No. 8 Lehigh Downs No. 10 Sun Devil Wrestling, 29-7

Nov. 17, 2005

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - In a battle of Top 10 teams Thursday night at the Stabler Arena in Bethlehem, Pa., the No. 10 Arizona State University wrestling opened its dual with No. 8 Lehigh with an individual victory and then ended the night with another. Unfortunately for the Sun Devils, those were the only wins on the evening as the host Mountain Hawks won eight bouts in a row to take a 29-7 decision over visiting ASU. The loss was the first on the year for the Sun Devils, dropping them to 3-1 this year while the Mountain Hawks improved to 4-1.

The dual opened at 125 pounds where No. 9 Jeremy Mendoza (Sr., Temecula, Calif.) recorded a tough 2-0 decision over Matt Fisk for an early 3-0 team lead. That lead was short lived, however, as the Mountain Hawks doubled up on the visitors when Jeff Santo pinned Adam Hickey (So., Mayfield, Ohio) at 4:35 to bring the score in favor of LU, 6-3.

Santo's victory was the first of eight in a row for Lehigh. At 141, No. 3 Cory Cooperman, a senior, got all he could handle from true freshman Jason Robbins (Orlando, Fla.) as the nationally-ranked wrestler won a 10-3 decision. The loss for Robbins was his first on the season, as were the losses for the next three Sun Devils to take the mat. Pat Payne (So., Poway, Calif.) at 149 absorbed a 4-2 sudden victory defeat to Trevor Chinn before No. 12 Derek Zinck recorded a 19-8 major decision over Kevin Gaughan (Jr., New Fairfield, Conn.) at 157.

In the lone battle of nationally ranked individuals, No. 2 Troy Letters secured a 7-2 decision over No. 11 Patrick Pitsch (So., Spanaway, Wash.) to bolster the LU lead to 19-3. That bout was followed by No. 7 Travis Frick scoring a 15-7 major decision over Alex Pavlenko (Fr., Mesa, Ariz.) at 174. Then, for the second time on the evening, a Sun Devil wrestler fell in overtime as Jason Trulson (So., Fountain Hills, Ariz.) dropped a 6-4 sudden victory decision to David Helfrich.

The lone upset of the night came at 197 where Matt Cassidy scored a takedown in the third period before holding on for a 7-6 defeat of No. 10 Ryan Bader (Sr., Reno, Nev.). The Sun Devils snapped the losing skid in their final bout of the night as heavyweight Cain Velasquez (Sr., Yuma, Ariz.), the No. 4-ranked wrestler in the nation, recorded a 14-4 major decision victory over Tom Curl to bring the final score to 29-7 for Lehigh.

ASU will stay in the Quaker State this weekend as the team is set to compete in the East Stroudsburg Open Saturday morning. Several members of the Sun Devil roster also will travel to the Fullerton Open Saturday morning, the annual event that is hosted by conference rival Cal State Fullerton.

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