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Women’s Wrestling Completes A Successful Season


Surprise, Ariz. (March 19, 2024) –With three National Champions and five additional All-Americans, OUAZ Women’s Wrestling has another successful season. “This is an amazing group of wrestlers” said Head Coach Ed Cruz. He continued, “They are some of the most dedicated and focused wrestlers I have ever had the pleasure to coach.”

With only one returner from last season’s National Championship team, the team had ten weight classes to fill. A strong recruiting class and the leadership of returning Team Captain, Iyanla Thomas, the team went to work to get ready for the season and then competed with a passion for themselves and their teammates.  Their incredible performance at the National Championships was the reward they deserved for their season-long preparation.

Right from the start of the tournament, it was clear that their hard work was going to pay off. Dominant wins and upsets of higher ranked wrestlers were the theme of the tournament for OUAZ’s wrestlers.

The Championship Finals and medal matches added even more highlights for the team.  They had more wrestlers in the Finals than any of the other 39 teams. Additionally, the team had two wrestlers going for third place and one for fifth place.

Championships Finals Matches

Olivia Atkins (101) started what would be an impressive team finish for the team. Atkins let from the start and didn’t let up. She defeated #2 Jamine Cortez (Texas St) with a 14-5 major decision. Atkins followed up her 2024 NCWA National Freestyle Championship with second National Title.

Liliana Voakes (109) was clearly the tougher wrestler. The crowd cheered her first takedown with a that included a solid mat return. She defeated Jillian Lackey (Allen U) 7-0. Voakes claimed her second National Championship. She was also the 2024 NCWA National Freestyle Champion.

Anja Hansen (136) finished off an amazing run of victories in her bracket. In her second match she defeated returning All-American Marrisa Riojas (Grays Harbor) with a first period pin. In the Finals, she won a hard fought decision over Paige Kalish (U of Central Florida) 6-4.

Deonne Topete (191) lost a heartbreaking match against returning National Champion Renee Ureste (Grays Harbor). Although a loss in the Finals, Topete had two pins in the tournament on the road to the Finals, including a pin over #3 Ranked Taylor Thomas (Washington St).

Evelyn Coronado (235) was defeated by returning All-American Jojera Dodge (Grays Harbor). Coronado had impressive pins over #7 Jordan Wasek (Washington St) and #3 Prisilla Vega (Grand Canyon) earlier in the tournament.

3rd Place Matches

Angelina Walker (116) dominated Maryum Ajaz (Washington St) 19-6 in the Consolation Finals. This was the culmination of an incredible tournament. She defeated three higher ranked wrestlers to get to her match in the Consolation Finals.

Iyanla Thomas (143) became a two-time All-American by pinning Chathia Thomas (Allen U) in the match. She showed great resolve after barely missing the Finals with a 19-17 Semi-Finals loss. The Consolation Finals win showed why she is a great wrestler and Team Captain.

5th Place Match

Ebony Cortez (170) capped off her All-American season with a 13-2 defeat of #1 Ranked Maile Ka’ahnui (Liberty U). Ebony fought hard the entire tournament despite losing two very close decisions by only three points.

Also adding to the Team’s overall performance

Olivia Bailey (116) added a pin over Liliana Andres (Pacific Lutheran U)

Brianna Bouts (123) added a pin over Maia De Scala (Rensselaer Polytechnic)

Zoe Reyes (130) added a pin over Alicia Coleman (Allen U)

Mia Iguado (155) lost to the #3 Ranked Hailey Stoken (Grays Harbor)


About Ottawa University

Founded in 1865, Ottawa University prepares professional and liberal arts graduates for lifetimes of personal significance, vocational fulfillment and service to God and humanity as a Christ-inspired community of grace and open inquiry. Ottawa University is a comprehensive, not-for-profit educational institution, serving more than 4,500 students through its residential campuses in Ottawa, Kan., and Surprise, Ariz., and adult campuses in Overland Park, Kan.; Surprise, Ariz.; Brookfield, Wis.; and online. Visit for more information.

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