The ASU wrestling team remained undefeated in conference play over the weekend but dropped to matches to non-conference opponents.
The Sun Devils (6-4, 2-0 Pac-12) began the Stanford Duals by defeating the host Cardinal 30-7. But they could not keep the momentum and fell to Rutgers and No. 23 Penn to finish the competition 1-2.
Redshirt freshman Blake Stauffer led the way for the Sun Devils. The No. 14-ranked 174 pounder went 3-0 on the day and improving to 17-5 on the season.
Stauffer’s 10-1 decision over Stanford’s freshman Dylan Morris helped allow the Sun Devils to remain undefeated in Pac-12 play.
The Sun Devils took eight of 10 matches from the Cardinal (4-6) — the first two from freshmen Ares Carpio and Matt Kraus at 133 and 141 pounds, respectively.
Then came their their non-conference enemies.
The Sun Devils fell behind early in their next dual against Rutgers (8-1) and couldn’t recover, losing 21-12 to the Scarlet Knights.
The match of the day for the Sun Devils came when Stauffer was able to down the Scarlet Knights’ redshirt senior Greg Zannetti (7-6), upsetting the No. 10 wrestler in the country. This was Stauffer’s fourth victory over a ranked opponent this season.
Rutgers 184-pound redshirt sophomore No. 15 Kevin Radford was pinned by ASU redshirt senior No. 13 Dan Rinaldi and was the Sun Devils’ only pin of the competition.
The final dual of the day matched the Sun Devils against No. 23 Penn (4-1), and ASU again couldn’t keep pace, falling 27-10.
One bright result of the match was when 157-pound redshirt sophomore Joel Smith won his first dual of the season. He defeated Penn senior Troy Hernandez (6-1).
197-pound redshirt senior No. 8 Jake Meredith didn’t fare as well as Smith, dropping a tough match to the Quakers’ senior No. 7 Micah Burak 5-2.
With the loss, Meredith moved to 19-3 on the season.
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