ADRIAN, Mich. – The No. 19-ranked Adrian College women's wrestling team defeated Tiffin University 29-21 in the program's first-ever home dual meet on Tuesday, Jan. 15. A crowd of 148 was on hand to watch the Bulldogs beat the Dragons for the second time this year and secure a 6-0 record in dual matches this season.
Head Coach Cliff Cushard noted it wasn't the same Tiffin team the Bulldogs faced earlier in the year, but acknowledged his team still wrestled hard, saying "I am very proud of this young team. We got the job done in front of our home crowd against a good team. Tiffin has improved considerable since we saw them back in October. We like to see other programs succeed because it makes us all better. I look forward to battling them for years to come."
The match started out with two forfeits, one for each team. AC won by forfeit at 101 and Tiffin tied the meet with a forfeit win at 109 shortly after. The Dragons took their only lead of the meet at 116, picking up a fall early in the second period to lead the Bulldogs 10-5 after three weights.
Adrian picked up another win by forfeit at 123 and regained the lead for good at 130 as part of a four-weight run for the Bulldogs. Shyann Ronning picked up a technical fall to put the Black and Gold ahead in the match 14-11. Zoe Nowicki added a technical fall of her own at 136, followed by another forfeit win at 143 to push AC's lead to 23-12 in the match.
Tiffin would get two of the last three weights, with Adrian's final win coming from Maggie Elliott at 170. The Bulldogs would score in each of the last three weights to keep adding points to secure the 29-21 win in Adrian's final dual of the year.
"Ending the duals portion of our season undefeated at 6-0 is an ice accomplishment for this team," continued Cushard. "They've worked hard to get to this point and now we use this momentum to continue to prepare for the WCWA National Championships. We've got two more tune up tournaments beforehand and I'm excited to see how these athletes do at Nationals.
Adrian is back in action again this weekend in Bristol, Tenn. for the King University Tornado Open on Sunday, Jan. 20. It's the Bulldogs' final event before the Women's Collegiate Wrestling Association playoffs. The Regional Championships are next weekend on Saturday, Jan. 26 and the WCWA National Championships are Feb. 8-9.
The home dual also allowed the program to have the chance to recognize its two seniors – Autumn Rux and Haylee McCoy. "It was special to be able to recognize our two seniors," Cushard said. "Autumn Rux transferred here and has been a solid addition to the team. Her presence in the practice room makes those around her better. I hope she stays involved in the sport after graduation because I think she'd make a great coach." Rux was defeated at 155 yesterday while McCoy lost a long and hard-fought battle at 191. "Haylee McCoy is special in that she is our first wrestler to be here for four seasons," her coach said. "She was on the first team we had here when we restarted the program and has provided a spark to the team with her personality; she's that athlete that is fun to have around. I look forward to watching them both graduate on May 5th. That is what being a student-athlete is ultimately about – having a great experience with sports while getting a good education."
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