ASU wrestling wins second dual at home against South Dakota State

The Sun Devils are 2-2 for duals against ranked opponents

The ASU wrestling team was back in action and ready to rumble against South Dakota State Sunday, Nov. 26 at Wells Fargo Arena. 

Commencing another anticipated matchup, the dual started with the 197-pound weight class. 

Freshman Cade Belshay grappled with SDSU senior Nate Rotert. 

Rotert started heavy on Belshay’s head at the start of the whistle. Rotert’s technique opened up Belshay’s defense and ultimately earned him a technical fall win and an early SDSU lead. The final score of the match was 18-3.

Proceeding the offensive display by Rotert, junior Tanner Hall contested with SDSU senior Alex Macki.

Hall didn’t waste any time getting his offense working – he recorded four takedowns and a major victory. 

After two matches, ASU trailed SDSU 4-5.

“I want to be a heavyweight who is exciting, who goes out there and scores,” Hall said. “It might even be a two or three to zero match, but I am dominating the whole time.”

After the heavyweight bout, the dual dropped back down to 125 pounds, featuring redshirt junior Ryan Millhof and SDSU freshman Connor Brown. 

The first period ended with no points scored, but Millhof changed that in the second period by scoring a reversal and riding Brown out for the rest of the period. However, Brown scored a reversal of his own in the third period. Quickly after Brown scored,  Millhof found a way to score another reversal. The final score was 5-2.

It was time for senior Ali Naser to test his experience against SDSU junior Seth Gross.

Gross’s tenacious top rides and tilts proved to be too much for Naser to handle. Gross picked up a third period technical fall and reclaimed the lead for SDSU. 

Heading into 141 pounds, SDSU led the Sun Devils 10-7.

Following the impressive performance by Gross, redshirt freshman Cory Crooks looked to reverse the momentum.

Crooks competed with SDSU sophomore Henry Pohlmeyer. Although Crooks was able to find some offense, Pohlmeyer’s top rides led him to a win.

Heading into the intermission, SDSU increased its lead against the Sun Devils 13-7.

In order to make up the five-point deficit, the Sun Devils needed to increase offensive pressure. Following intermission, the Sun Devils featured four-straight ranked wrestlers.

The first at 149 pounds was redshirt sophomore Josh Maruca.

Maruca started off quick against SDSU redshirt freshman Colten Carlson and proceeded to score five takedowns. The final score was 12-6 in favor of Maruca. 

Next up was a top-15 ranked matchup featuring redshirt sophomore Josh Shields and SDSU senior Luke Zilverberg. 

As expected, Shields and Zilverberg gave up no easy points and forced each other to wrestle defensively. However, Shields found a way to score the lone takedown of the match and earned three vital points for the Sun Devils.

At 165 pounds, redshirt sophomore Anthony Valencia and SDSU sophomore Zach Carlson hoped to earn the team lead. 

For the most part, Carlson stalled Anthony Valenica’s explosive offense, but Anthony Valencia took a page out of the SDSU handbook and scored crucial points on top. Anthony Valenica earned a major victory and a four-point lead for ASU.

Next, a top-10 matchup ensued between redshirt sophomore Zahid Valencia and SDSU senior David Kocer. 

Zahid Valencia and Kocer kicked off with fiery offense from Zahid, who furthered his win streak against top-10 opponents to four and sealed a team victory for the Sun Devils. 

Heading into the 184-pound weight class, ASU led SDSU 22-13.

In the final match of the dual, freshman Kordell Norfleet hoped to pick up his second win of the season while SDSU senior Brady Ayers hoped to earn a ninth win. 

Norfleet, trailing most of the match, found a way to pick up his offense and earn the win. 

“I felt like he was breaking,” Norfleet said. “I just believed in the conditioning.”

The final score of the dual was 25-13. The Sun Devils picked up their second dual win of the season against another ranked opponent.

ASU will be back in action Dec. 1-2 for the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Collegiate Wrestling Invitational. 

*All rankings were taken from Flowrestling.com 


 Reach the reporter at trittenh@asu.edu or follow @trittenhouse34 on Twitter. 

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