By Dalton Ries, ThunderWolves Insider
PUEBLO, Colo. (GoThunderWolves.com - Feb. 8, 2013) - The Western State Mountaineers were feeling extremely confident after upsetting back-to-back nationally ranked opponents, Colorado Mesa and Grand Canyon University as they came into CSU-Pueblo Friday for senior night at Massari Arena.
But CSU-Pueblo stopped that momentum, winning six matches in claiming an 18-13 dual win.
Seniors Jesse Hillhouse (Sr., Casper, Wyo.), Nick Stahler (Sr., Palmer, Alaska) and Adam Carey (Sr., Phoenix, Ariz.) participated in their final Matches at Massari Arena as Thunderwolves. The Thunderwolves came out strong trying to send the seniors off with a victory and get their first home win of the season.
Hillhouse got the Thunderwolves started with an 11-4 decision. The match started slowly as the wrestlers got a feel for the match. The first period ended with Hillhouse in the lead 2-1.
Hillhouse went on the offensive for the rest of the match scoring multiple takedowns and easily taking the win to put the Thunderwolves in the early lead.
"I thought I did well," Hillhouse said. "I wasn't satisfied but it's a good match to keep me going. But I need to keep improving before (the National Championships) March 9. That's the main goal right now."
"After the match I was a little sad about it being my last match. I loved wrestling in this gym, I'm going to miss it," he said.
The momentum carried onto the next match as Jacob Haney (Fr., Strasburg, Colo.) had the move of the night as he scored a three-point near fall with just seconds left in a tied match to earn the 6-4 win. The Thunderwolves would win the first four matches to take a commanding 12-0 lead.
The Mountaineers didn't score until the fifth match when redshirt senior Cody Cole defeated Stahler 4-3 in a heart-breaking loss that nearly saw the score reversed on a controversial takedown call by the referee.
The score was 12-3 at intermission with the strength of the Mountaineers lineup still to come. Junior 165-pounder Trevor Grant (Jr., Winemucca, Nev.) scored a crucial victory for the Thunderwolves to bring the score to 15-3 with the Mountaineers' two nationally-ranked wrestlers still to come.
The Thunderwolves fought hard, but were not able to pull off an upset against either second-ranked Elliot Copeland or eighth-ranked Kyle Piatt. With a major decision win by Piatt over Carey the score was now 15-13 with just one match left - the heavyweights.
Sophomore Niko Bogojevic (So., Superior, Wisc.) took to the mat hoping to clinch the victory for the Pack. The match was slow to start with no score in the first period. With so much on the line both wrestlers were cautious in their attacks resulting in a 1-0 lead for the Mountaineers' Kyle Granus after an escape in the second period.
The third period was when Bogojevic made his move; after scoring an early escape point to tie the match, Bogojevic slammed his opponent to the mat for a two-point takedown that gave him a lead he would not relinquish. Bogogevic held on to win 3-2 as the Thunderwolves won their first home dual of the season 18-13.