DURHAM, N.C.—The Duke University wrestling team will face another tough test this weekend when it welcomes ninth-ranked Ohio State to Card Gymnasium for a dual Saturday, Nov. 23 at 7 p.m. The Blue Devils previously wrestled Big Ten foes No. 21 Purdue and Indiana last weekend.
The Duke – Ohio State match will be broadcast online by Blue Devil Network+ at GoDuke.com with the purchase of a subscription. Live scoring also will be available through trackwrestling.com and updates will be provided on Twitter.
Duke will meet Ohio State for the first time in program history. It will be the third of four Big Ten teams the Blue Devils will face this season. Overall, Duke has wrestled against four Big Ten programs – Indiana, Purdue, Michigan and Northwestern. This will be the first time in program history Duke will have faced more than two programs from the Big Ten in the same season.
About the Blue Devils
The Blue Devils are 1-2 overall in duals with a win over Cleveland State and a pair of hard-fought losses to the Boilermakers and Hoosiers. Duke opened the season at the Hokie Open, placing 10 wrestlers among the top six and taking home titles at 197 and 184.
Scouting the Buckeyes
The Buckeyes enter the weekend dual after upending Notre Dame College 29-11 last weekend. Ohio State previously competed at the Clarion Open and Michigan State Open. Ohio State is led by top-ranked Logan Stieber at 141 pounds, while 125-pounder Nick Roberts owns a team-high 12 wins. Overall, the Buckeyes have four top-14 wrestlers in the starting lineup. No. 6 Nick Helflin at 197 is 5-0 on the year and No. 8 Kenny Courts is 9-1 in the 184-pound group. At 133 pounds, 14th-ranked Johnni DiJulius is 6-1 overall.
In the Rankings
Duke’s lineup is headlined by redshirt sophomore Conner Hartmann at 197 pounds. Ranked 19th in the latest coaches’ poll, Hartmann is 5-1 overall and 2-1 in duals. He captured top honors at the Hokie Open before dropping his first bout to No. 16 Braden Atwood of Purdue last weekend.
Gambucci Looking to Return to Lineup
Redshirt junior Brandon Gambucci looks to return to the lineup at 133 pounds after missing the previous two duals to a slight injury. The Mansfield, Ohio native if 3-2 overall on the year and took runner-up honors at the Hokie Open.
Adamson and Kerr-Brown Looking to Continue Stellar Start
Undefeated this season in duals are redshirt sophomore Trey Adamson at 174 and redshirt junior Immanuel Kerr-Brown at 157. Adamson registered a pair of major decisions and a narrow win in his three matches this past weekend to improve to 6-1 on the year, while Kerr-Brown defeated all three of his foes by decision to move to 6-2 on the year. Both placed at the Hokie Open as Adamson took third overall and Kerr-Brown grabbed sixth-place honors.
Youth in the Lineup
Duke features a trio of true freshmen in the starting lineup. Xaviel Ramos, Connor Bass and Jacob Kasper all started the first three matches. Bass and Kasper both went 1-2 in the opening weekend of duals, while Ramos fell in three tough decisions. In addition to the three true freshmen, redshirt freshman Evan Botwin starts for Duke at 125 pounds. The Chestnut Hill, Pa., native is 1-2 overall with a decision over Indian’s Joe Duca.
Long Break Ahead for the Blue Devils
Duke’s matchup with the Buckeyes Saturday is the final event for the Blue Devils for the calendar year. The squad will return to action again Jan. 1-2 at the Southern Scuffle. Duke has six remaining home bouts following Saturday’s dual, including ones against Stanford and Northwestern.