No. 18 Wrestling Bounced from NWCA National Duals by No. 12 CMU, 20-19

Jan. 22, 2005

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TEMPE, Ariz. - For the first time in program history, the Arizona State University wrestling team failed to win a dual at the NWCA National Duals tournament, falling in the first round of the consolation bracket to No. 12 Central Michigan, 20-19, Saturday at the Cleveland State Convocation Center in Cleveland, Ohio. In their 14th appearance in the national event, the Sun Devils (5-6-1) dropped both their duals in the tournament after opening the day with a 24-16 setback at the hands of No. 4 Michigan.

Against the Chippewas (7-2-0), No. 11 Jeremy Mendoza (Jr., Temecula, Calif.) staked the Sun Devils to an early 3-0 lead as he recorded a 5-0 decision over No. 12 Luke Smith in the first of four bouts featuring two Top 20 wrestlers. The ASU advantage grew to 9-0 following the 133 weight class as John Espinoza (So., Phoenix, Ariz.) won by forfeit, earning six team points. But CMU answered back with a pair of victories at 141 and 149 to pull with in one point of ASU. Brandon Carter picked up a major decision, 10-0, over Chris Frieje (Fr., Mesa, Ariz.) before No. 16 Mark DiSalvo bested Ohio-native Adam Hickey (Fr., Mayfield, Ohio) with a 19-6 major decision.

Leading 9-8, No. 14 Brian Stith (So., Hampton, Va.) picked up a 2-0 decision at 157 over Eric Neil to push the advantage to 12-8. The Chippewas cut into the deficit again at 165 when No. 11 David Bolyard scored a 4-1 decision over Patrick Pitsch. Trailing 12-11, CMU got a win by fall at 174 as No. 11 Mitch Hancock pinned Rick Renzi (Fr., Flagstaff, Ariz.) in 39 seconds to give the Chippewas a 17-12 lead.

Heading into the final three weights and ASU strength, the Sun Devils trailed by five points, but saw that deficit cut to one point as Northern Ohio native and 10th-ranked C.B. Dollaway (Jr., Mt. Gilead, Ohio) recorded a 15-7 major decision over No. 18 Alex Lammers to earn four team points. Returning All-American No. 6 Ryan Bader (Jr., Reno, Nev.) looked to give the Sun Devils the lead once again, but dropped a tough 8-7 decision to No. 19 Wynn Michalak, putting CMU ahead 20-16.

With one bout remaining and four points needed for ASU to tie the bout and see if criteria would give the maroon and gold the victory, No. 3 Cain Velasquez (Jr., Yuma, Ariz.) stepped on the mat in the third Top 20 vs. Top 20 bout as he faced No. 10 Bill Stouffer. Although Velasquez won the bout, he was two points shy of a major decision and four team points as he recorded a victory by decision, 8-2.

In the previous 13 appearances the Sun Devils had made in the tournament, they had built a 29-25 overall record and won at least one dual in each event. In 2002, 2001, 1995, 1994 and 1991, ASU went 1-2 each time and did not place.

ASU returns to the road next weekend as it travels to face the Oregon schools on back-to-back days. The weekend opens with the Sun Devils and the Oregon Ducks (4-5, 1-3 Pac-10) squaring off at noon in Eugene, Ore., Saturday afternoon before ASU and Oregon State Beavers (8-4, 3-0 Pac-10) close out the weekend with a 2 p.m. dual Sunday in Corvallis, Ore.

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