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Wrestling Set for Two ACC Matches on Saturday
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 02/11/2011
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Photo Courtesy: Duke Photography
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DURHAM, N.C.-The Duke University wrestling team resumes its Atlantic Coast Conference schedule this weekend with a pair of matches on Saturday, Feb. 12. The Blue Devils will travel to the state of Virginia for contests at Virginia and Virginia Tech. The bouts begin at 12 p.m., and 7 p.m., respectively.

Duke, competing in its final two road contests of the season, sport a 1-3-1 overall record and an 0-2 mark in ACC matches. The Blue Devils most recently competed in the Appalachian State Open, winning two titles and bringing home and six wrestlers overall finished among the top three. Live statistics will be provided for both matches this weekend at

Redshirt freshman Bret Klopp paces the Blue Devils with a team-best 26-7 overall record and is 1-1 against ACC foes. He is riding a five-match win streak and has won seven of the previous eight bouts. Redshirt sophomore Diego Bencomo has hit a hot streak recently, emerging victorious in the past six matches, including wins in duels with NC State and Gardner-Webb.

Competing at heavyweight, Andrew Fulk sports a 3-2 record in dual matches with victories against North Carolina, The Citadel and Gardner-Webb. Freshman Brian Self leads all Blue Devils rookies with a 17-12 record at 197 pounds and a 3-2 mark in duals. He has won four straight matches after taking third overall at the Appalachian State Open and is 1-1 against ACC foes for the year.

Seniors Mike Bell and A.J. Guardado anchor the team at 141 and 149 pounds, respectively. Bell most recently took third at the Appalachian State Open to improve his overall record to 16-13, while Guardado is 9-9 overall and 2-3 in dual matches.

Rounding out the lineup for Duke will be freshman Ryan Harding at 157 pounds and junior Willy Mello at 174 pounds. Harding is 12-14 overall and 1-3 in dual matches, while Mello sports a 7-12 mark and 2-3 record in duals.

Virginia is 15-6 overall this season and 2-1 in ACC bouts. Receiving votes in the most recent polls as a team, three Cavaliers are listed among the top 20 at the InterMat national rankings. Chris Henrich is ranked fourth at 174 pounds, while Jon Fausey is 18th at 184 pounds and Mike Salopek is No. 17 from the 197-pound class.

Virginia Tech enters the weekend ranked seventh in the most recent poll. The Hokies are 16-4 overall and 3-0 in ACC action. They have not lost an ACC dual match since 2008 and have six wrestlers ranked among the top 20 nationally. Jesse Dong leads the way at No. 5 from 157 pounds, while Devin Carter is 10th at 133 pounds. Jarrod Garnett (125), Brian Stephens (149) and Chris Diaz (141) also are all ranked, coming in at 14th, 15th, and 19th, respectively.

The Blue Devils close out the regular season with a pair of home matches. Duke hosts Campbell on Feb. 16 at 6:30 p.m., and Maryland on Feb. 19 at 1 p.m.

Duke Probables (1-3-1, 0-2 ACC)
125: Open
133: Open
141: Mike Bell (16-13)
149: A.J. Guardado (9-9)
157: Ryan Harding (12-14)
165: Willy Mello (7-12)
174: Bret Klopp (26-7)
184: Diego Bencomo (22-11)
197: Brian Self (17-12)
285: Andrew Fulk (6-14)

#7 Virginia Tech Probables (16-4, 3-0 ACC)
125: #14 Jarrod Garnett (23-6)
133: #10 Devin Carter (26-5)
141: #19 Chris Diaz (22-7) OR Zach Neibert (20-6)
149: #15 Brian Stephens (23-8)
157: #5 Jesse Dong (11-1)
165: #14 Pete Yates (22-6)
174: Matt Epperly (10-12)
184: John Dickson (15-14)
197: Chris Penny (9-20)
285: David Marone (14-7)


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