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Sun Devil wrestling falls to Iowa

November 21, 2008

No. 1 Iowa won all 10 contested bouts, including five that earned bonus points, to hand the Arizona State University wrestling team its first loss of the season as the visiting Sun Devils fell, 41-0, to the defending national champions in a dual held Friday afternoon inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa. One week removed from a shutout win of their own (40-0 over Portland State), the Sun Devils kept several bouts close before falling to 2-1 overall on the year (2-0 Pac-10) while the Hawkeyes, wrestling in their fourth dual of the day, improved to 4-0 (0-0 Big Ten).

The dual opened at 125 pounds with the first of two Top 10 battles as No. 8 Anthony Robles fell in a close 2-1 battle with No. 3 Charlie Falck. After a scoreless first two periods of action, Robles chose top, but was reversed and could not escape. He earned one point for riding time, but it was not enough to effect the outcome. After Tyler Bowles was pinned by Danie Dennis in 6:29 of the 133 bout and Iowa leading, 9-0, the second Top 10 battle emerged as No. 8 Chris Drouin lost a 3-2 decision to No. 7 Alex Tsirtsis. Both men escaped to open the second and third periods before the Hawkeye scored a takedown. Drouin escaped, but it was not enough in the 3-2 score.

At 149, Vicente Varela faced top-ranked Brent Metcalfe and was pinned at 3:40 before Jerrad Trulson fell in a 10-5 decision at 157 to Matt Ballweg. At 165, Kyle DeBerry fell in a 9-2 decision to No. 11 Ryan Morningstar, pushing the host's advantage to 24-0. True freshman Eric Starks hung tough with No. 2 Jay Borschel at 174 and recorded a takedown to trail 5-4 at the end of the first period, but could not maintain that momentum as he was pinned at 4:13.

Iowa picked up major decisions at both 184 and 197 with Jake Cranford falling to No. 3 Phil Keddy, 18-6, and Thor Moen dropping a 16-6 score to No. 19 Chad Beatty, respectively. The final bout of the day was the third one-point decision of the dual as Erik Nye suffered a 7-6 loss to Dan Erekson at heavyweight.

The shutout loss was the first for the Sun Devils since they lost 40-0 at Iowa State on November 26, 2006, and also was the 15th loss in a row to the Hawkeyes. The last time the Sun Devils did not lose was an 18-18 tie at home on February 9, 1990. Prior to that, ASU lost at Iowa after winning its only dual in the series, 22-18, at home on December 2, 1987. The Hawkeyes, who won 39-of-40 matches in their four duals on the day, improved to 24-1-1 all-time against the Sun Devils.

ASU will compete in its second road dual of the weekend on Sunday as the Sun Devils face No. 2 Iowa State at 7 p.m. (6 p.m. MT) inside Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa.