Each team won five bouts as nationally ranked UW-Whitewater escaped with a 24-22 wrestling victory over previously unbeaten UW-Oshkosh on Thursday (Dec. 6) in Kolf Sports Center.
UW-Whitewater, ranked 16th in the NCAA Division III by D3wrestle.com, took a 24-16 lead and secured the advantage for good on Hazen Rice's 12-8 victory over Zak Nelson in the penultimate bout of the match. Rice, last year's WIAC champion at 133 pounds, won his 141-pound challenge with Nelson by overcoming an 8-7 deficit early in the third round.
UW-Oshkosh, which tallied its most points against UW-Whitewater since a 24-21 victory over the Warhawks in 2010, created Thursday's final score on Wesam Alabed's pin of Mac Casella in 5:57 at 149 pounds. Alabed's pin during the contest's final bout was his second of the season.
UW-Whitewater (3-2, 3-0 WIAC) won three of the first four bouts to jump to a 16-4 lead. The Warhawks scored 12 of those points on pins by Sonny Schieldt at 157 pounds and Nick Stencel at 184. Schieldt stuck Tony Kontney to the mat in 4:13 while Stencel glued Colten Cashmore to the surface in 55 seconds.
In between the two UW-Whitewater pins were victories by UW-Oshkosh's Mark Choinski at 165 pounds and the Warhawks' Nicholas Bonomo at 174. Choinski, a two-time WIAC champion, defeated Ryder Sigler, 10-0, while Bonomo ousted Husam Alabed, 13-5.
Trailing 16-4, UW-Oshkosh (2-1, 2-1 WIAC) rattled off a pair of victories to slice its deficit to 16-10, The Titans scored their points on Beau Yineman's 12-6 win over Nick Sunberg at 197 pounds and Jordan Lemcke's 2-0 triumph over Caden Koeppel at 285.
The teams then exchanged victories as UW-Whitewater's Mike Tortorice defeated Joey Giurini, 18-0, at 125 pounds, while UW-Oshkosh's AJ Schoenfuss pinned Justin Montani in 59 seconds at 133. Tortorice is the WIAC's defending 125-pound champion.
UW-Oshkosh is off until it wrestles Keystone College (Pa.), University of Mount Union (Ohio), Olivet College (Mich.) and Waynesburg College (Pa.) at the Kalahari Duals on Dec. 15 in Sandusky, Ohio.