NC State Wrestling Hits The Road At Old Dominion
Feb. 4, 2005
RALEIGH, N.C. - The homestretch of the 2004-05 college wrestling season begins this weekend for NC State, which will be at Old Dominion on Sunday at 1 p.m. for the first of four consecutive road matches, three of them against Atlantic Coast Conference competition.
First up is ODU, which is 7-5 in dual matches and features 13th-ranked Christian Staylor at 125 pounds, highly regarded Adam Wright at 184, and five other starters with at least 20 victories on the season. The Monarchs, coming off a 27-12 loss to Hofstra, have won five of their last seven bouts.
"Old Dominion is a very good wrestling team," Wolfpack head coach Carter Jordan said. "They've wrestled a lot of tournaments and have a lot of experience. We'll have to wrestle very well to beat them."
NC State (5-5) has not wrestled since a 34-6 loss to Navy at Cardinal Gibbons High School on January 29. Prior to the loss to the Midshipmen, the Wolfpack won back-to-back matches against UNC Greensboro, 24-14, and North Carolina, 21-17.
With eight freshmen or sophomores in the starting lineup, the Wolfpack has shown steady, if at times uneven, progress over the course of the season. The return to health of redshirt-sophomore 133-pounder Jeremy Hartrum (1-3) will help. Hartrum, who had arthroscopic knee surgery in mid-January, will return to the lineup Sunday at ODU, giving the Wolfpack a fully healthy lineup for the first time in three weeks.
Several Wolfpack wrestlers have performed well over the past few weeks. Senior 149-pounder Alex Hernandez has won four matches in a row and is 6-2 since returning to the lineup in early January. Redshirt-junior 174-pounder Kevin Gabrielson has won three of his last four matches, and five of his last seven. Freshman 157-pounder Kody Hamrah and redshirt-freshman 165-pouncer Ryan Nowicki both have won two of their last three matches and have won key bouts in that time. Redshirt-sophomore 125-pounder Garrett Cummings has split his last four matches after a hot start, but has faced some of his toughest competition of the season over the last few weeks. Cummings will have his hands full with Staylor in what should be the headliner match of the afternoon on Sunday.
"We're getting better," Jordan said. "That's the most encouraging thing with this team. The Navy match was something of an anomaly for us. We're better than that and we've been wrestling better than that lately. The key for us is to continue to improve as we head towards the postseason."
Probable matchups, NC State at Old Dominion