Eastern Oregon started strong in its home dual against Providence.

Then the No. 3 Argos flexed their muscles.

After dropping the first three matches, Providence swept the remaining seven contests, including taking five matches by fall, for a 38-9 dual victory over EOU late Saturday night at Quinn Coliseum.

“Things have to start carrying over (from the lightweight wrestlers),” EOU head coach Dustyn Azure said. “We started off great. Our pace was where we needed to be at the beginning. We’re just not capitalizing on some takedowns that we should be.”

EOU did indeed start strong, as it often did in duals a season ago. The Mountaineers claimed the first three matches, including a 7-4 decision by Mhar Caballa over Dorian Sapien at 125 pounds and A.J. Rockwell’s 10-3 decision over Jarren Komac at 141.

The highlight, though, came in a wild match between Blake McNall and Providence’s Eli Walston at 133. After a slow start, the wrestlers traded takedowns and escapes in a flurry and raced to the end of the first round tied at 9-all. Walston pulled ahead by three after two rounds, but McNall escaped from his opponent’s hold in Round 3, then scored a takedown with about 30 seconds left to tie the score at 13-all and force overtime. The match eventually went to triple overtime, where McNall finally recorded a takedown for a 17-15 sudden victory.

“He did a great job gutting through that and pulling that out,” Azure said. “It’s good to see that out of him. His conditioning pulled through on that one.”

The momentum of EOU’s 9-0 lead was shortlived, though. After UP’s Shonn Roberts earned a 16-1 technical fall over Jacob Posey, Casey Dobson gave the Argos the lead for good with a first-round pin of Drake Randall at 157. Adrian Lyons-Lopez (174), Randy Keesler (184), John Hensley (197) and Matt Hopkins (285) all added victories by fall to finish the dual.

“That’s something we’ll bounce back from, we have to learn from,” Azure said.

The 11th-ranked EOU women, meanwhile, followed with a 28-13 victory over the Argos, who were competing in their first dual in program history.

“With the women they went out and they are showing why they’re ranked No. 11 in the country right now,” Azure said.

EOU earned two victories by forfeit from Lisa Megargee and Cassidy Freeman. On the mat, the Mountaineers got busy pinning the competition.

Leah Olsen (116) and Jessica DeHart (130) both earned second-round pins over Selicia Lee and Kaylynn Hixenbaugh, respectively, with DeHart’s victory giving the Mountaineers a 20-3 lead. After Gabby Hernandez earned a forfeiture victory at 136, Renay Monohan earned a victory by criteria in a 1-all match at 143, and Alexis Cavero pinned UP’s Alexis Sigda in 42 seconds at 155.

“They put themselves in position to win,” Azure said. “It just came down to they were putting themselves in great positions, and they kept attacking.”

The EOU men wrestle at Oregon State Thursday, then both teams compete at the Mike Clock Open in Forest Grove Sunday.

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