Sunday night’s match-up with No. 2 Oklahoma State not only was disappointing, but it showed the lack of depth in the Arizona State wrestling program this season.
The Sun Devils were 3-1 on the season and ranked No. 24 in the country coming into the home dual with the Cowboys. But the 40-4 outcome will likely drop them from the Top 25.
Anthony Robles, the Devils’ undefeated senior who is ranked No. 3 in the country, was the only winner Sunday for the home team, which drew a good crowd of just over 1,000 fans to the match. Despite the crowd support, the Devils were unable to finish a number of matches that were very close.
But, like they say, close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.
Jake Meredith opened the dual at 184 pounds for ASU by narrowly missing an upset of No. 11 Chris Perry, who won, 5-4, on a late escape. Then in the heavyweight class, ASU’s No. 20 ranked Levi Cooper was upset, 4-3, by OSU’s Blake Rosholt.
Cooper had just won the heavyweight title at the Reno Tournament of Champions in Nevada, which ASU participated in just prior to the holidays.
Robles put the hosts on the board by winning at 125, with an 11-0 major decision over No. 7 Jon Morrison. But that was to be their final win on the evening.
Robles, who is 15-0 on the season, was also coming off an impressive performance at the Reno TofC. He won five times at the event and notched his 100th career win at ASU.
Another close ASU loss came at 165 pounds, where Te Edwards fell to No. 14 Dallas Bailey. Edwards scored the early takedown and led 4-2 before the second, but eventually lost out in a 6-5 decision.
Although it wouldn’t have made a difference in which team would have won, OSU picked up 12 points off a pair of ASU forfeits, at 149 and 157.
The 157 slot has been especially good for ASU this year, since it’s occupied by Bubba Jenkins, who transferred in from Penn State for his senior year in Tempe. Jenkins is ranked No. 4 in the nation in his weight class.
He was injured at the Reno TofC, but earned sixth place at that event before the medical forfeit. Jenkins has a history of injuries. He missed most of the 2008-09 season at Penn State due to injury.
The Sun Devils are off next to Hampton, Va., to compete in the 31st Virginia Duals on Friday and Saturday. They are seeded fifth in the 16-team, double-elimination tournament.
(Photo: ASU Athletics)