Feb. 19, 2013
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RALEIGH, N.C. – After picking up a pair of dual meet wins over the weekend, the NC State wrestling team will return to home action when the Wolfpack hosts Duke Wednesday night at 7 p.m. in Reynolds Coliseum.
The dual will be the Pack’s home finale, as NC State has just the ACC and NCAA Championships remaining.
The Series vs. Duke: Wednesday’s dual meet against Duke will be the 39th meeting in the series, which dates back to 1975, NC State’s first season. The two teams have met every year since then.
NC State holds a demanding 36-2 lead in the overall series. The Blue Devils only wins came in 1997 and 2009. Last year the Pack won in Durham, 24-15.
The Pack is also 16-2 when hosting Duke.
Familiar Foes: Only one potential rematch is on tap for the Duke dual meet Wednesday.
In the Keystone Classic back on Nov. 18, NC State’s Patrick Davis dropped a decision to Duke’s Trey Adamson at 174 pounds, 8-3.
NC State-Duke Connection: Three coaches from NC State and Duke have Oklahoma State ties. NC State head coach Pat Popolizio and assistant coach Jamill Kelly both wrestled for the Cowboys, as did Duke head coach Glen Lanham.
Both Popolizio and Lanham are in their first seasons as head coaches in the ACC.
In the rankings: In the current Division I NCAA coaches’ panel rankings, a pair of NC State wrestlers are ranked: freshman Sam Speno is No. 24 at 133 pounds and junior Nijel Jones is No. 27 at 165 pounds.
Duke has one wrestler in the latest rankings, Brandon Gambucci, who is ranked 27th at 133 pounds.
Last Time Out: The Pack picked up a pair of dual meet victories this past Sunday afternoon, defeating Ohio Northern, 32-11, and then Davidson, 37-9. Of the 20 total matches, the Pack earned 15 victories, including 10 bonus point wins.
The Pack started its afternoon against Ohio Northern, and registered six straight wins to start the dual meet with a 23-0 lead.
The Pack then turned around to face host Davidson, and earned bonus point victories in six of the 10 matches.
Nereim Peaking at Right Time: Junior Matt Nereim has strung together five straight wins at 157 pounds, including three straight in ACC action.
Nereim is 16-10 on the season, 8-2 in duals and 3-1 in ACC action.
Last season, Nereim was an NCAA qualifier at 149 pounds after placing second at the ACC Championships and recording 20 wins.
Up Next: The Pack will next compete at the 2013 ACC Championships, held March 9 in College Park, Md., with the University of Maryland serving as the host. The NCAA Championships are March 21-23 in Des Moines, Iowa.