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Sacred Heart women finish weekend on high note

Sacred Heart’s Madison Sandquist finished third in the Lady Saints Open Sunday in South Carolina. Sandquist led the team with 19 wins. (Photo courtesy Sacred Heart athletics)

The Sacred Heart women’s wrestling team had only four wrestlers available this weekend but the Pioneers picked up a pair of dual meet victories and all four earned top four finishes at the Lady Saints Open in Gaffney, S.C.

Sacred Heart, ranked No. 14 in the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA)’s NCAA tournament rankings, beat host Limestone University, 12-6 on Saturday along with a 20-0 win over the Bridge the Gap club, a collection of athletes from different schools from around the country.

Limestone had wrestlers to fill five other weight classes but Limestone head coach Brandy Green didn’t sent out wrestlers to collect the forfeits. She decided to let this match be decided on the mat.

Limestone won the first match by pin at 126 pounds when Kathe Wiken pinned Sacred Heart’s Savannah Vanase for a 6-0 lead. But the Pioneers won the next three matches.

No. 8 Madison Sandquist (143) won with a technical fall, Temi Sanusi (155) nipped Shelsy Renous, 7-6 and Ashley Reed earned a six-point decision to lift the Pioneers to the win.

In the second match against the Bridge the Gap club, Vanase and Sandquist earned shutout wins while Sanusi won by technical fall. Reed picked up a forfeit at 191. Sacred Heart closes out their first season with a dual meet record of 5-3.

On Sunday, the four Pioneer wrestled competed in the Lady Saints Open, hosted by Limestone on their Gaffney campus.

Sandquist went 3-1 with a pair of technical fall victories and a 7-3 win over teammate Sanusi to finish third at 143 pounds. Sanusi went 2-2 in the tournament.

Sandquist, who is ranked eighth in the country at 143 in the latest NWCA individual rankings, has the most wins on the team at 19-5 and is 6-2 in dual meets.

Vanase also finished third at 136 pounds with a 7-4 win over Limestone’s Kathe Wilken-Yoder. Vanase went 2-1 in the tournament and improved to 11-8 on the season and 6-2 in dual meets.

Reed, ranked No. 6 in the country, lost the first bouts of her career in the Lady Saints Open, going 1-3 at 191 pounds and finishing fourth. Reed is 10-3 overall and 6-0 in dual meets.

Next up for the Pioneers is a trip to Lock Haven, Pa., next weekend. The following weekend will be the Northeast Regional tournament on the campus of Gannon University in Erie, Pa., on Sunday, Feb. 20.

Twelve teams will be in the event with the top five wrestlers in each weight class advancing to the Cliff Keen National Collegiate Women’s Wrestling Coalition (NCWWC) national championship tournament at Adrian College in Michigan on March 4-5.

(14) Sacred Heart 12, (14) Limestone 6
At Gaffney, S.C.
101, 109, 116, 123, 130: no contest
136: Kathe Wiken Yoder (L) pin Savannah Vanase
143: (8) Madison Sandquist (SH) tech fall Mike Walters, 11-0
155: Temi Sanusi (SH) dec. Shelsy Renous, 7-6
170: no contest
191: (6) Ashley Reed (SH) dec. Journey Land, 12-6
Records: Sacred Heart 4-3

(14) Sacred Heart 20, Bridge the Gap 0
At Gaffney, S.C.
101, 109, 116, 123, 130: no contest
136: Savannah Vanase (SH) dec. Olivia Deming, 5-0
143: (8) Madison Sandquist (SH) dec. Maya Letona, 10-0
155: Temi Sanusi (SH) tech fall Sabrina Learty, 15-0
170: no contest
191: (6) Ashley Reed forfeit
Records: Sacred Heart 5-3

