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The Antelope

Lopers earn victory over Newman on senior night

Josh Portillo keeps control of his oppenents head in a duel vs Newmann University. He won by technical fall at 125 by a score of 19-3.


UNK wrestling notched a 24-21 dual victory over Newman University on Senior Night at Kearney High Thursday. 

It was another key victory for the No. 3 Lopers as they wind down the regular season and get back in the win column after a tough loss to No. 6 Central Oklahoma on Feb. 3.

“We are definitely moving in the right direction,” said Coach Dalton Jenson. “Again, our goal is to peek in March and have a shot to compete for the National Championship.” 

Like last week, the Lopers elected to leave weight classes open in order to rest wrestlers. To start the dual, the Jets were given twelve points with openings at 133 and 141.

“It was more of a precautionary thing not wrestling Wesley and Jonathan,” Jenson said.

The move, in the end, turned out not to hurt UNK as they got two huge pins on the night.

No. 2 Matt Malcom (Glenwood, Iowa) at 165 matched up with Kendall Frame and made quick work of him, as he has down to most his opponents down the stretch of the season. It took him 2:16 into the match to earn a pin.

He believes he is starting to hit his stride with Super Regionals in the rear-view mirror. It’s now been over a month since his last defeat.

“I have found new motivation that has really propelled me in terms of training,” said Malcom. “From that, I’ve found that it’s really given me an edge when I go out to compete. I feel as if I may be finally hitting my stride and am very excited to see how much further I can go.”

Getting an opportunity to wrestle after sitting out a few weeks was Terrel Garraway (Lenexa, Kansas). In his return to the mat, he impressed, earning a pin over JD Johnson in a time of 1:53.

After an injury sidelined him in the dual with UCO, Josh Portillo (Clarion, Iowa) made a triumphant return at the 125-pound weight class. After a slow start to the match, he wore Jake Patch down tech falling him 19-3 in 3:50.

At 149 Sam Turner (Colorado Springs, Colorado) put on a great defensive showing holding Kevin Kissane scoreless in a 6-0 decision.

After being honored as one of the seniors on the team earlier in the night, No.4 Anthony Mancini (Middletown, Delaware) put on a show against Nate Panagakis at 184. He earned a major decision winning 10-4.

All the Lopers losses on the night were very close heartbreakers. Jacob Wasser (Kintnersville, Pennsylvania) at 157, Andrew Demos (Lake Villa, Illinois) at 197, and Jarrod Hinrichs (Geneva, Nebraska) at 285 lost by one point.

UNK plays against No. 22 Fort Hays State at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13.

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