DURHAM, N.C.—Duke redshirt sophomore Conner Hartmann continued his win streak tonight to lead the Blue Devils wrestling team to a 28-19 victory over Gardner-Webb in Card Gymnasium. Duke captured wins in five of the seven matches wrestled on the evening and earned bonus points in four of those.
Duke (6-10) gave up 12 points to Gardner-Webb (6-13) with forfeits at 125 and 141, but dominated the action on the mat otherwise to pick up the dual victory. The win is the 25th all-time and the third straight over the Bulldogs, which forfeited at 133 pounds.
“It wasn’t pretty, but a win’s a win,” said head coach Glen Lanham. “I thought [Immanuel Kerr-Brown] had another great match and I felt like [Jake] Faust just has to pull the trigger a little bit more. Overall,I saw some of the guys using the things tonight that we worked on so I was happy with that.”
The match started with Hartmann cruising to his 16th victory of the year with his third pin of the year. The Port Orchard, Wash., went up big in the first period and needed just 1:13 into the second to give the Blue Devils a 6-0 lead right of the bat.
In his first dual of the 2013-14 campaign, redshirt sophomore Brendan Walsh pulled out a 4-3 decision over Justin Kozera to stretch Duke’s lead to 9-0 before the string of forfeits. Walsh, leading 3-1 late in the third period, held off a furious charge by Kozera at the end to earn the 4-3 victory with the riding time point.
With Duke leading 15-12 heading into the 149-pound bout, Gardner-Webb picked up a narrow 3-2 decision over Blue Devil rookie Jake Faust to tie the match. The match was even at 2-2 through two periods before Ziegler escaped in the third for the 3-2 lead. Faust, in search of his 10th win, took a final shot for the win in the closing seconds, but ran out of time in the one-point setback.
At 157 pounds, Immanuel Kerr-Brown resumed his winning ways with a 12-1 major decision over Alexander Bennett. The major decision was the redshirt junior’s fourth of the year and third in the past five duals as Duke regained the 19-15 lead of the match.
The four-point edge did not last long for the Blue Devils as 17th-ranked Austin Trott pulled out a last-second major decision at 165 to even the dual , 19-19, with two matches remaining.
Those four points from the Bulldogs, however, were the final points they would score all evening as Duke dominated the 174 and 184 bouts. Redshirt sophomore Trey Adamson garnered a 20-4 technical fall over Aaron Rabin for his 14th win of the year, while rookie Jacob Kasper battled his way to his second major decision with a 13-4 triumph to ice the 28-19 victory for the Blue Devils.
Duke resumes its ACC schedule Saturday, Feb. 8 at Maryland. The match is set for 7 p.m. and will be streamed live on TerpsTV.