No. 2 Nebraska Downs No. 16 Arizona State Wrestling, 26-9
Jan. 30, 2004
TEMPE, Ariz. - Coming off a lopsided 37-(-1) affair three weeks earlier at the Virginia Duals, the No. 16 Arizona State wrestling team looked to put forth a stronger showing against No. 2 Nebraska when the two teams met in a rematch Friday at Wells Fargo Arena. Though the Sun Devils dropped the dual, 26-9, they did see three of their individuals come away with victories in impressive fashion. With the loss, ASU is now 7-6 on the year while NU improved to 17-1.
The dual opened at 149 pounds with No. 3 Travis Shufelt scoring an 8-3 decision over No. 11 Patrick Williams (Jr., Homestead, Fla.) to put the visitors out in front, 3-0. But the Sun Devils answered back immediately with a win at 157 as Brian Stith (Fr., Hampton, Va.) won a 6-1 decision over David Ingalls to knot the score at three. Stith took the lead with a takedown nearly two minutes into the bout and never looked back.
With the crowd of 657 on its feet following the Stith win, the Huskers quieted the fans when No. 17 Jacob Klein scored an 11-2 major decision over Jamie Robbins (Fr., Mesa, Ariz.) at 165. Trailing 7-3, it was up to senior Ron Renzi (Burke, Va.) to keep the home team in the hunt for a win as he took the mat at 174. After a scoreless first period, Jason Pummel escaped and then took Renzi down for a 3-1 lead heading into the final stanza. After a Renzi escaped brought the Sun Devil to within one point, he battled until he scored his bout-winning takedown with only 10 seconds remaining on the clock for a 4-3 victory.
No. 4 Travis Pascoe answered back for the Huskers at 184 as he handed Jason Trulson (Fr., Fountain Hills, Ariz.) a 22-9 major decision to put NU on top for good, 11-6, and set up the marquee match of the night. At 197, No. 4 Ryan Bader (So., Verdi, Nev.) met No. 3 Travis Pascoe and looked to avenge one of his only four losses on the year. Pascoe took the early lead 14 seconds into the bout with a takedown and Bader escaped to make it 2-1. With 1:17 remaining in the first, Bader took down Pascoe and then earned two back points to make the score 5-2 at the break. Following a scoreless second period that saw Bader hold his foe to the mat the entire time, the Sun Devil took bottom and reversed the Husker for a 7-2 lead. Following a Pascoe escape, Bader earned three more points on a take down and riding time for the final margin, 10-3.
At heavyweight, Clifford Starks (Jr., Phoenix, Ariz.) dropped a 6-3 decision to No. 9 Nathan McClain to set up the next top-level bout at 125. In that dual, No. 9 Christian Staylor (Fr., Chesapeake, Va.) nearly upset the No. 1 wrestler in the nation, Jason Powell, eventually falling, 4-3. At 133, No. 10 Matt Keller was on his way to defeating No. 11 Mike Simpson (Jr., Anaheim, Calif.), but with 12 seconds remaining, Keller was trying to turn Simpson for near fall points when Simpson injured his shoulder. Following a quick check by the medical staff, Simpson could not continue, giving Keller an injury default win and six team points. The dual closed with Jeremy Mendoza (So., Temecula, Calif.) falling, 8-1, to No. 13 Matt Murray.
ASU returns to the mats Sunday at 2 p.m. when it plays host to Oregon inside Wells Fargo Arena.