Ioppolo, Ramirez shine at WCWA Championships

OKLAHOMA CITY — Freshmen Olivia Ioppolo and Sienna Ramirez left the first day of the Women's College Wrestling Association Championships having become the sixth and seventh All-Americans in Southern Oregon's brief team history Friday at Abe Lemons Arena.

Ioppolo, a 116-pounder from Longmont, Colo., was stopped in the semifinal round but will pick up today in the consolation semis and is assured no worse than a top-six finish. Ramirez, a product of Lakewood, Wash., has secured top-eight status and will start Day 2 wrestling for the right to a spot in the 143-pound consolation semis. Both can still place as high as third.

Today's competition begins at 8 a.m. Pacific Time. SOU's six other representatives at the tournament have been eliminated, but five of them contributed to the Raiders' total of 48.5 points, which put them in 13th place of 32 teams. Tristyn Borden (191), Anesia Ramirez (123) and Alejandra Rodriguez (130) each came up two wins short of placing.

Despite coming into the weekend unranked, Ioppolo was the second Raider ever to advance to a semifinal match. She started the day by handling Missouri Valley's Jazmin Perez, 12-5, and got through to the quarterfinals by upsetting second-ranked Gabriela Ramos-Diaz of Wayland Baptist, 14-10, after she trailed going into the second period. She took another decision in the quarters, 4-2 over Southwestern Oregon's Victoria Smith, and lost by technical fall two minutes into her semifinal against McKendree's ninth-ranked Gabrielle Weyhrich.

Ioppolo brought her season record to 20-10. In the consolation semis, she'll either get a rematch with Ramos-Diaz or face third-ranked Jennifer Juarez of Life.

Sienna Ramirez, ranked ninth at 143, started hot with back-to-back technical falls that ended in the first round — 12-0 over Ottawa's Samantha Edwinson and 13-0 over Campbellsville's seventh-ranked Courtney Gray. In the quarterfinals she was redirected to the consolation bracket with a 6-0 loss to McKendree's Alexis Porter, but she stayed alive by eking out a 3-2 decision over No. 10 Marilyn Garcia of Menlo.

Ramirez, now 25-7 on the season, will meet Life's Brooke Pagan in her next elimination match.

Rodriguez, ranked 10th at 130 and a returning All-American, reached the Round of 16 with a pair of decisions, 5-4 against Menlo's Melanie Cordero and 10-2 against Wayland Baptist's Rebekah Cordova. After Cumberlands' Ismilena Vallers put her in the consolation bracket, 6-5, she scored a technical fall against Southwestern Oregon's Sierra Jones and was knocked out by Simon Fraser's Aliasha Perriard-Abdoh, 2-0.

Anesia Ramirez won two consolation matches before exiting with a 4-3 loss to Simon Fraser's Sunita Sewak, and Borden won in the Round of 32 and her first consolation match before Menlo's Solove Nafahu got her 6-1 in the second.

Nevina DeLuca also had a successful day with three wins at 123 pounds but was three short of placing. Latiana Tauaesewon her opening match at 170.


SOUTHERN OREGON SPLITS: At West Covina, Calif., Southern Oregon began its three-day, six-game stint at the NAIA SoCal Classic with a 7-0 loss to No. 17 Vanguard (Calif.) and a 10-0 win over San Diego Christian (Calif.) at the Big League Dreams complex.

The third-ranked Raiders went to 4-2 with the split. In opener, they were five-hit by Vanguard sophomore Vanessa Dwyer and got in immediate trouble as Samantha Shaffer launched a grand slam with nobody out in the top of the first. The Lions went on to win their eighth straight to start the season.

Sophomore pitcher Karlee Coughlin righted the Raiders' ship in their second game. Along with delivering two RBI singles, including one that put them ahead in the first, she surrendered just two hits and went all five innings of the mercy-rule-shortened contest, improving to 2-0 in the circle. She struck one, didn't issue a walk and didn't let a SDCC runner get past first base until a fifth-inning error.

Coughlin got a boost from sophomore third-baseman Paige Leeper, who hit her first career home run in the second inning — a two-run shot to left that plated Davalin Ontiveros — and added a run-scoring double in the third.

Ontiveros went 2-for-3 with two RBIs, Hannah Wessel went 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI triple, and Kelsey Randall doubled and walked twice. Hannah Shimek and Olivia Mackey had RBI doubles of their own.

SDCC dropped to 2-4 with the loss.

Wessel and Harlee Donovan had two hits apiece in the opener. Wessel has recorded a team-high eight hits through the first six games.

Today, the Raiders will play Hope International (Calif.) at 2 p.m. and La Sierra (Calif.) at 6 p.m.

Track and Field

HUSKY CLASSIC: At Seattle, the Southern Oregon women's distance medley relay team qualified automatically for the NAIA Indoor Championships in its season debut Friday in the Husky Classic, hosted by University of Washington at Dempsey Indoor Track.

Kayle Blackmore ran the 1,200-meter portion, Savannah Greenwade ran the 400, Bree Weber took the 800 and Jessa Perkinson finished with the mile for the Raiders, who finished 10th of 13 teams overall in 12 minutes 19.86 seconds. Their converted time — adjusted for Dempsey's "oversized" classification — was 12:27.78, good for the No. 5 spot on the NAIA list and well under the 12:33 they needed for an 'A' mark.

Washington State won the NCAA-dominated race in 11:29.22.

The SOU men's DMR team of Kevin Poteracke, Eli Chapman,Tristan Carpenter and Ryan Alexander clocked in at 10:21.27 for seventh place. The time converted to 10:29.72; they needed 10:26 to meet the NAIA's provisional qualifying standard.

The Raiders will be represented Sunday at the University of Washington Indoor Open, their last action before the NAIA Indoor Championships begin on March 1.

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