DURHAM, N.C.—The Duke wrestling team kicks off a busy dual season Sunday, Jan. 7 on Long Island with a pair of matches against Hofstra and LIU Post. The Blue Devils and Pride square off at 11 a.m., and will meet the Pioneers at 12:30 p.m., for Long Island Wrestling Day.
Both of Duke's matches will be available via Facebook Live Sunday. Visit www.facebook.com/DukeWRES to catch all of the action starting at 11 am.
Long Island Wrestling Day Details
Long Island Wrestling Day Sunday features Duke, Hofstra, LIU Post, East Stroudsburg, College of Mount Saint Vincent, Oneonta and the Merchant Marine Academy. Action begins at 9:30 a.m., at the Pratt Recreation Center.
9:30 a.m. - LIU Post vs. East Stroudsburg
11 a.m. - Oneonta vs. USMMA
12:30 p.m. - Hofstra vs. East Stroudsburg
2 p.m. - USMMA vs. East Stroudsburg
9:30 a.m. - USMMA vs. Mount Saint Vincent
11 a.m. - Hofstra vs. Duke
12:30 p.m. - LIU Post vs. Duke
12:30 p.m. - Oneonta vs. Mount Saint Vincent
2 p.m. - LIU Post vs. Mount Saint Vincent
Sunday’s duals with Hofstra and LIU Post will be the first meetings between the two programs.
Recapping the Southern Scuffle
Duke wrestling history was made at the Southern Scuffle as heavyweight Jacob Kasper brought home the Blue Devils’ first title at the prestigious tournament and Duke landed a program-best three on the podiums. Connor Bass took sixth at 174 pounds after garnering a pair of ranked wins, while Mitch Finesilver finished seventh at 149 pounds. Cole Baumgartner had a strong showing at 133, advancing to day two of wrestling before falling to No. 7 seed Colby Smith of Appalachian State.
Duke in the Rankings
Kasper and Bass both made moves in the InterMat individual rankings following their performances at the Southern Scuffle. Bass made his debut at 15th, while Kasper jumped from 17th to seventh in the heavyweight poll. Jake Faust had been ranked in the top 20 at 165 for the first part of the season and is expected to make his debut this weekend. Prior to the New Year, Faust was 18th by InterMat and 11th in the FloWrestling poll.
About the Blue Devils
Duke heads into Sunday’s dual in search of its first victory of the year after falling to then-No. 15 Oregon State and No. 18 Wisconsin by a total of 10 points combined. The Blue Devils narrowly lost to the Beavers 22-20 and to the Badgers 25-17. Kasper leads the squad with a 16-1 overall record with his lone loss coming against Wisconsin, while Bass is 13-5 overall. Thayer Atkins is 12-5 on the year, a career-high in wins, while Baumgartner rounds out the list of Blue Devils in the double-digit wins group with an 11-6 mark. Faust will be wrestling in a Duke singlet for the first time this season, while the remaining nine starters will be the same as the previous two duals.
125: Thayer Atkins (12-5, 1-1 dual)
133: Cole Baumgartner (11-6, 1-1)
141: Zach Finesilver (8-6, 1-1)
149: Xaviel Ramos (2-6, 0-2)
157: Joey Abbate (1-7, 1-1)
165: Jake Faust (2-0, 0-0)
174: Connor Bass (13-5, 1-1)
184: Alec Schenk (4-7, 1-1)
197: Alex Belaia-Martiniouk (1-6, 1-1)
HWT: Jacob Kasper (16-1, 1-1)
The Pride kicks off the weekend with a dual at Bloomsburg before returning to Long Island for a pair of bouts. Hofstra is 1-2 overall in duals with an 18-13 win over George Mason in the Grapple at the Garden. It is coming off of a fifth-place finish at the Lock Haven Classic last week. Headlining the Pride’s lineup at Lock Haven was Sage Heller at 174 pounds, taking home the title and pushing is overall record to 17-7. At 149 pounds, Ryan Burkert took second, while Jake Kaminsky went 3-2 to climb into the double-digit wins column on the year.
125: Jacob Martin (7-12)
133: Vinny Vespa (7-8)
141: Connor Burkert (6-9)
149: Ryan Burkert (9-9)
157: Jake Kaminsky (10-10)
165: Bobby Fehr (3-6)
174: Sage Heller (17-7)
184: Michael Oxley (7-11)
197: Nezar Haddad (5-7)
HWT: Omar Haddad (3-10)
About LIU Post
LIU Post, ranked 11th in the recent D2Wrestle.com Region I poll, enters the weekend with a 5-2 overall record and recently defeated Seton Hill 24-22 this past week. The Pioneers’ two losses came at the hands of Kutsztown and No. 3 University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. Five Pioneer wrestlers are ranked regionally with freshman Anthony Sparacio leading the pack in fourth at 125 pounds. He sports a team-best 9-3 record with all three losses coming by three or fewer points. The remaining four, Jake Horton (197), Vinny Turano (141), James Louison (285) and Dan Arkow (174) all are in the top eight in Super Region I.
125: Jacoby Jones (0-2, 0-1 dual)
133: Anthony Sparacio (9-3, 6-1)
141: Tyler Walsh (4-5, 2-1)
149: T.J. Fabian (6-2, 3-0)
157: Jackson Mordente (4-7, 2-4)
165: Ed Ramirez Jr. (6-5, 5-2) or Jesse Meaney (4-7, 3-2)
174: Jesse Meaney (4-7, 3-2) or Ed Ramirez Jr. (6-5, 5-2)
184: Dan McClure (4-5, 3-3)
197: Logan McGinn (2-6, 0-2)
HWT: James Louison (2-1, 2-1)
Duke takes a short break before opening ACC dual action at No. 10 NC State Jan. 11 at 7 p.m. The Blue Devils are 2-2 in the past four matches against the Wolfpack. Duke returns home Jan. 17 against No. 21 Appalachian State, marking Duke’s fourth ranked opponent this season.