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OCU Places Third at SAC Tournament

The Oklahoma City University (OCU) Stars women’s wrestling team competed at the Sooner Athletic Conference (SAC) tournament at Central Christian College of Kansas in McPherson, Kansas on Saturday, February 24. The SAC is a small conference in women’s wrestling with only six teams, but it is an absolute meat grinder of a conference, with five of the six teams receiving votes in the final NAIA coaches poll, and three teams in the top 10. The Stars wrestled very well and automatically qualified eight wrestlers for the NAIA national championship tournament.

Third ranked Sophia Smith led the way for the Stars, winning the 123 pound weight class and bringing home an individual conference championship. Due to the number of teams in the SAC, every weight class’s first round was the quarterfinals. Smith received a bye in the quarterfinal round, and started her day with a :23 second pinfall in the semifinals. In the championship match, Smith picked up a 4-0 decision victory over the 16th ranked 123 pound NAIA wrestler to secure her spot in the NAIA tournament.

The 143 pound weight class had a fun quirk of the NAIA level that worked in favor of the Stars. NAIA allows for up to 12 total wrestlers to compete, so OCU had two entrants, both of which are ranked in the top 15 of the final NAIA rankings, competing in this weight class. 13th ranked Marissa Jimenez and 15th ranked Makayla Munoz both represented the Stars at the SAC tournament. After each received a bye in the quarterfinals, they were matched up, as the 2 and 3 seeds, in the semifinals, where Jimenez picked up the pinfall to make the championship finals. Munoz fell to the consolation semifinal round where she received a bye to get to the third place match. Jimenez ultimately came up short against the 4th ranked wrestler in the championship finals and settled for a conference runner up title. Munoz, however, scored a technical fall in the consolation finals, which secured the third and final automatic qualifier position for the NAIA tournament. 

The 116 pound weight class was the most star studded weight class at the SAC tournament this year. There were only 4 competitors entered, but all of them are ranked in the top 20 of the final NAIA rankings, and 3 of them are ranked in the top 5. Avery Ashley brought her number 1 ranking into the tournament for the Stars and after picking up a pinfall in the semifinals, set up a meeting between the top 2 ranked 116 pound NAIA wrestlers in the championship. Ashley came up short this time, but secured a spot in the NAIA tournament, and will likely have a good shot at another opportunity in a couple weeks.

Sofia Abramson scored a technical fall in the consolation finals to finish 3rd in the 101 pound division and punch her ticket to the NAIA tournament. Destiny Campbell and Bryce White both represented the Stars in the 130 pound weight class. Both came up short in the…

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