Pair of Pac-10 Duals Await No. 10 Sun Devil Wrestling

Jan. 13, 2004

Notes for Oregon State/CS Fullerton (pdf)

TEMPE, Ariz. - The No. 10 Arizona State wrestling team (5-4, 1-0 Pac-10) returns home this weekend following a 2-2 record at the Virginia Duals (Jan. 9-10). The Sun Devils play host to conference foes Oregon State (5-3, 2-0) at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Cal State Fullerton (3-8, 2-3 Pac-10) at 6 p.m. Saturday, both inside Wells Fargo Arena.

In the latest Pac-10 Individual Rankings (Jan. 13), the Sun Devils have eight of their 10 starters ranked among the Top 5 lists with Oregon State holding positions in six weights and Cal State Fullerton in three. Two weight classes, 149 and 174, have a wrestler from each of the three teams competing in the Top 5. ASU's Patrick Williams is No. 1 at 149 with CSF's Brett Gordon third and OSU's Tony Hook fifth. At 174, the Beavers' Jed Pennell is No. 1 with the Devils' Ron Renzi second and Leonel Sanchez of the Titans coming at No. 4.

Arizona State has competed in 651 duals in its history, holding a 414-226-11 all-time record. Of those matches, the Sun Devils have been involved in 28 matches that have ended in one team scoring zero or negative points and posting a 22-6 record in those matches. The sixth loss came at the Virginia Duals over the weekend when No. 6 Nebraska blanked ASU, 37-0. A team point was deducted for unsportsmanlike conduct to lower the score to 37-(-1), giving the Sun Devils their first loss with a negative score. It was not the first negative score but the Devils had ever been associated with. In 1978, ASU downed Utah, 50-(-2).

Arizona State has had a habit of not being gracious hosts to Pac-10 foes over the years. The Sun Devils have won 13 consecutive home Pac-10 duals, including a 24-17 defeat of Stanford earlier this season as a part of the Sun Devil Duals (Jan. 4), and have gone undefeated in its last 17 home contests against conference opponents. ASU did end one dual, on Jan. 31, 1999, with Cal State Bakersfield in an 18-18 tie. The Devils' last home loss in conference was Jan. 17, 1997, when CSUB downed ASU, 21-18.

On top of having success over conference opponents at home in recent years, the Sun Devils have enjoyed home success in general. All-time, Arizona State is 179-75-2 in matches contested in Tempe, while its record is better, 142-48-2, when the duals took place inside Wells Fargo Arena.

The three wins Arizona State picked up at the 2004 Sun Devil Duals Sunday not only extended two streaks, but snapped also snapped two more. The victories over Embry-Riddle and Stanford kept the Devils undefeated all-time against both schools, 5-0 and 4-0, respectively. The win over No. 2 Iowa State ended the Cyclones' 11-match winning streak over the Sun Devils while also handing ISU its first loss in 10 duals this year.

The Beavers are 5-3 overall on the season with a 2-0 mark in conference following defeats of Oregon (23-18) and Cal State Fullerton (21-13). Coach Joe Wells' team is led by No. 15 Jed Pennell at 174 with a 16-3 record on the year.

Oregon State handed Arizona State an 18-16 loss a year ago in Corvallis to snap the Sun Devils' three match winning streak over the Beavers and hand ASU its first, and only, conference loss of the season. Overall, the Sun Devils hold a 15-11-0 advantage in the series that dates back to 1969, a 42-0 victory for the Beavers in Tempe.

Head Coach Dan Hicks' Titans are 3-8 overall in 2003-04 and hold a 2-3 mark in the conference. CSF defeated Pac-10 foes Oregon (34-14) and Portland State (32-12) with losses coming at the hands of UC Davis (33-9), Cal Poly (30-12) and Oregon State (21-13). Both Leonel Sanchez (174) and Landon Seefeldt (197) lead the charge for the Titans as the No. 19-ranked wrestlers in the nation at their respective weights.

Arizona State and Cal State Fullerton have met 12 times before with the Sun Devils winning every dual, including a 30-9 contest a year ago in Fullerton, Calif. ASU has won by an average margin of victory of 18 points (29-11) in the 12 duals.

USA Wrestling has announced a trio of people with ties to Arizona State will coach the USA Olympic Wrestling teams in Athens in 2004. Zeke Jones will share duties guiding the men's freestyle team while Townsend Saunders and his wife Tricia will guide the women's freestyle team.

Following a 2-2 weekend, the Sun Devils took a small decrease in their weekly rankings, claiming their highest spot at No. 11 in the latest Intermat (Jan. 13) poll while Arizona State moved to No. 16 in the (Jan. 12) rankings. The NWCA rankings will be released Jan. 14.

Even though the weekend was met with mixed results for many of the team members, the Sun Devils still find six wrestlers in the Top 20. Leading the way is No. 5 Ryan Bader at 197. He is followed by Nick Frost at 184 and Cain Velasquez at heavyweight, both ranked eighth in the latest Amateur Wrestling News poll. Rounding out the Top 20 entrants are No. 11 Patrick Williams at 149 and No. 20 Brian Stith at 157.

Eight of 10 Sun Devils are ranked in the Top 5 of the latest Pac-10 Individual Rankings, released by the Arizona State coaching staff Jan. 6. Patrick Williams (149), Ryan Bader (197) and Cain Velasquez (HWT) are No. 1 in the respective weights with Christian Staylor (125), Mike Simpson (133), Brian Stith (157), Ron Renzi (174) and Nick Frost (184) are all ranked No. 2 in their respective weights.

Seeded third in the team tournament, the Sun Devils opened the Virginia Duals with a 41-8 defeat of American in the first round before advancing to the quarterfinals where Arizona State dropped sixth seeded and No. 22 Edinboro, 21-16. The following day, the Sun Devils met up with No. 6 and second seed Nebraska in the semifinals where the Huskers defeated ASU, 37-(-1). In the consolation bracket, the Sun Devils met up with No. 21 Purdue for a spot in the third place match and, after taking a 20-0 lead, ASU lost the final five bouts, knotting the score at 20. The Boilermakers were, based on criteria, were the winners.

The Sun Devils will travel to Norman, Okla., to battle the No. 16 Sooners of Oklahoma in a 7 p.m. Jan. 24 battle between the Pac-10 and Big XII.

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