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Sunday, March 3, 2024
The Observer

Baraka Bouts: Ring B quarterfinal results

Ally Splitstone stands with her guard up during her quarterfinal bout against Nicole Lies on Nov. 6, 2023.

The 21st Annual Baraka Bouts commenced on Monday, Nov. 6. Here are the quarterfinal results from Ring B.

Olivia “Manny” Mancuso def. Hope “The Wonder” Wanken

A matchup between Hope “The Wonder” Wanken out of the blue corner and Olivia “Manny” Mancuso out of the gold corner kicked off the 21st Annual Baraka Bouts over in Ring B. Mancuso, a junior from Howard Hall, edged out ahead during a quiet opening frame. Both boxers ran out with more drive in the second round. Wanken, a sophomore from Lewis Hall, shifted the momentum back to equilibrium with a host of punches that landed on the face of the junior. “Manny” needed the final round to add some insurance punches, but Wanken would not go away and backed Mancuso into the ropes for an instant. A last-second spurt of haymakers by Mancuso was enough to secure the bout. She won by unanimous decision.

Nicole “Knuckles” Lies def. Ally “Stonesplitter” Splitstone

The second match of the evening in Ring B was a senior-senior bout between Illinois natives. Splitstone started off the fight by putting together packages of punches that found Lies more and more frequently as the clock ran on. Lies settled in during the second round, forcing the referee to quickly pause the battle to check in on “Stonesplitter.” For the rest of the middle frame, “Knuckles” directed her opponent wherever she wanted. The ice in “Knuckles'” veins had not evaporated at the start of round three. During the final 75 seconds, the pressure was on “Stonesplitter” to impress the judges. The senior from Johnson Family Hall used every second until the final bell and maybe a quarter of a second after the bell to tally points. It wasn't enough as Lies won the contest by split decision.

Rosie “The Riveter” Binette def. Tess “Lucky Lefty” Gilmore

The freshman Binette spent the opening seconds of the match breaking through the defense of Gilmore, a sophomore. “The Riveter” finished the first round seemingly without a sweat. Although taking many more steps in the backward direction than the forward direction, Gilmore found the red mask of Binette with her blue gloves more often as the bout wore on. Having recovered all the oxygen they needed after the second round, the boxers leaped out to face one another before the final 75 seconds of the competition. “The Riveter,” to chants in the crowd of “Rosie,” argued her case compellingly when it mattered. The referee stopped the bout twice during the final round, first checking out Gilmore and then Binette. By split decision, “The Riveter” was named victorious.

Sami “The Smaller” Jorgensen def. Chevelle “No Sorry in Sight” Boomershine

Boomershine, a graduate student, got off to a hot start in the first round. This provoked Jorgensen to land a massive blow, which caused the referee to hold Boomershine out of the contest for a 10 count. Still, “No Sorry In Sight” would not stop instigating contact as the opening 75 seconds expired. A sophomore and a resident of Flaherty Hall, Jorgensen continued to dominate from the back of her stance all the way through the second frame. While Boomershine would not stop pestering her taller foe, the crowd shouted out, “Sami, Sami,” urging Jorgensen to polish off a near-perfect performance. “The Smaller” did not let her opponent out of the gold corner come close to landing a strong blow on her blue mask in the final round. By unanimous decision, Jorgensen won the fourth bout of the night in Ring B.

Frankie “Frank the Tank” Masciopinto def. Erin “Emoney” Coyne

Masciopinto executed the first barrage of punches, which Coyne quickly countered. “Frank the Tank” spent the last 10 seconds of a very active first round pushing “Emoney” around the ring. Coyne sustained some heavy hits in the middle round, but was still able to send her red gloves flying into the face of Masciopinto, a senior from McGlinn Hall. “Frank the Tank” could not stand it, and she landed one too many blows, forcing the referee to hit pause during the second round to check out Coyne. In the final round, “Emoney” appeared to be running too short on breath or maybe she was just a little dazed by so many hits from “Frank the Tank,” so the referee stopped the match one more time before the final bell rang out. Masciopinto won by unanimous decision.

Olivia “The OG” Guza def. Aranza “Pistolera” Sierra

Guza fired the first punch and most of the rest of the punches that were launched during the opening round. Overcoming her short stature, Sierra sent blow after blow upward into the face protection of “The OG” as the first frame came to a close. A junior resident of Pasquerilla East, Guza would not relent nor give up an inch of ground in the second round. Sierra and Guza probably did not get as many breaths as they would have liked before it was time to come out for the final 75 seconds of battle. “Pistolera,” a senior living off-campus, and Guza fought a clean fight which the referee did not pause as the clock wound down. Guza would win by unanimous decision.

