No. 8 ASU wrestling defeats Oregon State, continues win streak

ASU wrestling's nine-match win streak is tied for the third longest in program history

The No. 8 ASU wrestling team secured yet another win on Saturday, this time against Oregon State. With the 27-15 win over the Beavers, the Sun Devils are now on a nine-match win streak – tied for the third longest in program history.

It was a special day for the ASU wrestling program as the first and only ASU wrestling team to win a national championship attended the dual. The 1988 team was honored at intermission for their efforts and athletic achievement.

Head coach Zeke Jones and his wrestlers entered Saturday's dual looking to get better before the postseason, as the Pac-12 Championships are a little over a month away.

The action got started at 174 pounds with No.1 redshirt sophomore Zahid Valencia grappling with Oregon State freshman Myles Terry. Valencia was able to work his top game and pin Terry with a leg-turk. 

Valencia's pin got the ball rolling for ASU with six quick points.

Next, it was freshman Kordell Norfleet’s (184) chance to earn some redemption from his disqualification the day before.

With no slam call this match, Norfleet dominated the entire match and picked up a major victory 15-5.

After two matches the Sun Devils found themselves sitting comfortably while honoring former head coach Bobby Douglas.

Douglas coached the 1988 national team on his way to being inducted into the wrestling hall of fame.

After the break the match continued at 197 pounds, with redshirt junior Austyn Harris getting the nod.

Harris couldn’t capitalize on the energy ASU had built. Oregon State redshirt junior Corey Griego got the pin and earned Oregon State’s first points of the contest.

The first ranked match-up of the night featured heavyweights junior Tanner Hall and Oregon State redshirt senior Amarveer Dhesi

No. 4 Hall continues to stand with the best ranked opponents in the nation, however, Hall couldn’t find a way to top No. 10 Dhesi, and just like that Oregon State was back in the dual and only down one.

ASU led 10-9 and the dual was back down to 125 pounds with another ranked match between two familiar foes: Oregon State redshirt junior Ronnie Bresser and redshirt junior Ryan Millhof.

“We’ve wrestled each other since we were five or six years old, so we know each other pretty well,” Millhof said.

With both wrestlers gaining steam and picking up some marquee wins, the fans were excited to watch the lightweights wrestle. 

Bresser scored on a low-single to put him up one with one minute to go. Millhof needed to score one point to send the match into overtime, but he did one better and with less than ten seconds left he earned a reversal that sent the crowd into pandemonium.

“Everytime we wrestle there's a lot of action, something big happens,” Millhof said after his victory.

Going into the intermission ASU led 13-9. 

No. 15 senior Ali Naser added to the Sun Devils' lead and controlled the match at 133 pounds.

Next, redshirt freshman Cory Crooks (141) battled with Oregon State redshirt senior Jack Hathaway. 

No offense was established and Hathaway had scored the only point of the match. However, two seconds later he was hit with his second stall call which sent the match into overtime. That’s when Hathaway began to show offense and earned a sudden victory takedown. 

Redshirt sophomore Josh Maruca (149) wrestled with Oregon State sophomore Kurt Mode. Maruca didn’t let the match reach the third period with a second period technical fall, adding five points to the ASU lead. 

The team score heading into the final two matches was 21-12.

Redshirt senior Oliver Pierce (157) hoped to add to the Sun Devils lead, but fell short due to Oregon State freshman Hunter Willits' top rides.

However, Oregon State wouldn’t finish strong thanks to redshirt sophomore Anthony Valencia at 165 pounds.

Anthony's high tempo and incredible cradle game got the better of Oregon State redshirt junior Rodney Williams and his pin secured ASU’s second Pac-12 win of the season.

The Sun Devils will be back in action Wednesday Jan. 24 in Bakersfield, Ca. for another Pac-12 contest against California State Bakersfield.

*All rankings taken from Flowrestling.org.


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

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