Sun Devil wrestling releases schedule for 2008-09 season
The Arizona State University wrestling team has released its schedule for the 2008-09 season which will feature eight home duals and three tough tournaments in the month of December, including the Midlands Tournament in Evanston, Ill. In all, the Sun Devils will compete in 15 duals during the season and will face both of its intrastate foes, Embry-Riddle and Grand Canyon, in the Valley of the Sun.
"Once again, we have another challenging schedule that I feel will prepare our team for the Pac-10 Championships and the NCAA Championships," Head Coach Thom Ortiz said. "Each year, we face some of the best teams in the nation and this year will be no different. Our goal is to win the Pac-10 and place in the Top 10 nationally, and I feel this schedule will prepare our wrestlers to reach those goals in March."
The Sun Devils will open the year at home on November 8 with a Pac-10 dual against UC Davis before taking on Portland State in another league contest one week later at home. Following a road trip to face defending NCAA champion Iowa and fifth-place Iowa State, the Sun Devils will welcome Embry-Riddle to Wells Fargo Arena for its first intrastate battle.
The month of December will see ASU face competition in three tournament settings. The Sun Devils will open the month on December 5-6 at the Cliff Keen/Las Vegas Invitational before heading to the Reno Tournament of Champions on December 18. The month closes with the Sun Devils traveling to Evanston, Ill., to compete in the prestigious Midlands Tournament hosted by Northwestern.
When the year changes to 2009, the Sun Devils will return to dual competition, opening the New Year (January 3) at the Grand Canyon State Duals in Phoenix where ASU will face Oklahoma City University, Pima CC (Tucson) and the host Antelopes of GCU. The following day, ASU will take on league rival CS Bakersfield at home to open a four-dual homestand. After home non-conference duals with Oklahoma (Jan. 18) and Minnesota (Jan. 23), the Sun Devils close out January with a Pac-10 dual against Cal Poly (Jan. 31) at home.
The Sun Devils will hit the road for Pac-10 action at Stanford (Feb. 6) and Oregon State (Feb. 8) for their final two duals away from Tempe before closing out the regular season on Feb. 15 when CS Fullerton comes to town. From there, the championship season will be upon the Sun Devils as the team will head to Fullerton, Calif., for the 2009 Pac-10 Championships (March 2-3) before closing the year at the 2009 NCAA Wrestling Championships in St. Louis, Mo. (March 19-21).
Last year, the Sun Devils finished in a tie for 28th place at the NCAA tournament with Michigan State as both squads scored 15.5 points while ASU had four wrestlers fall one victory short of earning All-America status. At the conference level, the Sun Devils scored 103 points, just 3.5 points out of a tie for second place with Stanford, at the Pac-10 event with ASU sending five competitors to the finals of their respective weight classes. Patrick Pitsch (165) and Brent Chriswell (184) each won titles while Anthony Robles (125), Chris Drouin (141) and Jason Trulson (197) each took second. Of those five, Robles, Drouin and Chriswell were freshmen.