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McKendree, with seven finalists, jumps 26 points ahead of King at NCWWC Nationals for NCAA women

by Gabrielle Lord Klein, Special to

Returning NCWWC champion Felicity Taylor (McKendree) in control. Photo by Jim Thrall, MatFocus

ADRIAN, Michigan – It has been an exciting day of wrestling at the National Collegiate Women’s Wrestling Championships, and the finals matchups have been determined.

McKendree University made a major advance in the team race. With some key performances and matches going in their favor, the team from Illinois turned a one-point deficit after the quarterfinals into a 26-point lead over King University. The team is situated for a potential three-peat as NCWWC title winners.

Reaching the finals for the Bearcats are Felicity Taylor (116), Cameron Guerin (130), Alara Boyd (143), Kayla Marano (155), Joye Levendusky (170), Sydnee Kimber (191) and Jaycee Foeller (191). Finalists Taylor, Guerin, Boyd and Kimber will look to defend titles from last year, and Kimber is seeking a third. Levendusky, a 2021 finalist, punched her ticket back to the finals with an upset over King’s No. 1 seed Cheyenne Bowman.

Leading King into the finals are Cheyenne Sisenstein (123) and Ashlynn Ortega (143). Ortega collected three tech falls en route the finals, including two first-period shut outs in the quarters and semis. She will take on McKendree’s Boyd in the championship finals. The remaining underclassmen from King faced tough opposition in the semifinals and will wrestle in All-American matches tomorrow morning.

With Simon Fraser back in the national tournament, their top-tier wrestlers are right in the mix: the 116 and 123-pound weight classes will feature back-to-back rematches of the 2020 NCWWC finals. 2020 champions Karla Godinez (116) and Alex Hedrick (123) will face 2020 finalists and 2021 champions Felicity Taylor and Cheyenne Sisenstein. At 155 pounds, NCWWC All-American Alyvia Fiske is in contention for her first title. Simon Fraser did not compete in 2021.

Emmanuel’s Angelina Gomez (101), Augsburg’s Emily Shilson (109), and North Central’s Yelena Makoyed (170) are also seeking to defend titles from last year.

Gomez, who defeated the No. 2 seed Jaclyn McNichols in the semifinals, will take on Tiffin’s standout freshman, Olivia Shore, the No. 1 seed. Shore has two pins and a tech to her name in day one.

Shilson, who is undefeated in collegiate competition, will wrestle for her third NCWWC title at 109 pounds tomorrow with a matchup versus North Central’s breakthrough wrestler, Sydney Petzinger, a No. 6 seed.

The young team from North Central had an explosive day. Along with Petzinger at 109, freshman Niya Gaines upended No. 1 seed Montana Delawder in the quarters at 130 pounds and carried that momentum through the semifinals for an 8-4 decision over Colorado Mesa’s Claire DiCugno. Rounding out the Cardinals trio in the finals is 2021 champion Yelena Makoyed in the 170-pound weight class.

The only weight with two new faces in the finals is the 136-pound matchup between Augsburg freshman Blanche Kemu Makem and Adrian’s returning All-American Zoe Nowicki. Makem took out King’s No. 1 seed and 2021 national finalist Ana Luciano in a tightly contested semifinal with an 8-7 decision.

The consolation semifinals and placement rounds (3rd-8th) will begin at 10am EST, and the finals will begin at 2pm. All matches are streamed live on FloWrestling.


