Stanford Splits First Night Of Pac-10 Duals

Jan. 18, 2008

Davis, Calif. - Seniors Josh Zupancic and Tanner Gardner paced the Stanford wrestling team, as the squad split its first two Pac-10 duals at Hickey Gym on the campus of UC Davis. The Cardinal dropped an exciting battle with Boise State, 21-15, before topping the host Aggies for the first time since 2004, 30-9.

Zupancic upset the top-ranked wrestler in the Pac-10, before working for a decisive technical fall. Gardner picked up two wins, including his 14th pin of the year.

The first dual played out in a series of tight decisions, with seven of nine bouts determined by three points or less. Boise State came out on top of six of the close bouts, however, to top Stanford in its first Pac-10 competition of the year, 21-15.

The Cardinal fell behind early, dropping decisions in the first three matches of the night. In the first, at 184 pounds, the Broncos' ninth-ranked Kirk Smith topped Stanford sophomore Zack Giesen (17-6), 5-2. In the second, Boise State 197-pounder Matt Casperson scored a takedown in the final seconds of the third period to edge sophomore Jake Johnson, 3-2. In the third, heavyweight Nick Smith's takedown with time winding down lifted him to a 3-1 decision over the Cardinal's Phillip Doerner.

With Boise State up 9-0, senior 125-pounder Tanner Gardner finally halted the Bronco momentum. The defending Pac-10 Champion pinned Boise State's Anthony Hayes in 5:35. Gardner took a solid lead on Hayes, then put him on his back in the third period. The pin was Gardner's 14th of the year, matching the career-best total he racked up last season.

Boise State followed with two more close decisions, boosting its lead to 15-6. Wrestling in his first collegiate dual, freshman Profirio Madrigal fell 5-3 to Cory Fish at 133 pounds. Fellow freshman Max Rosefigura dropped a tight 2-1 decision to Elijah Hutchinson, after the Bronco 141-pounder scored a late third period reversal.

Stanford earned six points on a Boise State forfeit at 149 pounds.

In the most anticipated bout of the night, Josh Zupancic pulled off his second upset of a top-10 wrestler this month. The Cardinal senior scored a two-point nearfall in the third period, upending 10th-ranked Tyler Sherfey, 3-1. Zupancic, who is No. 13 nationally, earned his 24th win of the season and tied the team score at 15.

The Broncos closed out the win, however, with another pair of close decisions at 165 pounds and 174 pounds. Sophomore Peter Miller dropped a 5-2 decision to 18th-ranked Kurt Swartz in the first bout. In a rematch of last year's Pac-10 174-pound third place match, Luke Feist then fell 10-3 to Boise State's Nate Lee.

Stanford was given a six-point boost to start the dual with UC Davis, taking an early lead on an Aggie forfeit at 184 pounds. Johnson (18-8) then padded the Cardinal lead at 197 pounds, defeating UC Davis' Abe Otrambo, 5-2.

The Aggies bounced back with an overtime victory at heavyweight, trimming the margin to 9-3. Doerner (15-13) and the Aggies' Ricky Alcala were knotted 1-1 at the end of regulation, but Alcala scored a sudden victory takedown to earn the win.

Gardner (27-1) once again answered for the Cardinal, dominating 2007 NCAA qualifier Marcos Orozco in the 125-pound bout. The Stanford senior tallied six near fall points and claimed an 11-1 major decision to shoot the Stanford lead into double-digits, 13-3.

UC Davis rallied back with wins at 133 pounds and 141 pounds, however, slicing the lead to just four at 13-9. Madrigal (5-7) fell to Aggie senior Francisco Manriquez, 10-4, at 133 pounds while Rosefigura (9-7) was reversed in the final seconds of the bout to fall 9-5 to Nexi Delgado at 141 pounds.

Redshirt freshman Lucas Espericueta (19-7) put the Cardinal back in control, taking care of UC Davis' Barett Abel with a 12-2 major decision. Zupancic (25-5) then stepped in and sealed the win for the Cardinal, dominating Drew Maraglia at 157 pounds with a decisive 19-4 technical fall.

Miller (13-7) continued the trend, posting his first career technical fall at 165 pounds. Miller scored seven points in the first period to best sophomore Kyle Dubs, 17-2.

At 174 pounds, Feist battled back from an early deficit and put an exclamation point on the Stanford win with a 9-6 decision over UC Davis' Tyler Bernacchi.

Stanford returns to the mats next week for its first home action of the year. The Cardinal will meet 2007 Pac-10 runner-up Cal State Bakersfield in a 7 p.m. dual Thursday night. On Friday, Stanford will battle Menlo College and conference foe Portland State in a pair of contests starting at 5 p.m.

Boise State 21, Stanford 15
125 - No. 6 Tanner Gardner (S) pinned Anthony Hayes (B), 5:35
133 - Cory Fish (B) dec. Porfirio Madrigal (S), 5-3
141 - Elijah Hutchinson (B) dec. Max Rosefigura (S), 2-1
149 - Lucas Espericueta (S) win by default
157 - No. 13 Josh Zupancic (S) dec. No. 10 Tyler Sherfey (B), 3-1
165 - No. 18 Kurt Swartz (B) dec. Peter Miller (S), 5-2
174 - Nate Lee (B) dec. Luke Feist (S), 10-3
184 - No. 9 Kirk Smith (B) dec. Zack Giesen (S), 5-2
197 - Matt Casperson (B) dec. Jake Johnson (S), 3-2
HWT - Nick Smith (B) dec. Phillip Doerner (S), 3-1

Stanford 30, UC Davis 9
125 - No. 6 Tanner Gardner (S) maj. dec. Marcos Orozco (D), 11-1
133 - Francisco Manriquez (D) dec. Porfirio Madrigal (S), 10-4
141 - Nexi Delgado (D) dec. Max Rosefigura (S), 9-5
149 - Lucas Espericueta (S) maj. dec. Barett Abel (D), 12-2
157 - No. 13 Josh Zupancic (S) tech. fall Drew Maraglia (D), 19-4
165 - Peter Miller (S) tech. fall Kyle Dubs (D), 17-2
174 - Luke Feist (S) dec. Tyler Bernacchi (D), 9-6
184 - Zack Giesen (S) win by default
197 - Jake Johnson (S) dec. Abe Otrambo (D), 5-2
HWT - Ricky Alcala (D) dec. Phillip Doerner (S), 3-1 (OT)

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