SOU heads to Medford for men's women's duals
Southern Oregon University men's wrestling coach Mike Ritchey is getting creative while McNeal Hall undergoes a complete reconstruction, essentially taking the Raiders on a mini-tour of the Rogue Valley.
After hosting their last "home" dual at Phoenix High School, Ritchey and women's wrestling coach Tony Champion will take their teams to the Medford Armory for today's Doc Welton Classic. The Simon Fraser (B.C.) and Pacific (Ore.) men's teams will meet at 11 a.m.; SOU and Pacific will have a men's and women's combined dual at 1 p.m.; and the Raider men will go head-to-head with Simon Fraser at 4 p.m.
The Raider men — who will also be in action Sunday at the Reno Tournament of Champions — have been off for two weeks since a 26-18 win over 11th-ranked Simpson, which brought their dual record to 4-1. The Raider women grappled for the first time in three weeks at Sunday's Southwestern Oregon Invite in Coos Bay, where 136-pounder Chloe Spencer and 123-pounder Madelynn McIlwain took home titles.
SOU is 54-6 all-time against Pacific's men, including last year's 50-3 and 60-0 victories, the latter of which consisted of seven pins and three forfeits to mark the first perfect score in program history. The Raiders are 21-2-1 against Simon Fraser, and the teams last met in 28-9 SOU win on Dec. 20, 2013.
The matchup between the SOU and Pacific women's teams will be the first. The Boxers are ranked 17th in the Women's College Wrestling Association but have just three wrestlers on their roster, including one who has yet to compete this season.
NAIA Men's Top 25: The latest national team rankings, which were released last week, had SOU up four spots to No. 10 — third in the West Group behind No. 4 Montana State-Northern and No. 8 Simpson. The Raiders have now defeated Simpson twice, but team rankings are decided based on points awarded for individual rankings. Defending champion Grand View (Iowa) remains in the No. 1 spot.
Individually, five Raiders are in the top 16 of their respective weight classes: No. 2 Tyler Cowger (149), No. 3 Ryan McWatters (184), No. 11 Chandler Michael (149), No. 11 Kyle Sether (157) and No. 14 Matt Peterson (133). Peterson, Michael and Sether are all new to the rankings, while Cowger and McWatters maintained their standings from the Nov. 18 poll.