Stanford Opens Dual Season Against Navy, Cal State Bakersfield

Nov. 4, 2008

THIS WEEK: The Stanford wrestling team opens the dual season this week, taking on No. 21 Navy and Cal State Bakersfield in back-to-back contests in Bakersfield on Saturday. The Cardinal will wrestle the Midshipmen at 3 p.m. and the host Roadrunners immediately following.

ABOUT NAVY: The Midshipmen came in at No. 21 as a team in Intermat's preseason poll and boast three individually ranked wrestlers - senior 133-pounder Joe Baker (No. 6), sophomore 149-pounder Bryce Saddoris (No. 18) and senior heavyweight Scott Steele (No. 5). Baker is a three-time NCAA qualifier and 2008 All-American, while Saddoris also is coming off an NCAA berth. Steele finished third at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials last summer, and was the 120 kg freestyle alternate for the U.S. at the 2008 Beijing Games. Navy won the most recent meeting between the two teams, 30-6, on Nov. 8, 2003.

ABOUT CAL STATE BAKERSFIELD: Cal State Bakersfield finished seventh in the Pac-10 last season, and sent four wrestlers to the NCAA Championships. Three of those wrestlers return for the Roadrunners - senior 125-pounder Brandon Zoetewey, sophomore 197-pounder Riley Orozco and junior heavyweight Mitch Monteiro. Monteiro was the Pac-10 runner-up last season, and enters the season ranked 20th nationally. Zoetewey is also ranked for the Roadrunners, coming in at No. 17 in the latest poll. Stanford defeated Bakersfield 22-16 at home last season and has won the last three meetings between the two teams.

UP NEXT: Stanford continues the season in Laramie, Wyo. next week, wrestling a Nov. 14 dual against the Cowboys before competing in the Cowboy Open on Nov. 15.

HEAD START: A few Stanford wrestlers got a head start on the season two weeks ago. On Oct. 26, 12 Cardinal wrestlers, including six of the team's seven true freshmen, competed at the Menlo Open. Junior Jake Johnson, sophomore Justin Paulsen, sophomore Cameron Teitelman and freshman Spence Patrick went undefeated in the pool tournament to get a successful jumpstart on the year. Three additional Cardinal wrestlers - freshman Matt Sencenbaugh, sophomore Max Rosefigura and sophomore Porfirio Madrigal - each advanced to the title match in their respective weight classes.

TOP NOTCH RETURNERS: Stanford's 17 returners are highlighted by a trio that qualified for last year's NCAA Tournament. Junior Zack Giesen and senior Luke Feist have both competed at the last two NCAA Championships, and have more than 50 career wins apiece. Lucas Espericueta had one of the best freshman seasons in school history last year, winning 25 matches and qualifying for the NCAA Championships at 149 pounds. All three were ranked in the top 20 in their weight class by Intermat in the preseason poll, with Giesen coming in at No. 13, Feist coming in at No. 14 and Espericueta coming in at No. 20.

A NEW LOOK: Stanford is under the guidance of a new head coach this season - former Cardinal assistant Jason Borrelli. Borrelli, a 2006 graduate of Central Michigan, was an integral part of the staff that led Stanford to one of its most successful seasons in school history last year. Working with the lower weights, Borrelli helped the Cardinal win 13 duals, post its highest Pac-10 finish in school history, its second-highest national finish and send a program-best five wrestlers to the NCAA Championships.

FRESH FACES: Stanford has seven newcomers on its roster this year. Highlighting the rookies are two state champions in Idaho's Spence Patrick and Washington's Matt Sencenbaugh. Additionally, the new faces on the Cardinal roster include Timmy Boone (Poway, CA), Michael Kent (Vacaville, CA), Victor Haug (Emigrant, MT), Kyler Hasson (San Diego, CA) and Jason Torres (Yonkers, NY). Sencenbaugh and Haug are likely to jump into the lineup right away, with both probable starters for the team's opening dual on Saturday.

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