No. 10 Arizona State Wrestling Drops Pair on Final Day of Virginia Duals

Jan. 10, 2004

TEMPE, Ariz. - The No. 10 Arizona State wrestling team by far had one of its toughest days on the mat this year, and perhaps in a very long time, as it dropped a pair of duals to No. 6 Nebraska and No. 21 Purdue on the final day of action at the 24th Virginia Duals in Hampton, Va., Saturday. The Sun Devils (5-4, 1-0 Pac-10) were shut out by the Huskers and also had a team point deducted on top of that to lose the dual, 37-(-1), before the Boilermakers downed ASU in the consolation semifinals, 20-20, winning on criteria.

In the opener, nothing could go the Sun Devils' way as the Huskers won all 10 bouts, nine of which ASU fielded a wrestler (forfeited 184). Christian Staylor (Fr., Chesapeake, Va.) dropped a close 4-0 decision to the No. 1 wrestler in the nation at 125, Jason Powell, before No. 20 Matt Keller upset No. 10 Mike Simpson (Jr., Anaheim, Calif.), 8-6, at 133. Jeremy Mendoza (So., Temecula, Calif.) was then pinned at 141 before No. 12 Patrick Williams (Jr., Homestead, Fla.) suffered a 9-5 loss to No. 3 Travis Shufelt at 149. In another battle of Top 20 opponents, No. 13 Brian Stith (Fr., Hampton, Va.) lost, 6-2, to No. 15 B.J. Wright at 157 followed by Jamie Robbins (Fr., Mesa, Ariz.) suffering a 9-2 loss at 165.

With the Huskers up 21-0, James Pummel then defeated Ron Renzi (Sr., Burke, Va.), 6-3, at 174 before NU got six more points on a forfeit at 184. In the marquee bout, No. 4 B.J. Padden dropped No. 2 Ryan Bader (So., Verdi, Nev.) with an 8-2 decision before Andrew Luckenbill (So., Glendale, Ariz.), in his first match as a Sun Devil, fell in a 14-3 major decision to No. 15 Nate McClain to bring the final score to 37-0. It was not clear when, but ASU was assessed one team point for unsportsmanlike conduct, lowering the final to 37-(-1).

The tournament ended with one dual later with the Boilermakers defeating ASU on criteria following a 20-20 tie. The dual with PU started out looking as if the Sun Devils would cruise to a victory and a trip to the third-place dual. Staylor opened the dual, and closed out his competition in front of the hometown fans, with an 11-0 major decision at 125. Simpson then upped the lead to 8-0 with his 14-1 major decision at 133. Mendoza followed at 141 with an 11-4 decision before Williams pinned his foe at 5:18 to pad the lead to 17-0. Stith, also in his final bout in front of the crowd in his hometown, scored a 4-2 decision to put ASU out to a comfortable 20-0 lead.

Then the wheels fell off. Robbins dropped an 11-5 decision at 165 and Renzi was majored at 174, 14-3, by No. 3 Ryan Lange. With the team score at 20-7, No. 15 Ben Wissel used a 24-9 major decision over Jason Trulson (Fr., Fountain Hills, Ariz.) to add four more team points. Then came the 197 bout. With Bader leading the match, he picked up his opponent, Nathan Moore, and went to put him back on the mat. In the tie up, Bader had pinned one of Moore's arms and, when he took Moore to the mat, was called for a slam. Since Moore could not continue after the injury time was used up becuase of the called slam, he was declared the winner by injury default. With ASU ahead, 20-17, and needing one win to take the dual, No. 20 Israel Blevins downed heavyweight Clifford Starks (Jr., Mesa, Ariz.), 15-8, to tie the score at 20. Criteria was used, as established by the NCAA, and PU was declared the winner.

Following the PU dual, ASU has wrestled a total of 651 duals with only six ending in a shutout loss for the Sun Devils. Also in those duals, the Sun Devils' loss to the Huskers Saturday marked only the second time ASU has been involved in a negative score outcome as it defeated Utah, 50-(-2), on Jan. 21, 1978, in Tempe. In its history, ASU is 21-6 in matches that either team ends the dual with zero or negative points.

The Sun Devils will look to rebound with a pair of home Pac-10 duals next weekend with Oregon State and Cal State Fullerton paying Tempe a visit. The battle with the Beavers is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday night while the Sun Devils and Titans square off at 6 p.m. Saturday night. Both duals will be inside Wells Fargo Arena.

Virginia Duals - Semifinal Round
#6 Nebraska def. #10 Arizona State, 37-(-1)
125 - #1 Jason Powell (NU) Dec Christian Staylor (ASU), 4-0
133 - #20 Matt Keller (NU) Dec #10 Mike Simpson (ASU), 8-6
141 - #13 Matt Murray (NU) Fall Jeremy Mendoza (ASU), 2:20
149 - #3 Travis Shufelt (NU) Dec #12 Patrick Williams (ASU), 9-5
157 - #15 B.J. Wright (NU) Dec #13 Brian Stith (ASU), 6-2
165 - #20 Jacob Klein (NU) Dec Jamie Robbins (ASU), 9-2
174 - James Pummel (NU) Dec Ron Renzi (ASU), 6-3
184 - #3 Travis Pascoe (NU) won by forfeit
197 - #4 B.J. Padden (NU) Dec #2 Ryan Bader (ASU), 8-2
285 - #15 Nate McClain (NU) Major Andrew Luckenbill (ASU), 14-3
Arizona State was the No. 3 seed in the tournament; Nebraska was the No. 2 seed

Virginia Duals - Consolation Semifinal Round
#21 Purdue def. #10 Arizona State, 20-20 (criteria)
125 - Christian Staylor (ASU) Major Sean Schmaltz (PU), 11-0
133 - #10 Mike Simpson (ASU) Major Chase Beebe (PU), 14-1
141 - Jeremy Mendoza (ASU) Dec Jason Cook (PU), 11-4
149 - #12 Patrick Williams (ASU) Fall Dan Jankowski (PU), 5:18
157 - #13 Brian Stith (ASU) Dec Brad Harper (PU), 4-2
165 - Mark Groski (PU) Dec Jamie Robbins (ASU), 11-5
174 - #3 Ryan Lange (PU) Major Ron Renzi (ASU), 14-3
184 - #15 Ben Wissel (PU) Major Jason Trulson (ASU), 24-9
197 - Nathan Moore (PU) Injury #2 Ryan Bader (ASU) , injury
285 - #20 Israel Blevins (PU) Dec Clifford Starks (ASU), 15-8
Arizona State was the No. 3 seed in the tournament; Purdue was the No. 5 seed

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