Cardinal Set for Three Critical Conference Duals

Feb. 8, 2007

Stanford, Calif. - The Stanford wrestling team heads to the Pacific Northwest this weekend for a critical series of Pac-10 duals. Stanford will face Boise State on Friday night at 7 p.m. in Bronco Gym in Boise, Idaho, before heading to Corvallis, Ore. to take on the Oregon State Beavers on Sunday at noon. The Cardinal concludes the weekend that evening with a 5 p.m. match-up with Portland State in Portland.

Stanford has won its last five duals, including an exhibition with Menlo College. The Cardinal enters the weekend with a 6-5 overall record and a 4-1 mark in the Pac-10. In conference action, Stanford has defeated Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Bakersfield, Oregon and Cal Poly and fallen to UC Davis.

Two Cardinal wrestlers are ranked nationally and six boast individual Pac-10 rankings. Junior Tanner Gardner leads the way with a No. 3 NWCA/InterMat ranking and a No. 1 ranking in the Pac-10. The 125-pounder is 29-3 this season and has racked up nine pins. Junior Josh Zupancic stands at No. 15 nationally and No. 3 in the Pac-10, and boasts a 28-8 record at 157 pounds. Zack Giesen continues his climb up the Cardinal freshman win charts, and is currently fourth with 23 wins during his rookie season. The 184-pounder has won eight-straight bouts and is undefeated in the Pac-10. Senior Brian Perry is 23-12 this season at 165 pounds and ranked third in the Pac-10. Sophomore Luke Feist picked up his 20th win last week against Cal Poly, and stands fourth in the Pac-10 at 174 pounds. Sophomore Tyler Parker earned his first conference ranking of the year this week, coming in at No. 6 at 149 pounds.

Boise State is 7-3 overall and 4-2 in the Pac-10. In conference, Boise State has topped Cal State Bakersfield, Cal State Fullerton, Portland State and Oregon and fallen to Cal Poly and Oregon State. The Broncos are led by a pair of nationally-ranked wrestlers in No. 7 Andy Patrick (heavyweight) and No. 14 Tyler Sherfey (157 pounds). The meeting between Zupancic and Sherfey will highlight the night, as the pair is ranked No. 3 and No. 4 in the Pac-10 and No. 15 and No. 14 in the nation, respectively. The wrestlers squared off twice in late December and exchanged decisions, with Zupancic coming out on top, 6-2, in the most recent bout. At 133 pounds, Cardinal freshman Cameron Teitelman will have a chance to upset the Pac-10's fourth-ranked Levi Jones, while Feist will look to oust Nate Lee from his No. 3 spot at 174 pounds. Overall, the Cardinal is 2-5 on bouts with the Broncos this season.

No. 18 Oregon State is 14-2 overall and 6-1 in the Pac-10, with its only conference loss coming at the hands of UC Davis last week. Three Beavers are ranked nationally, and the squad boasts a wrestler ranked in conference at every weight class. Highlighting the line-up is No. 6 Ty Watterson at heavyweight, who is top-ranked in the Pac-10. Kyle Larsen is No. 19 at 141 pounds and second-ranked in the Pac-10, while Jeremy Larsen boasts the same set of rankings at 174 pounds. Stanford's Gardner will face his closest challenger in the Pac-10 against the Beavers' Eric Stevenson. Stanford is 2-3 against Oregon State wrestlers this season. Last year, Stanford fell to Oregon State at home, 28-7.

Portland State enters the weekend with a 1-13 record and an 0-6 record in the Pac-10. The Vikings have no wrestlers ranked in conference or nationally. Junior 165-pounder Dale Seley is the top wrestler for the Vikings, with a 19-10 record this season. Last year, the Cardinal beat the Vikings at home, 40-7.

'This is a big weekend for us,' said Head Coach Kerry McCoy. 'Boise State has a tough team and a lot of young talent. Oregon State has been one of the most successful teams in the conference so far. All of their guys are ranked in the conference and the team is favored to win the tournament, so this dual will give us a good chance to see how we stack up against them. Portland State is another young team with a new coach. Typically they've had a few strong individuals, so we can't take them lightly. Almost every match this weekend has Pac-10 seeding implications, so we need to be ready for a fight.'

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