At Adrian, Mich., March 4

Finals pairings with seeds
101 – No. 1 Olivia Shore (Tiffin University) vs. No. 6 Angelina Gomez (Emmanuel College)
109 – No. 1 Emily Shilson (Augsburg University) vs. No. 6 Sydney Petzinger (North Central College)
116 - No. 1 Karla Godinez-Gonzalez (Simon Fraser University) vs. No. 2 Felicity Taylor (McKendree University)
123 – No. 1 Alexandra Hedrick (Simon Fraser University) vs. No. 3 Cheyenne Sisenstein (King University)
130 – No. 8 Niya Teresita Gaines (North Central College) vs. No. 2 Cameron Guerin (McKendree University)
136 – No. 5 Blanche `Nina` Kemu Makem (Augsburg University) vs. No. 2 Zoe Nowicki (Adrian College)
143 – No. 1 Alara Boyd (McKendree University) vs. No. 2 Ashlynn Ortega (King University)
155 – No. 1 Kayla Marano (McKendree University) vs. No. 2 Alyvia Fiske (Simon Fraser University)
170 – No. 4 Joye Levendusky (McKendree University) vs. No. 2 Yelena Makoyed (North Central College)
191 – No. 1 Sydnee Kimber (McKendree University) vs. No. 2 Jaycee Foeller (McKendree University)

Top 20 Team Standings
1 McKendree University 158.0
2 King University 132.5
3 Simon Fraser University 119.0
4 North Central College 113.5
5 Colorado Mesa University 70.0
6 Augsburg University 69.0
6 Tiffin University 69.0
8 Emmanuel College 35.5
8 Gannon University 35.5
10 Adrian College 35.0
11 Lindenwood University 32.5
12 Limestone College 30.0
13 East Stroudsburg University 23.0
14 Sacred Heart University 22.5
15 Presbyterian College 19.5
16 New Jersey City University 19.0
17 University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point 15.5
18 Elmira College 11.0
19 William Jewell College 9.0
20 Trine University 5.5
(of 32 teams)

Finalists by team
7 – McKendree
3 – Simon Fraser, North Central
2 – Augsburg, King
1 – Tiffin, Emmanuel, Adrian

Semifinal results

Olivia Shore (Tiffin University) pin Maddie Mackenzie (Simon Fraser University), 5:23
Angelina Gomez (Emmanuel College) dec. Jaclyn McNichols (King University), 3-1

Emily Shilson (Augsburg University) tech. fall Natalie Reyna (McKendree University), 1:31, 10-0
Sydney Petzinger (North Central College) dec. Samara Chavez (King University), 12-7

Karla Godinez-Gonzalez (Simon Fraser University) dec. Sage Mortimer (King University), 6-2
Felicity Taylor (McKendree University) tech. fall Jaslynn Gallegos (Presbyterian College), 3:15, 10-0

Alexandra Hedrick (Simon Fraser University) dec. Amani Jones (North Central College), 9-2
Cheyenne Sisenstein (King University) tech. fall Melanie Mendoza (King University) 4:04, 10-0

Niya Teresita Gaines (North Central College) dec. Claire DiCugno (Colorado Mesa University), 8-4
Cameron Guerin (McKendree University) tech. fall Solana Mottola (Tiffin University) 1:44, 10-0

Blanche `Nina` Kemu Makem (Augsburg University) dec. Ana Luciano (King University), 8-7
Zoe Nowicki (Adrian College) dec. Emmily Patneaud (McKendree University), 8-4

Alara Boyd (McKendree University) tech. fall Riley Aamold (North Central College), 3:21, 10-0
Ashlynn Ortega (King University) tech. fall Avia Bibeau (East Stroudsburg University) 0:46, 10-0

Kayla Marano (McKendree University) dec. Tiera Jimerson (North Central College), 4-1
Alyvia Fiske (Simon Fraser University) dec. Marlynne Deede (Augsburg University), 3-0

Joye Levendusky (McKendree University) dec. Cheyenne Bowman (King University), 6-4
Yelena Makoyed (North Central College) tech. fall Emily Cue (Simon Fraser University), 1:29, 10-0

Sydnee Kimber (McKendree University) tech. fall Cristina Santoyo (Emmanuel College), 4:28, 11-0
Jaycee Foeller (McKendree University) dec. Jayleen Sekona (Colorado Mesa University), 5-2
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