Earlier in the week, ASU wrestling coach Shawn Charles said that the result of their upcoming duals didn’t matter as much as their overall progress.
After No. 2 Oklahoma State (11-0) thrashed ASU 44-6 Sunday, Charles didn’t like the result or progression of his Sun Devils (7-9).
“It’s not the kind of progress we are looking for,” Charles said. “The reason is that because when you have a school like Oklahoma State come into your arena, you want your best guys wrestling them so they get that experience.”
The Sun Devils had four starters out with injury, including 174-pound No. 11 redshirt freshman Blake Stauffer and 197-pound No. 5 redshirt senior Jake Meredith. The healthy Sun Devils struggled all day with the Cowboys.
OSU earned three falls, including back-to-back ones by 165-pound No. 3 junior Tyler Caldwell and 174-pound junior No. 1 Chris Perry.
“When you’re giving up falls, it means you’re not wrestling a whole match,” Charles said. “It’s hard to get better if you’re not out there pushing yourself for a seven-minute match.”
The third fall came from the hands of OSU No. 3 senior heavyweight Alan Gelovaev, who pinned redshirt senior No. 18 Levi Cooper in the first round.
“It’s hard right now to even think about what I have to say to him (Cooper),” Charles said. “The guy he faced is a good wrestler, but as a senior, for him to give up a fall, those are things we don’t expect that to happen.”
184-pound redshirt sophomore Kevin Radford wrestled a good match, but fell just short to No. 12 senior Chris Chionuma 6-3.
Charles liked what he saw out of Radford, who was wrestling Chionuma for the second time. Charles was frustrated Radford couldn’t pull out the victory.
“We just have to go back to the drawing board and try to find out some areas we need to improve on,” Charles said.
The Sun Devils earned their only points in the last match when Oklahoma State forfeited to 141-pound freshman Matt Kraus due to injury.
Now, the Sun Devils have to regroup quickly, both mentally and physically, before returning to action next Friday at Iowa State.
“We just have to get back in the wrestling room and for us, it’s about getting our guys back on the wrestling mat,” Charles said.
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