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UVU wrestling: Wolverines welcome Arizona State to town Friday night

By James Warnick

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, Jan. 17 2013 2:05 p.m. MST

UVU redshirt freshman Derek Thomas (184 pounds) locks up with Wyoming's Shane Woods in Orem on Jan. 4.

Shane Truskolaski, UVU Athletics

Enlarge photo»

Orem, Utah — The Utah Valley University wrestling team continues its current four-dual homestand by hosting Arizona State of the Pac-12 Conference on Friday at 7 p.m. at the PE Building.

The dual will be broadcast live locally on UVU TV, with a live stream and live results available at Wolverinegreen.com. It will also be rebroadcast nationally on Fox College Sports Pacific on Jan. 24 at 8:30 p.m. MT.

The Wolverines have been off dual competition since Jan.4, where they suffered a 20-12 defeat to the No. 16 Wyoming Cowboys. Jade Rauser (125 pounds), Avery Garner (141), Abner Cook (165) and Adam Fager (heavyweight) led the way by winning their matches in UVU's opening Western Wrestling Conference dual.

Fager continued to wrestle well later that weekend as he led the Wolverines on Jan. 5 by winning his bracket in the sixth-annual UVU open.

Coming into the contest, the Wolverines have a dual record of 1-2 and are facing an opponent with more dual experience so far this season in the Sun Devils as they will enter action with a 7-6 mark.

"Arizona State is extremely strong in their upper weights and I think we are strong in our lower weights so it will be a battle," UVU head coach Greg Williams said.

Rauser and Cook are both undefeated in dual matches for UVU, and Rauser leads the team with a 16-5 overall record. Fager, Monte Schmalhaus (174) and Josh Wilson (149) are all tied for second on the team with identical 14-7 records.

About Arizona State: The Sun Devils are coming off a 1-2 performance at the Virginia Duals last weekend. ASU defeated Rider 28-16 but fell to Kent State (26-12) and fellow WWC opponent North Dakota State (22-19). Prior to that, Arizona State took care of business against Pac-12 foe Stanford, 30-7, in Palo Alto on Jan. 6.

Arizona State's upper weights are solid as all four starters, ranging from 174 to heavyweight, are ranked in the top 20 of the latest InterMat poll.

Jake Meredith (197) is leading the way for the Sun Devils, ranked No. 7 in the nation with a record of 21-4. Blake Stauffer (174) is 20-2 and currently ranked 12th, while No. 17 Levi Cooper (heavyweight) is 16-8 and No. 20 Kevin Radford (184) is 16-10.

This will mark the third all-time meeting between the schools and first time ASU has ever made the trip to Orem. Arizona State, a team that was ranked 22nd the last time these two faced one another, defeated the Wolverines 27-15 on Jan. 16, 2010, at the Lone Star Duals in Arlington, Texas.

Up Next for the Wolverines: The Wolverines will yet again defend their home mat when they take on WWC foe Northern Colorado on Jan. 26 at 7 p.m. in the PE Building. UVU will then close out its month-long homestand by hosting Stanford on Feb. 1.

James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit www.WolverineGreen.com.

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