BAKERSFIELD, Calif.—The final week of the CSU Bakersfield wrestling regular season is in sight for the Roadrunners as CSUB travels to No. 21 Arizona State Thursday night. The dual begins at 7 p.m. (MT) and will be televised by Pac-12 Arizona. The dual will be available online at Pac-12.com.
Arizona State improved to 8-4 (1-1 in Pac-12) after defeating Oregon State 33-11 in Corvalis on Sunday. Five Sun Devils are ranked this week, led by Zahid Valencia who is No. 1 at 174 pounds in the The Open Mat and Win Magazine polls. As a team, ASU is ranked 21st in the Intermat Dual poll and 21st in the USA Today/NWCA top 25 poll this week. Arizona State has won five in a row in the series including a 21-18 decision last season in Bakersfield. The Sun Devils lead the all-time series 25-11-1.
CSUB was once again without the services of 149-pounder Coleman Hammond and 197-pounder Matt Williams who sat out with injuries during the Feb. 3 dual against Northern Colorado. As a result, the Roadrunners started the two seniors on the roster in Alex Encarnarcion-Strand and Everett Pratt, two sophomores (Sean Nickell and Carlos Herrera), and six redshirt or true freshmen. Two of those freshmen, Jacob Sieder (197) and Noe Garcia (184) had redshirts pulled in order to compete for the ‘Runners.
Despite this unusual starting lineup, the Roadrunners came away with a 22-15 victory over the Bears. Entering the final match of the night at 141 pounds, CSUB’s Russell Rohlfing defeated former Roadrunner Timmy Box 20-11 for his sixth consecutive victory and earn the ‘Runners a dual win on senior night. Rohlfing has won his past three matches with at least 20 points and is eight of his last 10. He leads the team with 22 victories (22-8) and is ranked in six national polls to begin this week.