ANDERSON, S.C. – After stepping away from the mats for the Thanksgiving holiday, Anderson University wrestling returns to its dual schedule with a trip to Limestone on Tuesday, looking to snap its losing skid. The opening bout is set for 7:30 p.m.
Despite the losing streak, there have been multiple bright spots in the Anderson lineup this season. Graduate student Zane Newton (157), a newcomer to this season’s team, and sophomore Zak Hale (141) lead the Trojans with seven wins apiece. Hale has shined recently, posting seven straight victories after beginning 0-3 at the Virginia Quad Meet to start the 2013-14 season. Since the 0-3 start, Hale has posted four major decisions and a pin in his seven wins.
Newton has dropped two of his last four bouts, but still holds an impressive 7-3 mark with wins over Division I opponents from Virginia, Gardner-Webb, Appalachian State and George Mason. Newton has one major decision on the season to go along with five decisions.
Another bright spot for AU has been the emergence of junior Sean Turner (149), who began his season in the dual against The Citadel on Nov. 17. Despite a loss to Bulldog Aaron Walker, Turner has strung together three straight victories, including an 11-9 decision over Davidson’s Kevin Birmingham and a 7-4 decision over George Mason’s James Hunsberger. Turner’s first win in the Black and Gold was a 25-9 technical fall over St. Andrews’ Kody Getkin.
Limestone comes into Tuesday’s dual with a 1-1 overall record, as the Saints narrowly defeated Belmont Abbey 19-16 in their opening dual of the season, but followed that with a 21-19 setback to first-year program, Coker. In its two tournaments, Limestone placed four wrestlers at the UNC Pembroke Open and three at the King University Open.
At the King University Open, the Saints were led by sophomore Justin Tribble (197) who placed fifth and senior Tanner Saraceno (174) who placed sixth. Tribble suffered a loss in his first bout of the tournament, but rattled off five victories in the wrestleback bracket, highlighted by a 3-1 decision over Tyler Beck of Findlay in fifth-place match. Prior to his impressive showing at the tournament, Tribble dropped his only bout in a dual, falling to Kelly Baker from Belmont Abbey.
Saracenro won by fall in his opening bout of the King University Open, but suffered a 5-3 loss to Forrest Przbysz of Appalachian State to send him to consolation bracket. In the wrestleback bracket, Saraceno posted two wins, but fell in the fifth-place match to Cody Brundage of Newberry, 3-2. Saraceno has also seen time in just one dual this season, winning by major decision over Coker’s Zach Dicus, 11-3.
Just one wrestler on the team, Alex Battaglia (125), has a perfect 2-0 record in duals this season, posting back-to-back decisions.
Since the 2009-10 season, Anderson has dropped four straight to Limestone, including a 37-10 loss in Gaffney a season ago.