No. 22 Arizona State Wrestling Nearly Upsets No. 5 Iowa State, 22-16

Nov. 28, 2004


TEMPE, Ariz. - Although the two teams split their 10 individual bouts, the No. 22 Arizona State University wrestling team fell to No. 5 Iowa State, 22-16, inside Hilton Colisuem Saturday in Ames, Iowa. Two wins by fall gave the hosts their final advantage in a battle of Sun Devil greats. Current head coach Thom Ortiz and his Sun Devils slipped to 0-2 on the year while former ASU head coach Bobby Douglas, who coached Ortiz to three All-America honors, helped his Cyclones remain undefeated at 6-0 on the year.

On the day, four of the 10 bouts featured duals between two nationally ranked foes with both teams winning two each. In the first match of the day, No. 18 C.B. Dollaway (Jr., Mt. Gilead, Ohio/Colby CC) dropped a tough battle at 184 pounds as he suffered a 9-4 setback to No. 4 Kurt Backes. The loss marked the second close decision to a Top 4 opponent on the weekend as Dollaway dropped a 9-7, sudden victory decision to No. 2 Paul Bradley of Iowa one night prior.

Trailing 3-0, the Sun Devils would come back to knot the score at three with No. 4 Ryan Bader (Jr., Reno, Nev./McQueen HS) downing No. 20 Trevor Smith, 6-3, at 197. After being upset one night ago, No. 8 Cain Velasquez (Jr. Yuma, Ariz./Iowa Central CC) rebounded in a big way in his heavyweight match as he turned the upset tables by handing No. 5 Scott Coleman a 4-1 decision.

With their first lead of the day, 6-3, the Sun Devils tacked on three more points via its second upset of the afternoon and in a row as unranked Jeremy Mendoza (Jr., Temecula, Calif./Temecula Valley HS) scored an 11-5 decision over No. 13 Grant Nakamura at 125. But the team race was quickly turned around as Steve Neff (Fr., Northampton, Pa./Red Mountain Ariz. HS) at 133 and Chris Frieje (Fr., Mesa, Ariz./Mesa HS) at 141 were pinned by Jesse Sundell (at 2:27) and No. 2 Nate Gallick (at 4:09), respectively.

The team race now saw the hosts holding a 15-9 lead with four duals remaining. No. 9 Patrick Williams (Sr., Homestead, Fla./Neosho CC) halted the ISU momentum at 149 by winning his bout, 5-2, over Aron Scott and cutting the deficit to 15-12. But the Cyclones upped their lead once again as No. 5 Trent Paulson downed No. 16 Brian Stith (So., Hampton, Va./Frank W. Cox HS) in a battle of nationally ranked 157-pound competitors, 3-1, to push ISU to an 18-12 lead. Trailing by six points, Patrick Pitsch (Fr., Spanaway, Wash./Spanaway Lake HS) cut into the deficit by securing the first dual victory of his career with a 14-3 major decision over Mike Somsky at 165.

The dual came down to the final bout of the day with the score at 18-16 in favor of ISU. With the winner of the remaining dual securing the team victory for his respective school, Rick Renzi (Fr., Flagstaff, Ariz./Marcos de Niza HS) took on No. 6 Nick Passolano at 174, but was unable to pull the upset, falling in a 9-1 major decision. With the four team points earned with the victory, ISU took the team race, 22-16.

Next up for the Sun Devils is their annual trip to one of the toughest regular season tournaments in the nation each year as they head north to the 23rd Cliff Keen/Las Vegas Invitational Friday and Saturday at the Cashman Center. Over 30 teams are slated to compete in the tournament that saw the ASU finish fifth a year ago.

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