Caroline “Bah Bah Bah” Flannery def. Miriam Bitro

Flannery jumped into the action, and the referee had to stop the match just seconds into the first round to give Bitro a chance to get some air. Bitro, a junior from Flaherty Hall, fought back and leveled the playing field by the end of the 75 seconds. A junior living in Ryan Hall, Flannery sprang out in the second round just like she did the first time around. Bitro was more ready to deflect this second onslaught from her foe out of the gold corner. When the bell rang to signal the end of the second round, the boxers had spun each other around and needed a second to discern their respective home corners. Flannery made it three strong openings and about a dozen seconds into the final frame, the referee stopped action to make sure Bitro was okay. A small but vocal fan section screamed “Bah Bah Bah” until the final chime. Flannery carried the quarterfinal bout by unanimous decision.

Hannah “Happle” Vespalec def. Emma “Bad Intention” Speyrer

Vespalec leaned on form in the first round, keeping her arms up high and ducking away from the bursts of Speyrer, a junior living in Cavanaugh Hall. It paid off. The referee stopped the contest very early in the opening round to give “Bad Intention” some time to recover from the tyranny of Vespalec. “Happle,” like a machine, dominated in the second round as well. The referee was not taking any chances and stopped the match once again to protect Speyrer. After the pause, Speyrer focused more on defense and Vespalec wasn’t able to land as many punches as the clock ran out during the second round. “Happle,” a senior from Welsh Family Hall, probably didn’t need the third round to convince the judges and the crowd that she was winning this match, but didn’t care. She won by unanimous decision.

Tess “Big Steppa” Kesler def. Isabella “Bear” Rempel

As soon as the referee said the word “box,” Kesler and Rempel flew at each other. After the 75 seconds of the opening round passed by, there was no indication of who had the upper hand. Rempel, a freshman living in Ryan Hall, landed the first punch of the second round, directing her opponent around the ring. Midway through the middle round, the momentum swung back in the favor of Kesler, a sophomore from Walsh Hall. Each boxer took as much water and breaths as possible in the short, crucial span between the second and third round. In the seconds before the final bell, the crowd roared, wondering if a desperate, last-ditch push by Rempel would be enough to turn the tide of the bout. The referee solved the question on everyone’s mind when he announced that Kesler won the quarterfinal match by unanimous decision.

Kylie "The Better Jenner" Staebler def. Caitlin "K.O." Yarusso

In the first round, there were even strikes. Staebler sent Yarusso into defense with a flurry of punches. Yarusso got some good shots in once Staebler tired. In the second round, Yarusso launched into an attack, pushing Staebler back to her corner and hitting her with a brutal gut shot. Staebler returned fire, but not before taking several jabs to her face. In the third round, Staebler took the lead, but Yarusso stayed strong, recovering well after taking hits. Staebler hit Yarusso quickly with barrages of punches, while Yarusso reserved her hits, saving her strength for a few devastating blows. Ultimately, “The Better Jenner” won the match by unanimous decision.

MC "Can't Touch This" Elliot def. Ashley "The Cho-Stopper" Cho

Elliot came in strong as the first round began, attempting a strong swing that didn't land. It was a very aggressive and passionate match for both fighters, but they soon slowed their pace, reserving their shots. In the second round, Elliot got the first hit off on Cho, but Cho learned quickly, ducking under Elliot’s taller stature for some strong punches to her abdomen. Cho pushed Elliot back around the ring, her fan section cheering her on. In the third round, Elliot again took the first hit, but Cho retaliated with a flurry of punches, forcing Elliot to recede. Elliot got some controlled, strong face shots in, despite losing ground. She opted to swing around Cho’s defense, aiming for the side of her head. Elliot pulled ahead, winning the match by unanimous decision.

Mary “Red Sky” Quirk def. Layann “The Little Thorn” Wardeh 

Quirk and Wardeh started the first round off strong, both energetic and light on their feet. Each landed solid punches before they eventually got tangled together when Quirk grabbed Wardeh. The referee had to separate them three times in the first round alone. Quirk started strong, while Wardeh was not far behind with some quick dodges. Quirk grabbed Wardeh again, ruthlessly landing a series of punches on her until she got free and receded. In the third round, Wardeh came out hot with some great shots. She and Quirk had to be separated twice more before the round ended. In the end, Quirk took the lead, winning by split decision.

Abby “Silence of The” Lamm def. Kaitlin “Mo Pain” MohlenKamp

Both Lamm and MohlenKamp came out swinging in the first round. Lamm’s fan section roared as she pushed MohlenKamp back twice in the round. In the second round, MohlenKamp began aggressively, but Lamm forced her backward. Both fighters got off strong hits on each other, with Lamm eventually cornering MohlenKamp until the second round ended. In the final round, MohlenKamp pushed Lamm around, hitting her with a series of jabs. Lamm turned the table and eventually won the match by unanimous decision.

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