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SOU 3rd at Missouri Valley Open

MARSHALL, Mo. — Southern Oregon University was the top-placing NAIA women’s wrestling team at the Missouri Valley Open on Sunday, landing at third of 34 in the team standings behind runner-up showings by 143-pounder Sienna Ramirez and 155-pounder Gladdys Palma.

Seven of SOU’s 12 individuals were top-eight placers in crowded brackets, giving the ninth-ranked Raiders 125 team points to beat out top-ranked Life (Ga.)’s 118 and second-ranked Menlo (Calif.)’s 96.5 with an equal number of competitors. McKendree (Ill.) (194 points) and King (Tenn.) (165.5), both NCAA programs, were first and second in the team standings.

Kyleigh Lopez (123 pounds) and Anesia Ramirez (130) placed sixth for the Raiders. Carol Johnson (116), Tara Othman (123) and Olivia Pizano (155) finished eighth in their brackets.

Sienna Ramirez, the fourth-ranked 143-pounder in the NAIA, posted a fall and two technical falls while winning five consecutive matches to reach the final of her 36-person bracket. After eking out a 3-2 decision over King’s Ana Luciano in the semifinals, she was defeated 3-2 in the championship by Menlo’s Solin Piearcy, the NAIA’s top-ranked 136-pounder. Ramirez upped her season record to 8-1.

Palma picked up where she left off after last week winning a title at Pacific’s Mike Clock Open, winning two matches with pins and two more with technical fall shutouts to advance to the first-place match in a 45-person bracket at 155. There, she went down 12-2 against Kayla Marano of the Lion Wrestling Club. Palma’s record also now stands at 8-1.

Lopez reached the 123 semifinals with a pin, a technical fall and a decision before losing two straight and conceding the fifth-place match with an injury default. Anesia Ramirez also reached the 130 semifinals with four straight technical falls, three of which were shutouts.

At 116, Johnson won four straight consolation matches after dropping her second winners’ bracket match, and Othman won three in a row after doing the same at 123. Pizano had another impressive run at 155 after losing her opener, taking five consecutive consolation matches with two technical falls and three decisions.

Tristyn Borden added three wins at 170 and Macie Stewart won twice at 109.

The Raiders will be home Thursday to work on their 1-1 dual record, facing Simpson (Calif.) at 7 p.m.

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