The Missouri Valley Open is by and far the toughest early-season individual tournament in the country. Some coaches have compared it to the regional or national tournaments that are at the end of the season due to the amount of depth each weight class has in it. From the lightweights to the heavyweights, and everywhere in between are ranked wrestlers, returning All-Americans, and dark horses hoping to notch a string of victories to put them on the map as well.
The Missouri Valley Open has been one of the (if not the) longest-running women’s wrestling tournaments in the country. It’s a brutal 2-day challenge that to make it to day two, a wrestler will need to bring their a-game each round. And that’s the approach Coach Eierman has been expecting the Lady Blue Jays to have each time out, one match at a time.
The goal of any multi-day event is to get through Day 1 of the competition. Ideally, on the championship side of the bracket but surviving on the backside is not a knock at this event as national tournament qualifiers have done in recent years. This year the University of Iowa, now in its official first season, brought all of its hammers along with the 50+ teams that are registered for this event. This is where the Westminster Lady Jays want to be.
The Westminster Lady Jays brought three wrestlers, Lila Eckert, Anna Stephens, and Rylee Hinton. With each weight class full of ranked wrestlers from both NCAA and NAIA divisions, the Lady Jays played the role as the underdog in most of their matchups….