Wrestling finishes 3-1 in opening road trip at N.C.

The ASU wrestling team started off the 2012-2013 campaign on the right foot, winning duals over North Carolina, Campbell and The Citadel.

The Sun Devils (3-1) didn’t come out of the weekend unscathed, though, as they dropped a dual to Bloomsberg.

Coach Shawn Charles was impressed with his team’s opening weekend overall.

“Obviously, we would have liked to win all four, but we wrestled well and it was a good trip,” Charles said.

The Sun Devils started the season off against the Tar Heels, winning 21-16.

Senior heavyweight Levi Cooper and 174-pound redshirt freshman Blake Stauffer earned pins to help propel the Sun Devils to victory.

“(UNC) wrestled really tough in the dual, and our guys had to go through adversity and they fought well for themselves,” Charles said.

The Sun Devils next wrestled against Bloomsburg and dropped the dual 18-16.

Down 15-7 at one point, the Sun Devils clawed back to take a 16-15 lead thanks to three straight wins, including 197-pound redshirt senior Jake Meredith’s upset victory over No. 14 redshirt sophomore Richard Perry.

Cooper, though, dropped the final bout against redshirt junior Jake Grant, sealing the victory for the Huskies.

“It’s a little disappointing,” Charles said. “It came down to Levi, who’s the highest ranked guy on our team, and we felt pretty comfortable coming down to that. It’s sports, and things are going to happen. We had the chance to win other matches and we didn’t.”

The Sun Devils finished off the weekend strong, downing Campbell 43-0 and The Citadel 42-6.

The victory over Campbell was the Sun Devils’ first shutout since 2008 and the most points scored in a dual since 2010.

Charles praised his wrestlers for their performances that led to the blowout victories.

“Blake Stauffer, Jake Meredith and Nathan Hoffer all went undefeated this weekend, and they went out there and did a fantastic job,” Charles said.

The successful weekend gave the Sun Devils’ early momentum before heading home for their first Pac-12 match against Cal State Bakersfield.

“We know that we can compete with any team in the country, and our guys really did a good job of being in a tough situation and they responded really well,” Charles said.


Reach the reporter at dsshapi1@asu.edu

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