Cowger hits milestone, Raiders take eighth at National Duals

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Tyler Cowger secured his 100th career victory and Tanner Fischer finished off an unbeaten tournament, but seventh-ranked Southern Oregon had to settle for eighth place at the NWCA-NAIA National Duals after losses Friday to No. 13 Campbellsville (Ky.), 19-12, and No. 8 Missouri Valley, 20-18.

Cowger, a three-time All-American at 149 pounds, became the sixth individual in Raider history to hit the 100-win milestone in a 4-2 decision over Campbellsville's Kolten Radaz, and he moved to 4-1 at the tourney in a 12-2 major decision over MVC's Kenny Boyd.

After going 2-1 Thursday and staying alive with a consolation win over Northwestern (Iowa), both of the Raiders' setbacks Friday came down to the final match. Their dual record went to 4-7.

The Campbellsville dual was a grind that comprised nine decisions and a major decision. Justin Acuff (141 pounds) got SOU on the board with a 7-3 decision against Jayce Carr that preceded Cowger's win, but consecutive losses after that gave Campbellsville a 13-6 lead. Decisions for SOU's Andrew Orr (4-2 over Justin Brown at 184) and Fischer (8-6 over Tyler Rowland at 197) cut the deficit to 16-12 before Tigers heavyweight Terrell Moore clinched by defeating Alejandro Sandoval, 4-1.

In the MVC dual, Devin Poppen's win by forfeit at 141 evened the score at 6-6 when consecutive major decisions for Cowger and Hunter Hodges (12-2 over Tobias Barnes at 157) gave the Raiders an eight-point lead. MVC answered by taking three straight classes – sixth-ranked Andrew Simmons (165) and seventh-ranked Dalton Tipton (174) earned major decisions, and 14th-ranked Nicholas Whitehead (184) won 5-3 — to go up 17-14.

That's when Fischer completed his 5-0 run at the tourney with a 9-1 major victory against Alex Destra, putting the Raiders in front 18-17 to set up the final match. At heavyweight, Sandoval's third-period escape put him up 1-0, but 16th-ranked Justin Smith won it with a two-point takedown in the final minute.

"It's not the day we wanted," SOU head coach Mike Ritchey said. "We took some risks trying and came up short, but that's what duals are all about — trying to win as a team. Individually we competed well but just didn't get the matches we needed.

"Now we'll begin focusing on postseason preparation for February and March."

The Raiders wrestle next at the Pacific Boxer Open on Jan. 15 in Forest Grove.

Women's Wrestling

At Fort Wayne, Ind., seventh-ranked Wayland Baptist (Texas) eliminated the Southern Oregon women's wrestling team from the NWCA National Duals Friday morning, finishing a 33-15 win with three straight pins at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.

Down 17-2 after the first four weight classes, one of which was forfeited, the Raiders made a move to get back into the dual. Alejandra Rodriguez, the WCWA's fifth-ranked 130-pounder, pinned Breanna Dudoit-Vasquez in 3:23, Gladdys Palma (136) edged Brittany Bates in a 9-7 decision, and third-ranked Desiree Zavala (143) pinned Marina Briceno in 2:46.

WBU's lead was 18-15 after that sequence, but it only expanded as Tamyra Mensah (155), Brittany Marshall (170) and Kierra Boyce (191) each won by fall.

WBU clinched a top-eight spot at the 15-team tournament with the win.

SOU, which lost to fifth-ranked Cumberlands (Ky.) and defeated Ferrum (Va.) on Friday, fell to 4-3 in duals. The Raiders return to action at the Oregon Mat Classic next Saturday in Redmond.

Zavala finished the tournament with three pins. Rodriguez went 3-0 with a pair of wins by fall, and Palma went 3-0 with one pin.

Prep Basketball

The Ashland High girls and boys basketball teams' games against Churchill were postponed Friday after all classes and activities at Ashland High School were cancelled for the fourth day in a row following the snow storm earlier in the week.

The girls game has been rescheduled for Saturday, Jan. 21 in Ashland, with tip-off slated for 3:45 p.m. No make-up date has been set for the Ashland-Churchill boys game, which was scheduled to be played in Eugene.

Share This Story