Lady Saints Open
At Gaffney, S.C.
Team scores – None kept
Individual results
101 (round robin): Samantha Miller (Presbyterian (SC) University) def. Ashly Gomez (King University (Tenn.)), 2-0 (tech fall, 10-0, pin, 1:42)
109: Final — Samara Chavez (King University) pin Danielle Garcia (King University), 2:00; 3. Dianna Holmes (King University) dec. Cassy Lopez (Presbyterian University), 8-0
116: Final — Jaslynn Gallegos (Presbyterian University) pin Chloe Ayres (Bridge the D1vide), 0:26; 3. TaQwai Seburn (Limestone University) tech fall Giavanna Ablonsky (Emmanuel College), 10-0
123: Final — Cheyenne Sisenstein (King University) tech fall Melanie Mendoza (King University), 10-0; 3. Catherine Bertrand (Presbyterian University) pin Caroline Schmitt (Limestone University), 1:45
130: Final — Montana Delawder (King University) pin Phoenix Dubose (King University), 2:18; 3. Monica Garcia (King University) pin Ashley Wang (Bridge the D1vide), 2:56
136: Final — Ana Luciano (King University) pin Samantha Larios (Emmanuel College) , 0:45; 3. Savannah Vanase (Sacred Heart) dec. Kathe Wilken-Yoder (Limestone University), 7-4
143: Final — -Ashlynn Ortega (King University) tech fall Maya Letona (Bridge the D1vide), 10-0; 3. Madison Sandquist (Sacred Heart) dec. Temitayo Sanusi (Sacred Heart), 7-3
155: round robin – 1. Caitlyn Gilmore of Limestone, 2. Shelsey Renous of Limestone, 3. Isabella Badon of Presbyterian, 4. Skyla Armstrong of Emmanuel College
170: round robin – 1. Tiffani Baublitz of King University, 2. Kalani Rivas of Limestone, 3. Maile Ka`ahanui of Liberty University
191: round robin – 1. Cristina Santoyo (Emmanuel), 2. Dasia Yearby (unattached), 3. Journey land (Limestone), 4. Ashley Reed (Sacred Heart)
2022 Lady Saints Open (brackets, results) TrackWrestling

Sacred Heart ranked No. 14 in latest tournament poll
In the latest National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) polls, the Sacred Heart women are ranked No. 14 in the country in the NCAA women’s wrestling tournament poll. The Pioneers are tied for 14th with Limestone University.

In the latest NCAA women’s dual meet poll by the NWCA, the Pioneers are not ranked. Only ten teams are currently ranked in the latest dual meet poll.

Individually, Sacred Heart’s Maddie Sandquist and Ashley Reed remain ranked in the latest NCAA women individual rankings. Sandquist is ranked No.8 at 143 pounds while Reed, the freshman from Southington, is ranked No. 6 at 191 pounds.

NCAA Women rankings, Jan. 27, 2022
Team: Tournament

Team Pts IR Previous
1. King 118 14 1
2. McKendree 112 14 2
3. Simon Fraser 60 7 4
4. North Central 55 9 3
5. Augsburg 43 4 t5
6. Presbyterian 35 4 8
7. Colorado Mesa 32 5 t5
8. Tiffin 30 4 7
9. Adrian 23 2 t11
10. Emmanuel 19 2 t11
11. Wisconsin-Stevens Point 15 2 10
12. Gannon 13 4 9
13. Lindenwood 11 2 14
14. Sacred Heart 9 2 15
14. Limestone 9 1 nr
Others receiving votes: New Jersey City 7, East Stroudsburg 4, William Jewell 3
IR: Individuals ranked


NCAA Women rankings, Jan. 27, 2022
Team: Dual meet

Team Rec LM
1. King 7-0 1
2. McKendree 5-1 2
3. North Central 14-2 4
4. Colorado Mesa 5-0 5
5. Tiffin 11-5 7
6. Augsberg 5-2 6
7. Scheiner 4-2 10
8. Lindenwood 7-4 nr
9. Adrian 5-5 nr
10. Gannon 2-0 9

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of Connecticut Wrestling Online. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 40 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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