DURHAM, N.C.-The Duke University wrestling team continues its five match road stretch on Thursday, Jan. 27 with an ACC dual match at rival North Carolina State. The Blue Devils and Wolfpack will grapple for their first conference victories at Reynolds Coliseum at 7 p.m.
Duke is 1-2-1 overall on the year and 0-1 in league action. The Blue Devils most recently tied Gardner-Webb 22-22 for the program's first draw since 2000 and just the 10th all-time. Duke and NC State will meet for the 77th time with the Wolfpack holding a 56-19-1 lead in the all-time series. NC State has won 12 of the previous 13 meetings with the Blue Devils earning a win in 2009. Duke defeated the Wolfpack in the 2010 ACC Tournament with 28 points to N.C. State's 15.5.
Senior Mike Bell, Duke's leader at 141 pounds, is riding a two-match win streak. He is 1-0 in ACC action after pinning Danny Lopes of North Carolina. He registered a narrow 3-2 victory at Gardner-Webb to improve to 12-12 overall and 2-2 in dual bouts. At 174 pounds, redshirt freshman Bret Klopp recently posted his 14th fall of the season when he pinned his foe from Gardner-Webb in 2:11. He leads all Blue Devils with a 22-7 record and is 3-1 in dual matches. His lone loss came against North Carolina.
Redshirt sophomore Diego Bencomo anchors the lineup at 184 pounds with a 17-11 overall record and a 2-2 mark in dual matches. In his previous three matches e picked up major decisions at Davidson and Gardner-Webb and suffered a narrow 7-5 setback against North Carolina.
Also winners of two of their previous three bouts are senior A.J. Guardado and redshirt sophomore Andrew Fulk. Guardado, wrestling at 149 pounds, is 8-6 overall and 2-2 in dual matches with wins by technical fall and decision against Davidson and Gardner-Webb, respectively. Fulk leads the group at heavyweight with a 6-11 mark and winning two straight matches. He turned in an outstanding 6-1 decision against North Carolina to put his ACC record at 1-0.
The Wolfpack is 7-5 overall and 0-1 in league action with a 26-12 loss at Virginia. NC State's last win was a 31-9 triumph over Campbell on Jan. 22. Darrion Caldwell is the Wolfpack's top wrestler with a 6-0 record at 149 pounds. He sits atop the national rankings in the 149-pound division with five of his wins coming by fall.
Darrius Little is 21-6 overall and 7-1 in dual contests at 141 pounds, while Colton Palmer also is a member of the 20-win club with a 24-8 overall mark and 10-2 record in dual bouts at 157 pounds. Quinton Godley is nearing the 20-win mark with a 17-9 mark at 174 pounds. Godley is 7-3 in dual matches and recently earned an upset victory over No. 18 Jonathan Fausey of Virginia at 184 pounds.
Duke will head to the Appalachian State Open on Jan. 29 before resuming ACC action on Feb. 12 at Virginia and Virginia Tech.