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WRES: Duke splits duals with Indiana and Cleveland State

Posted November 18, 2013

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The Duke University wrestling team split a pair of duals today to finish out the opening weekend of the 2013-14 duals season. The Blue Devils narrowly fell to Indiana, 22-15, and rebounded with a 19-16 victory over Cleveland State to finish the weekend.

Duke’s dual with Indiana was a thrilling back-and-forth affair as the two squads traded the lead four times before the Hoosiers used a forfeit at 133 pounds to clinch the 22-15 triumph. Duke lead 15-13 after a big win from rookie Evan Botwin at 125 pounds, but six points at 133 and a narrow 5-2 decision for the Hoosiers gave the home squad the seven-point win.

In the afternoon bout against the Vikings, the Blue Devils jumped all over Cleveland State with wins in the first six matches en route to the three-point win. After cruising to a 19-0 advantage, Cleveland State started to come back, earning three wins and a decision, but Duke’s early lead proved to be too much to overcome.

Redshirt sophomore Trey Adamson and redshirt junior Immanuel Kerr-Brown were outstanding, earning two more wins to remain undefeated in dual action. Adamson opened Sunday’s action with an exciting 12-4 major decision over Matt Irick to garner his fifth win of the year.

Taking a 6-3 lead into the third period, the Riverton, Utah native dominated Irick in the final stanza to come away with his second major of the weekend. In the afternoon match against Cleveland State, Adamson edged Nick Corba 10-8 in a back-and-forth bout to move to 6-1 on the year.

Kerr-Brown, 4-2 on the year, picked up Duke’s first win against the Hoosiers at 157 pounds. The team captain registered a takedown in the waning seconds of the match to upend Alex Gregory and tie the overall match with Indiana 3-3. He followed up with a commanding 9-2 decision over Gabe Start of Cleveland State to improve to 6-2 overall.

Redshirt sophomore Conner Hartmann picked up crucial bonus points for Duke in both matches. Hartmann registered his first technical fall of the year against Garret Goldman of Indiana as he jumped all over the Hoosier 197 pounder en route to the 17-2 victory the second period. The Port Orchard, Wash., native didn’t let up in the second match of the day, cruising past Corbin Boone 13-5 to lift Duke to a 19-0 lead over the Vikings.

Splitting matches on the day for the Blue Devils were Botwin (125), Connor Bass (149), Marcus Cain (165) and Jacob Kasper (184).

True freshmen Botwin, Bass and Kasper all garnered their first dual victories in Duke singlets, while Cain moved to 4-3 on the year from his new weight class.

Botwin’s victory came against Joe Duca of Indiana as the rookie used an outstanding second period to take a 7-4 lead after five minutes of wrestling. He registered an early escape in the second and added a takedown and a three-point nearfall in the session to earn his first career win.

Bass and Kasper both picked up wins against Cleveland State. Bass edged R.J. Labeef 4-1 to give Duke the early 3-0 edge on the Vikings and Kasper outlasted Xavier Dye 2-1 to increase the Blue Devil lead to 15-0. Kasper is now 5-2 on the year.

Duke returns to action against No. 9 Ohio State Nov. 23 at 7 p.m. The Blue Devils will host the Buckeyes in Card Gymnasium. Admission is free.

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