DURHAM, N.C.—The Duke University wrestling team opens its Atlantic Coast Conference dual schedule this weekend with a trip to the Pitt Duals Jan. 12. Action begins at 10 a.m. at Fitzgerald Field House with nine teams competing across four matches.
Duke (1-3) starts the day versus Eastern Michigan at 10 a.m. The Blue Devils will wrestle ACC newcomer and No. 12 Pittsburgh in the following dual and will finish with Clarion and Buffalo in rounds three and four, respectively. All duals begin at 125 pounds and each round will start five minutes after the conclusion of the previous round.
The Blue Devils are coming off of a 24th-place showing at the Southern Scuffle. Duke was led by No. 19 Conner Hartmann and Immanuel Kerr-Brown at the event as the pair just missed competing for a top-seven finish.
The four duals Sunday for the Blue Devils will be the first for Duke since a 25-10 loss to No. 9 Ohio State Nov. 23. The matchup with the host Panthers will be the first meeting between the new ACC foes, while Duke will face both Clarion and Buffalo for the second time. The Blue Devils are wrestling Eastern Michigan for a fourth time and look to avenge the loss to the Eagles last season.
Duke will feature four true freshmen in the lineup Sunday with a pair of Blue Devils potentially making their debut in the starting lineup this season. Freshman Jake Faust and redshirt sophomore Andrew DeHart both could see action this weekend at 149 and 165 pounds, respectively.
Redshirt sophomore Conner Hartmann leads the way for the Blue Devils at 197 pounds. The Port Orchard, Wash., native ranked 19th and sports an 8-3 overall record, including a 3-1 mark in duals. He is 0-3 against ranked opponents and will go battle a fourth top-20 opponent in No. 13 Nick Bonaccorsi of Pitt Sunday.
At 157 pounds, Immanuel Kerr-Brown is having an outstanding season with an 11-4 record and 4-0 mark in duals. He is coming off a solid showing at the Southern Scuffle where he defeated No. 16 James Vollrath of Penn State. A winner in close matches, the redshirt junior has five wins by two or fewer points this season.
Redshirt sophomore Trey Adamson looks to continue his strong start to the campaign at 174. At 8-4 overall, Adamson is 3-1 in duals with the lone loss coming against Ohio State. He will face a tough opponent in No. 8 Tyler Wilps of Pitt Sunday as he looks to break the 10-win mark this weekend.
Alex Elsea (125), Xaviel Ramos (141), Connor Bass (149), Jake Faust (149) and Jacob Kasper are the rookies set for competition this weekend. Kasper headlines the group with a 7-5 record and a 1-2 mark against ranked foes.
Pittsburgh will be Duke’s toughest test to the weekend after it finished 21st at the Southern Scuffle and sports a 4-1 dual record. The Panthers, with five wrestlers ranked among the top 20, open ACC action the evening prior against NC State.
Eastern Michigan is 7-1 overall, including an 18-16 win over No. 23 Stanford, and most recently took 19th at the Midlands Championship.
Clarion, a Division II program, is 4-6 on the year and has already faced a number of Division I opponents including ACC foe Virginia. The Golden Eagles feature two top-20 wrestlers in their starting lineup.
Duke hosts its ACC home opener Jan. 17 at 7 p.m., against No. 13 Virginia.
125 - Alex Elsea
133 – Evan Botwin
141 – Xaviel Ramos
157 - Immanuel Kerr-Brown
174 – Trey Adamson
184 – Jacob Kasper
197 – No. 19 Conner Hartmann
285 – Brian Self
125 – Anthony Zanetta
133 – No. 16 Shelton Mack or Derrick Nelson
141 – No. 20 Edgar Bright or Jake Keller
149 – Mikey Racciatto
157 – Cole Sheptock or Eric Nutter
165 – Geno Morelli
174 – No. 8 Tyler Wilps
184 – No. 6 Max Thomusseit
197 – No. 13 Nick Bonaccorsi
285 – P.J. Tasser or Mike Gregory
125 – Jonathan Mele or Hunter Jones
133 – Sam Sherlock
141 – Tyler Bedelyon or John Pezze
149 – No. 20 Austin Arthur
157 – No. 19 Austin Matthews
165 – Steve Nelson or Michael Pavasko or Nick Milano
174 – Rayn Darch
184 – Dustin Conti
197 – Daniel Sutherland or Brandon Contreras
285 – Evan Daley or Josh Davis
125 – Jared Germaine
133 – Vincent Pizzuto
141 – Nicholas Barber
149 – Mike Shaw
157 – Brandon Zeerip
165 – Jacob Davis
174 – Mike Curby
184 – Phillip Joseph
197 – Anthony Abro or Nick Whitenburg
285 – Khodor Hoballah or Cole Dillman