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Missouri Valley College wins dual meet as prelude to Missouri Valley Women’s International Open



The Missouri Valley College Vikings, the No. 1 ranked women's college wrestling team in North America, opened a busy weekend of wrestling action with a 24-8 dual meet victory over Cumberland College. This dual meet was held just hours after the weigh-ins for the Missouri Valley Women's International Open, which starts on Saturday morning. The Vikings, which has the largest and most successful women's college team in the nation, won six of eight bouts, five by fall. Becky D'Ambrosio of Cumberland College opened with an impressive 14-4 technical fall over Rachel Bernardes of Missouri Valley, but the host team responded with four straight wins to put away the dual. In a battle of top athletes on the Senior level, Malissa Sherwood of Missouri Valley pinned Jessi Shirley of Cumberland in just 1:48. Other pins by Missouri Valley were registered by Marianne Vollmer, Tori Adams, Donnell Bradley and Hillary Leith. Tonya Evinger added a forfeit win. Cumberland's Toccara Montgomery, named the FILA International Women's Wrestler of the Year just a few weeks ago, scored a touch fall off a power double leg to pin Tina Arnds in 1:48. The women's action was showcased alongside men's college wrestling action, as Missouri Valley and Cumberland held a men's dual meet on the next mat over. This could be a preview of the future of college wrestling, as colleges with both men and women's teams could hold their dual meets side-by-side. A large crowd filling most of the bleachers in the gymnasium enjoyed cheering for both the men and the women at the same time. The Missouri Valley Women's International will feature over 50 top women's wrestlers, competing in the seven new international women's weight classes, plus an additional upper weight class (77 kg), which is used in women's college events in the USA and Canada. Entering teams to challenge the host Vikings in the tournament will be three other women's varsity programs: the Univ. of Minnesota-Morris, Cumberland College and Neosho County CC. The results of this event will help sort out the individual rankings for U.S. women's college wrestling, as well as in North America. The athletes are now determining which weight classes they will compete in this season, now that FILA has made the new weight classifications. In an anticipated individual matchup, Montgomery may face a regular challenger in the finals of her weight class, Katie Downing of UM-Morris, who is in the opposite preliminary pool. Downing is a former Junior World medalist and also one of the nation's best female wrestlers. Downing has given Montgomery some of her toughest matches in recent events. The men and the women will also be showcased together tomorrow, as Missouri Valley is also hosting an Open Tournament for men. A number of men's teams from across the Midwest will battle for individual honors, competing right next to the women competitors. Missouri Valley College 24, Cumberland College 8 48 kg - Becky D'Ambrosio (CC) tech. Fall over Rachel Bernardes (MVC), 14-4, 5:36 52 kg - Marianne Vollmer (MVC) pin Sarah Hayes (CC), 5:24 55 kg - Malissa Sherwood (MVC) pin Jessi Shirley (CC), 1:48 59 kg - Tonya Evinger (MVC) won by forfeit 63 kg - Tori Adams (MVC) pin Stephanie Bolton (CC), 2:20 69 kg - Toccara Montgomery (CC) pin Tina Arnds (MVC), 1:48 72 kg - Donell Bradley (MVC) pin Issa Alvarez (CC), 3:40 77 kg - Hillary Leith (MVC) pin Wendy Hunter (CC), 0:58
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