In the team’s final regular season match, the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh wrestling team faced off against conference foe UW-Platteville and fell by a score of 27-21. In a highly-contested bout, the teams were tied going into the final match, but the Pioneers pulled through in the end.
For the Titans, victories were recorded by freshman Wesam Alabed (141 lb. class), juniors Corey Knudsen (149), Mark Choinski (157), Nate Arquinego (165) and sophomore Colten Cashmore (184). This defeat meant the Titans would go winless in conference during the regular season and end the year at 4-10.
Arquinego said the momentum the team gained after the first two matchups of the night was important to get back into the meet.
“We started slow and it is hard giving up two pins right away,” Arquinego said. “But after that, I think we won the next four or five straight and we started rolling, which we needed that momentum. As a team overall, compared to the rest of the duels this year, we were all into it.”
Choinski said even with a slow start, the team came together and was picked up by some unsung heroes.
“I think we started off a little slow in the first two matches and it seemed that our two starters for 125 and 133 didn’t have their head in the game at first, but we started bringing it back and we pretty much had the rest of the duel until heavyweight,” Choinski said. “A bunch of people stepped up, played their role and did really good, especially some of our backups that came in and took care of business.”
The decisive matchup was between freshman Ben Kitslaar and UWP wrestler Lucius Rinehart in the 285-lb. weight class. Kitslaar was pinned 4 minutes and 52 seconds into the match, earning the win for the Pioneers.
The team has earned four match wins on the season, including three since 2018 began. However, the squad’s last win came on Jan. 20 against Millikin University in a non-conference meet at Wabash College in Indiana.
The team lost against UW-La Crosse on Jan. 13, but came back strong in its next two by defeating MSOE on Jan. 18 and Millikin University on Jan. 20. Also on the 20, the team faced off against Wabash College and Manchester University, recording a narrow defeat by one point against Manchester.
To begin 2018, the team faced off against Milwaukee School of Engineering and the University of Dubuque in Iowa on Jan. 6. UWO defeated MSOE soundly by a score of 35-11, while falling to Dubuque in the day’s second match, 27-9.
In the victory, the Titans won seven of the ten weight classes, highlighted by two fall counts, two tech falls, one decision and two forfeits.
Winning UWO wrestlers were freshman Damien McCray (125 lb.), junior Anthony Senthavisouk (141), Alabed (149), Choinski (165), Cashmore (184), freshmen Jordan Lemcke (197) and Kitslaar (285).
The team is off until the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championship, Feb. 9 in Whitewater.
Cashmore said the team needs to rely on what it knows best in order to be successful in the playoffs.
“For us to be successful this upcoming Friday, we just got to keep doing what we have been doing,”” Cashmore said. “”Kids just have to come ready and believe in themselves and realize that since this is the end of the year and the postseason, anything can happen. Doesn’t matter where you are from or what you have done, it is just about coming out and being ready to go, and it is going to come down to whoever wants it more that day.”