FORT WAYNE, Ind. – As the defending champions, the King University women's wrestling team came into this weekend's NWCA National Duals with high expectations. The top-ranked Tornado lived up to the billing on Saturday defeating #4 McKendree University 36-5 in the semifinals before earning a tough 24-17 win over #2 Oklahoma City University.
In the semifinals, Marina Doi gave King a lead they wouldn't relinquish with a 4-0 win over Tayler Resuriz at 101 pounds. At 109 pounds, Breonnah Neal followed with a win by fall in 5:26 over Arielle Hernandez and Haley Augello took a 10-0 technical fall win over Lindsey Spjut at 116 pounds. Hanna Grisewood and Sarah Hildebrandt then earned back-to-back technical fall wins at 123 and 130 pounds, respectively. Grisewood defeated Alyssa Gonzalez 12-0 and Hildebrandt topped Gabrielle Wyhrich 11-0.
Jessi Kee then earned a 10-2 win over Jasmine Bailey at 136 pounds before Amanda Hendey defeated Cassandra Herkelman on a fall in 5:24 at 143 pounds. McKendree then got a win at 155 pounds before Salate defeated Ashley Miles 10-0 on technical fall at 170 pounds. Jackie Williams capped the 36-5 win with a 4-2 victory over Alana Jimenez at 191 pounds.
The Tornado then squared off with second-ranked Oklahoma City in the finals, and the Stars got off to a solid start, taking wins at 101 and 109 pounds to open up a 9-1 advantage. However, Augello brought the momentum back to King with a 14-4 technical fall win over Shelby Morrisson to cut the Tornado deficit to 10-5. Grisewood followed suit with a 9-0 win over Rachel Archer, bringing King within two before Hildebrandt gave King the lead. At 130 pounds, Hildebrandt defeated Carla Ponce 10-0 on a technical fall, vaulting King into a 12-10 lead.
Forrest Molinari and Hendy continued the run as Molinari took a narrow 5-4 win over Brieana Delgado at 136 pounds. Hendey then defeated Kayla Aggio on a technical fall 10-0, giving King a 19-11 lead. After Oklahoma City took a win at 155 pounds, Salata clinched the victory with a 10-0 technical fall win over Yavonne Galindo. The Stars won the 191 bout to make the final score 24-17 in favor the Tornado.
The win marks King's second straight NWCA National Duals title.
King will be in action again on January 23-24 when they travel to the Bearcat Open hosted by McKendree in Lebanon, Ill.