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Home advantage fuels Jimmie victories

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University of Jamestown's Alyssa Schrull, left, wrestles Maddison Haney of the University of Saskatchewan Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019, at the Larson Center. John M. Steiner / The Sun

Alyssa Schrull could've came unglued at the conclusion of Saturday's University of Jamestown women's wrestling duals at the Larson Center.

But even as her opponent allegedly resorted to using teeth, the Jimmies' senior captain kept her cool and finished Jamestown's only home competition until nationals with an exclamation mark. Schrull claimed an intense dual at 170 pounds by defeating the University of Saskatchewan's Maddison Haney 3-2, helping the fifth-ranked Jimmies topple Saskatchewan 26-15 and sixth-ranked University of Providence (Montana) 38-10.

"She was getting a little aggressive and I was getting aggressive back," said Schrull of the final bout of the day. "She was sticking her thumbs in my throat and bit me ... heavy-hander, I guess."

Schrull, a native of East Helena, Montana, is one of six returning All-Americans for the Jimmies and head coach Shauna Kemp. Schrull placed eighth at 170 pounds last March in the first NAIA Women's Wrestling National Invitational. Jamestown hosted the event at Harold Newman Arena and placed third in the country as a team.

The Jimmies will host the next two national invites, the first of which will double as Jamestown's next home meet on March 13-14. Being the only women's wrestling program in North Dakota carries with it a few challenges scheduling-wise, but Schrull and Co. won't be using that as an excuse to not exceed last year's results.

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"I'm really excited because it's my last year, so trying to focus on having fun, doing my best and just trying to enjoy the last year I have with all these women," Schrull said. "We wouldn't have had this if (coach) Shauna wasn't here."

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University of Jamestown's Jamayia Blackston, top, wrestles Lana Hunt-Waddoups of the University of Providence Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019, at the Larson Center. John M. Steiner / The Sun

Schrull was referring to Saturday's raucous wrestling atmosphere created by Kemp and the Jimmies. A large crowd of spectators and students turned out for the event, which included games and prizes. Three lucky fans went home with brand new smart TVs, part of the day's free giveaways.

"This is phenomenal," Kemp said. "Our girls really deserve this and, traditionally, we don't get a lot of spectators. So it was really important for me to make sure that the girls had that opportunity to have people watch them and see the hard work that they put in."

UJ sophomore Jamayia Blackston kicked off the dual vs. Providence with a 10-0 technical fall scored over Lana Hunt-Waddoups at 116 pounds. Blackston is ranked fifth at 116, while Hunt-Waddoups is ranked eighth at 101.

Freshman Josie Bartishofski followed suit with an 11-0 tech fall over the Argonauts' Alina Kinsey at 123. Jacqueline Parks, another UJ freshman who's ranked eighth at 143, pinned Jenna Awana in the first period. Awana is ranked seventh at 136.

Jamestown has a key returner back at 155 pounds in senior Myranda Velasquez. A two-time All-American, along with the Jimmies' Junnette Caldera (101) and Agatha Andrews (191), Velasquez pinned Maria Elena-Enriquez at 155.

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University of Jamestown's Myranda Velasquez looks to the referee while wrestling Maria Enriquez of the University of Providence Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019, at the Larson Center. John M. Steiner / The Sun

Velasquez placed third at last year's national invite and is ranked fourth at 155. Elena-Enriquez is ranked eighth at 170.

"We've been preparing for this," said Velasquez, a native of Los Banos, California. "I think we came out strong. Every team has their flaws, but we know what we need to work on and I think that's really important.

"We gotta bring it," Velasquez continued. "I believe that we are a team to be reckoned with."

Schrull, ranked third at 170, was upset by Providence's Anastasia Hardin losing via fall, but bounced back against Haney and Saskatchewan. The Huskies conceded four forfeits to the Jimmies before Schrull picked up Jamestown's only contested victory.

"She controlled her ties and stayed cool for most of the match," Kemp said. "Her getting a little bit aggressive actually helps her wrestling."

Andrews, ranked second at 191, was awarded a pair of forfeits for the Jimmies. Caldera, ranked second at 101, wrestled up a weight class on Saturday.

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UJ will now spend the winter traveling to eight events beginning next Saturday at the Waldorf Open in Forest City, Iowa.

"I think our first match we came out how I was expecting us to look -- really strong, on our offense, attacking," Kemp said. "Top five is our goal for NAIA this year. This is our first meet, so obviously knocking the rust off. But, hopefully, now we're ready to go."

(5) University of Jamestown 38, University of Providence (Montana) 10

101: UJ won by forfeit.

109: UP won by forfeit.

116: (5) Jamayia Blackston, UJ tech fall Lana Hunt-Waddoups, 10-0 3:09.

123: Josie Bartishofski, UJ tech fall Alina Kinsey, 11-0 1:28.

130: (3) Arianna Marrufo, UJ won by forfeit.

136: (8) Desiree Estrada, UJ won by forfeit.

143: (8) Jacqueline Parks, UJ pinned Jenna Awana, 1:07.

155: (4) Myranda Velasquez, UJ pinned Maria Elena-Enriquez, 1:41.

170: Anastasia Hardin, UP pinned (3) Alyssa Schrull, 5:29.

191: (2) Agatha Andrews, UJ won by forfeit.

(5) University of Jamestown 26, University of Saskatchewan 15

101: Open

109: Alexandra Schell, US tech fall Junnette Caldera 10-0 1:28.

116: Katie Dutchak, US dec. (5) Jamayia Blackston, 6-0.

123: Josie Bartishofski, UJ won by forfeit.

130: SueAnne Harms, US tech fall (3) Arianna Marrufo, 12-2 4:11.

136: Angela Aalbers, US dec. (8) Desiree Estrada, 8-2.

143: (8) Jacqueline Parks, UJ won by forfeit.

155: (4) Myranda Velasquez, UJ won by forfeit.

170: (3) Alyssa Schrull, UJ dec. Maddison Haney, 3-2.

191: (2) Agatha Andrews, UJ won by forfeit.

Savaloja is the sports lead writer for The Jamestown Sun.
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