ANDERSON, S.C. – After coming off a 28-27 tiebreaker win over regional opponent King last Saturday, Anderson University wrestling returns to action for the highly anticipated Super Region 2 Duals on Saturday at Newberry’s Eleazer Arena.
Anderson will be joined by nine other participants at this year’s duals as Belmont Abbey, Coker, Findlay, Indianapolis, King, Limestone, Shippensburg and Tiffin will join host Newberry, to round out this season’s field. Saturday will mark the first time in the program’s history AU will compete in Region 2 after competing in the East Region, which is now Region I, for several years. Last season, the Trojans picked up a win over Seton Hill in their final match in the East Region Duals.
Sophomore Zak Hale looks to continue leading the Trojans this season after being ranked fourth regionally by the Basford Rankings, which were released on Thursday. Hale is 12-3 on the season as he leads the team in wins and pins on the season.
Joining Hale in the middle of the AU lineup is junior Sean Turner (149) and Zane Newton (157). Turner, who had a six-bout winning streak snapped at Belmont Abbey, bounced back with a first period pin over King’s Frank Yattoni to improve to 7-2 on the season. With the setback at BAC, Turner dropped out of the top-8 in the Basford regional rankings.
Newton enters the weekend with the second most wins on the team, holding an 11-5 record. Newton has claimed three wins in his last four bouts, as nine of Newton’s 11 wins have come by decision.
The Black and Gold begin Saturday with a meeting against Findlay in Session I beginning at 9 a.m. The Roughnecks, who enter the weekend with a 1-6 dual record, are coming off an 0-3 run at the 2014 Ranger Duals in Kenosha, Wis. last Saturday.
Headlining the Roughneck lineup is Adam Walters, who is currently ranked No. 2 nationally at 174. Individually, Walters finished 3-0 at the Ranger Duals, highlighted by two victories by fall. Walters came into the 2013-14 season with All-American status at the 2013 NCAA Division II Championships, finishing fourth at 184.
Anderson continues its schedule at 10:30 a.m. when it takes on Shippensburg. The Raiders come into the weekend with an even 6-6 record in duals this season, but winners of four of their last six. Last weekend, Shippensburg went 2-2 at the Mid-Penn Duals in Millersville, Pa., as the Raiders grabbed wins over Stevens Tech (37-10) and Sacred Heart (27-21).
Two Raiders posted three victories on the day, as Kyle Barnes went 3-0 at 149, while Evan Ramos finished 3-1 at 184 and 197. With the victories, Barnes improved to 8-3 on the year, while Ramos moved to 16-6.
AU’s third dual of the afternoon is scheduled to be against Tiffin at 1:30 p.m. The Dragons are currently 2-8, as they recently dropped a matchup to nationally ranked Pittsburgh-Johnstown 42-6. A mixture of attached and unattached wrestlers for Tiffin took part in the Purple Raider Open hosted by Mount Union last Sunday as sophomore Chris Baker and Sam Viengmany both found spots on the podium.
In their final dual, the Trojans will square off against nationally ranked Indianapolis at 3 p.m. UIndy currently holds a 5-6 record this season, as it finished 1-1 at the Ranger Duals with a win over Wisconsin-Parkside (24-18), and a setback to Augustana (38-9). The Greyhounds are scheduled to compete in six duals on the day with AU being their fifth.
Indianapolis is currently ranked No. 10 nationally as it is led by senior Cameryn Brady who is 21-1 on the year at 149. The Lowell, Ind. native was slotted fifth nationally and first in the region in the latest Basford Rankings released on Thursday. Brady is joined by Justin Kieffer (7th – 141) and Alex Johns (5th – 125) who were slotted in the national poll.
The road trip to Newberry will end a grueling road stretch as the Trojans will host their first dual of the season on Jan. 30 when they welcome Coker to the Abney Athletic Center. The first bout is set for 7 p.m.