick Stahler (Sr., Palmer, Alaska) showed life for the Thunderwolves, putting up a tough fight against second-ranked and undefeated Senior Jon Gappmaier, but unfortunately could not score a point, falling 2-0. The loss gave the Mavericks an 18-4 lead at the intermission.
The Thunderwolves came out of the break energized and hoping to make a comeback. Juniors Trevor Grant (Jr., Winnemucca, Nev.) and Ray Hall (Jr., Garfield, Ark.) got them started with back-to-back victories. Grant scored a 12-0 major decision over Sophomore Tyler Miles bringing the score to 18-8.

That victory was quickly followed by the match of the night as Hall pulled off an upset over junior Zak Slotten. In a sudden victory match, Hall edged Slotten 4-3 in the second sudden victory round to bring the Thunderwolves within seven points, 18-11 

Unfortunately the comeback was not meant to be as the Mavericks won the following two matches to put the dual out of reach for the Thunderwolves.  Niko Bogojevic (So., Superior, Wisc.) ended the night with a rousing sudden victory, claiming a 3-1 decision.

"I was pleased with the four matches we won, but overall we have to get better," Charles said. "We need to peak within the next 30 days to be ready for the RMAC championships."  said Charles.
The Thunderwolves now will travel to Colorado School of Mines Friday for a 7 p.m. dual with Orediggers.