No. 12 Wrestling Finishes Perfect in the Pac with 30-15 Defeat of Stanford

Feb. 12, 2006


TEMPE, Ariz. - The 2005-06 dual season came to a close for the No. 12 Arizona State University wrestling team Sunday afternoon as the Sun Devils defeated visiting Stanford, 30-15, on a busy day inside Wells Fargo Arena. On the strength of wins in each of the final three weight classes, the Sun Devils finished the dual season with a 14-7 overall record and, for the second year in a row, a perfect 8-0 mark in the Pac-10 while the Cardinal slipped to 7-7 overall and 4-4 in the conference.

Prior to the dual, seniors Jeremy Mendoza (Temecula, Calif.), Marc Rizio (Petaluma, Calif.), C.B. Dollaway (Mt. Gilead, Ohio), Ryan Bader (Reno, Nev.) and Cain Velasquez (Yuma, Ariz.) were each honored as part of Senior Day festivities. When the wrestling started, the visitors took an early 6-0 lead as Mendoza forfeited to No. 10 Tanner Gardner at 125.

Despite the deficit, the Sun Devils stormed back just as they did Friday night against Fresno State. At 133, John Espinoza (Jr., Phoenix, Ariz.) took to the mat and pinned Erick Minnick in 1:07 to tie the team score at six. ASU then surged ahead, 12-6, as Adam Hickey (So., Mayfield, Ohio) picked up a fall at 4:58.

In what was the toughest, and longest, bout of the day, Josh Zupancic outlasted Pat Payne (So., Poway, Calif.) at 149, winning the bout, 8-6, in the second sudden victory period. Payne used an escape to tie the bout at four in the third period before a second stall on Zupancic made the score 5-4 for Payne. But the Cardinal wrestler earned one point for riding time to send the bout into overtime. After neither wrestler score in the one minute sudden victory period, both earned escapes in their respective tie breaker sessions. In the second sudden victory, Zupancic shot in and recorded the two point takedown and the win.

Following an intermission to acknowledge the program's alumni in attendance and with the team score at 12-9, No. 9 Brian Stith (Jr., Hampton, Va.) added to the lead as he recorded an 8-2 decision over Scott Loescher. But, the Cardinal would win the next two bouts to tie the score at 15. At 165, No. 11 Patrick Pitsch (So., Spanaway, Wash.) had a late lead of 1-0 in the third period, but was reversed to his back for four points. Pitsch reversed his opponent, No. 16 Ray Blake, but could not score again, falling, 4-3. At 174, Luke Feist recorded a 4-0 decision over Alex Pavlenko (Fr., Mesa, Ariz.).

Needing wins, the Sun Devils got just that as No. 9 Dollaway snapped his two-bout losing streak with a 5-0 decision over Brennan Corbett at 184. He was followed by Bader pinning Larry Ozawara at 4:01 for his second pin in as many bouts before Velasquez scored a pin of his own by sticking Jared Boyer at 2:15.

The victory improved the Sun Devils to 8-0 in the Pac-10 for the second year in a row and gave the Sun Devils wins in 16 conference duals in a row. With Thom Ortiz at the helm of the program, the Sun Devils are 34-2 against Pac-10 foes and 19-0 inside Wells Fargo Arena.

The Sun Devils will now have a weekend off from competition as they prepare to compete in the Pac-10 Wrestling Championships Feb. 26-27. The tournament will be held inside Maples Pavilion on the Stanford campus.

No. 12 Arizona State defeats Stanford 30-15
- #10 Tanner Gardner (S) wins by forfeit
133 - John Espinoza (AS) pins Erick Minnick (S), 1:07
141 - Adam Hickey (AS) pins Juston Johnson (S), 4:58
149 - Josh Zupancic (S) dec. Pat Payne (AS), 8-6 sv2
157 - #9 Brian Stith (AS) dec. Scott Loescher (S), 8-2
165 - #16 Ray Blake (S) dec. 11 Patrick Pitsch (AS), 4-3
174 - Luke Feist (S) def. Alex Pavlenko (AS), 4-0
184 - #9 C.B. Dollaway (AS) dec. Brennan Corbett (S), 5-0
197 - #10 Ryan Bader (AS) pins Larry Ozawara (S), 4:01
285 - #4 Cain Velasquez (AS) pins Jared Boyer (S), 2:15

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