PROMINENT PERFORMANCE — Sunnyside High School sophomore Aleyda Rodriguez displays strong technical form against Eastmont’s Sheila Cardenas during their 125-pound conference match on Thursday, Jan. 9. Rodriquez pinned Cardenas at 2:55 in the second period.

EAST WENATCHEE — Every match wrestled in the Big 9 conference counts toward district seedings and with that competitive drive embodied in each member of the Grizzlies varsity girls’ wrestling team, Sunnyside traveled to Eastmont High School and defeated the Wildcats 72-6 on Thursday, Jan. 9.

“It’s good to see our girls go out there with wanting to be a high seed and tonight, I was really happy of how they took control and worked on things that we’ve been practicing all week,” coach Dave Mendoza described following the teams’ speedy road win.

He was thrilled to see how they’re all responding to what’s being practiced while being aggressive out there on the mat rather than reacting to whatever happens.

Aleyda Rodriguez in the 125-pound weight class was one of the wrestlers Mendoza has been watching coming on strong this season as she pinned Sheila Cardenas at 2:55.

“She’s been very aggressive and looks smooth with her technique. We’re really looking for some big things from her,” coach expressed.

The sophomore’s ability to score a flurry of points while demonstrating newly added methods from practice, further enhanced her two prominent performances against the Wildcats.

“I’ve been working on different moves that are new and using them with the ones I know,” Rodriguez stated while conveying her past struggles in upholding a tight arm bar for isolating and controlling one of her opponent’s arms.

She credits teammates for keeping her focused on exhibiting proper mat technique and not allowing her to forget what she needs to do to be successful in the match.

“When I hear my teammates telling me what to do and I can hear them yelling, ‘keep it tight all the time,’ their support really helps me out there on the mat,” Rodriguez acknowledged.

Besides attempting to defeat their opponents with a quick pin, Mendoza confirmed that one of the program’s core strategies is to be able to confidently wrestle aggressively in close matches.

That philosophy is an awareness coach wants to see develop from every wrestler as they push through league competition.

“We want to be able to wrestle those matches that are going to be close and not just fall into something. But, to either look for something, feel something or to counter something,” coach candidly voiced. “I love where we’re at!”

Sunnyside sits atop the league at 2-0 while Eastmont drops to 1-1. The Grizzlies will host Davis on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 7 p.m. and visit Eisenhower on Thursday, Jan. 16, 6 p.m.

On Saturday, Jan. 18, 10 a.m., the team participates in the Lady Huskie Invite at Othello High School, Pete Tagarres Gym, 340 S. 7th Ave., Othello.

Patrick Shelby can be contacted at 509-837-4500, ext. 110 or email

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