Junior Ricky Alcala said he wasn’t upset after UC Davis’ season-opening loss against No. 17 Arizona State because some of his teammates were competing for the first time.
Saturday was another opportunity for four more Aggies to debut as UC Davis traveled to compete in the Fullerton Open.
Of those four, Shawn Hoehne was the only Aggie to place at this weekend’s tournament.
Hoehne pinned Brian Cooper of Grand Canyon University before taking down Jack Jeremiah of Cerritos.
With a 14-3 victory over Karam Basra of San Francisco State, Hoehne then advanced to the championship round. He lost by a narrow 5-3 decision to Sacramento State’s Vince Bordi.
Also making his season debut was sophomore Joey Wilson.
Wrestling in the 165-pounds weight class, Wilson lost the first match of his bracket, but bounced back with a total of six victories to take third place.
After pinning Justin Chavez, Wilson defeated Sergio Cortez of Arizona State by a 10-3 decision along with Kyler Hasson of Stanford by a 12-4 score. The sophomore then beat Kyle Meyer of Stanford and Justin Danz of Cal State Fullerton to advance to the third-place match.
In his last match, Wilson defeated Mike Fucci of Grand Canyon University by a final score of 3-2.
Junior Barrett Abel went 5-0 on the day as he pinned Benjamin Garcia of California Baptist University in the final bout to take first at 149-pounds.
Alcala, one of two Aggies to get victories over the Sun Devils last week, continued his strong play with two wins and only one loss on the day. He fell short by default in his final bout against Kurt Kilmek of Cal State Fullerton.
Other notable Aggie performances came from Stephan Hampton and Rory McBryde at 184-pounds who both went 4-2 on the tournament. Freshman Mark Jay Acosta finished at 5-2 in the 125-pound weight class.
UC Davis will next travel to Primm, Nev. to compete at the Cliff Keen Collegiate Invitational on Dec. 4 and 5.
GRACE SPRAGUE can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.