Southern Oregon University Athletics. Photo Credit Bob Palermini, www.palermini.com
Thursday night, November 11th, marked the home opener for the men’s and women’s Raider wrestling program. The home opener marked the first home match for the Raiders in 20 months. And with the mat in the center of the floor, the spotlight on, and the scoreboards ready, the women’s Raiders started the night off against Menlo for a Cascade Conference dual. The men’s matches followed the women’s impressive win over Menlo. For the first time in 10 dual matchups, the women’s team made a stand and won the dual matchup.
The Raiders started with a decision loss in the 101-pound match. Raider Karly Scott, a sophomore, could not win the one up against Menlo’s Fernandez. Despite the rocky start, in the 109-pound match, Emma Baertlein, a freshman for the Raiders, won with a stellar pin. Baertlein’s final score for the match was 21-3. The Raiders won the next three matches in the 116, 123, and the 130-pound class. For the 116 class, Carolina Johnson, a junior from Salinas, CA, won by decision. Tara Othman, a junior from Benicia, CA, also won by decision. Then, for the 130-pound class, Carolina Moreno, a freshman ranked 4th nationally, put on the heat and didn’t allow for her component to catch up. Moreno won the match by a technical fall. For the 136-pound class, Raider Emily Se, who’s ranked 9th nationally and a junior for the Raiders, won her match with a pin in one minute and eight seconds. In the 143-pound class, Desinee Lopez, a redshirt freshman, lost to Menlo by technical fall. Then, for the 155-pound class, Sienna Ramirez, ranked 1st both nationally and in conference, won by forfeit. For the last two weight classes, the Raiders split with a win and a loss. Bailey Dennis, another redshirt freshman, won the 170-pound matchup. To finish the women’s dual, the Raiders lost in the 191-pound weight class. Karrah Smith, a junior from Nampa, ID, did her best to work around Menlo’s Sandoval but wasn’t able to breakthrough. The women Raiders started and ended the dual with losses but filled the space in between with seven wins and two of the wins being pins. The final score was 29-11. The dual win against Menlo brought the women Raiders to 2-0 on the 2021-22 season.
Unlike the women’s team, the men’s team fell to Menlo in the home opener. Out of the 10 dual matchups, the Raiders only won two. However, both wins came from aggressive performances that ended with two pins for the men’s team. Menlo only had one pin against the Raiders. The rest of the matchups Menlo won were by decisions. For the 125 and 133-pound weight class, Raiders Pancho Barrera and Evan Potter both lost to Menlo. In the 141-pound weight class, Justin Coon was trailing until he tied in the last period. In extra time, Coon quickly put up the fight and finished Menlo’s Avina-Barajas for an instant victory. Coon, a junior from Tillamook, OR, is ranked 16th nationally and ranked 4th in the conference. Menlo, after Coon’s win, won the next three matchups. In the 149-pound class, JJ Talavera, a senior for the Raiders who is ranked 16th nationally and 1st in the conference, lost by a major decision. Then, Aaron Gandara, who is ranked 4th in the conference, came close to winning the 157-pound matchup but fell short in the third period. The final score of the matchup was 12-10. Following Gandara was the 165-pound class where sophomore Max Miller lost in a pin. Menlo’s momentum was cut off for a brief moment when Noah Talavera won the 174-pound matchup in the second period with an aggressive pin. However, the following three matchups went in Menlo’s favor. In the 184 and 197-pound matchup, Raiders Ayden Wolgamott and John White lost by decision. For the final matchup of the night at 285-pounds, Bubbles Jenkins, a freshman from Springfield, OR, lost to Menlo’s Singh. The final dual score of the night for the men’s Raiders was 30-9. The loss brought the Raiders to 1-1 on the season.
Pacific University Mike Clock Open Results
In addition to the dual matchup against Menlo, the Raiders, on November 14th, had a competition at Pacific University’s Mike Clock Open. The only women’s team Raider to have placed first was Carolina Johnson. Johnson won the 116-pound division. Then, there were three Raiders that were second-place finishers: Tara Othman (116), Carolina Moreno (123), Sophie Keefer (130), and Sienna Ramirez (155). Six Raiders placed third: Karly Scott (101), Emma Baertlein (109), Jordyn Robson (130), Emily Se (136), Ramona Jimenez (143), and Karrah Smith (191).
For the men’s Raiders, the Talavera brothers both placed second in their weight matchups. JJ Talavera placed second in the 149-pound class. Noah Talavera placed second in the 174-pound class. There were only two third-place finishers for the men’s program: Aaron Gandara (157), John White (197).
The next matchup for the women’s Raiders is November 19th and 20th in Marshall, MO. The next competition for the men’s Raiders is on November 21st in Spokane, WA.