DURHAM, N.C.—The 2013-14 Duke University wrestling season officially gets underway Sunday, Nov. 10 at the annual Hokie Open. The entire Blue Devils squad will compete in the tournament held in Salem, Va. at the Salem Civic Center. The open will feature some of the top wrestlers from around the southeast as well as quality squads from the Big Ten, EIWA, and the MAC.
In addition, Virginia Tech will be hosting the inaugural Hokie Duals in conjunction with the open tournament. Hofstra, Kent State , Old Dominion, Rider, North Carolina, Tennessee-Chattanooga, Virginia, VMI, Virginia Tech, and Wisconsin all will compete in the duals and join Duke, Gardner-Webb and NC State in the open event.
Hokie Open action begins at 9 a.m., at the Salem Civic Center. Admission is $15 for adults and $5 for students. Complete details about the tournament can be found at http://www.hokieopen.com.
Headlining the Blue Devils lineup is a pair of ranked wrestlers in Brandon Gambucci and Conner Hartmann at 133 and 197 pounds, respectively. Gambucci, ranked 14th, qualified for the 2013 NCAA Championships a year ago after taking runner-up at the ACC Championships. The Mansfield, Ohio native is among three ACC wrestlers ranked at 133 and is second behind Virginia’s George DiCamillo.
Hartmann, the 20th-ranked individual at 197, looks to capture a second straight Hokie Open title after winning in 2012. The Port Orchard, Wash., finished 20-11 overall last year and took third in the ACC Championships and advancing to the NCAA Championships.
Redshirt junior Immanuel Kerr-Brown and redshirt sophomore Marcus Cain return to the mat at 149 and 165 pounds, respectively. Kerr-Brown is coming off of a 12-10 season, including a 3-2 mark in ACC duals, while Cain went 22-11 at 149 pounds in his first season in a Duke singlet.
Rookies Connor Bass (149) and Jacob Kasper (184) join a group of freshmen who will see their first collegiate action Sunday, while Brian Self (HWT) begins his final season as a Blue Devil after a solid junior campaign.
The Blue Devils open their dual season Nov. 16-17 at Purdue and Indiana, respectively. Both matches will be broadcast on the Big Ten Digital Network.