Wrestling competition back down to earth

Published On:
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
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The ASU wrestling team (2-2, 2-0 Pac-10) looks to return to the win column Sunday as it plays host to Embry-Riddle at Wells Fargo Arena.

The dual is ASU’s first since losing to both No. 1 Iowa and No. 2 Iowa State last weekend.

Don’t call Embry-Riddle a rebound however.

“Each match is individually different from its own,” ASU coach Thom Ortiz said. “You got to go every time you wrestle, win lose or draw.”

Ortiz stressed the need for his team to move past what he called “a learning experience” in Iowa and focus only on the challenge ahead: Embry-Riddle.

“They’re a tough team,” Ortiz said. “They’re going to wrestle extra hard against us.”

Embry-Riddle (0-2) competes in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.

Last year, the Sun Devils hosted and beat the Eagles 35-9.

ASU’s No. 8 Anthony Robles (sophomore, 125 pounds), who has lost each of his previous two matches, said he is looking to returning to the mat and putting the road trip behind him.

“All we can do is look back at it and move forward,” Robles said. “I’m a little down and am ready to get back out there.”

After four duals and countless weeks of practice, ASU is pleased to report adequate health.

Only sophomore Orlando Jimenez (133 pounds) is nicked up.

Nevertheless, Ortiz said he is hopeful that Jimenez will be able to make his first start since ASU’s first dual of the season against UC Davis on Nov. 8.

Junior Tyler Bowles is expected to take Jimenez’s place should he remain unable to compete on Sunday.

And while this is ASU’s third home dual of the season, it’s the first at Wells Fargo Arena on the Tempe campus, the location of their remaining six home meets.

“It should help them,” Ortiz said. “Hawkeye Arena [in Iowa] was a bit intimidating.”

Ortiz was quick to point out the advantage of competing in front of your own fans too.

“Once you go to those bigger schools, going into their arenas, wrestling them … that can be a little intimidating,” he said. “For our team, a home advantage makes a difference for everybody.”

Reach the reporter at joshua.spivack@asu.edu.