Coming off of three wins in its last four dual meets, the AU wrestling team will look to carry that momentum into this weekend when they square off against Hofstra Jan. 25 and Columbia Jan. 26.
In the span of a week, the Eagles defeated Harvard (21-19), Stanford (24-14) and North Carolina State (24-16). AU suffered its only setback during that time against Lehigh, falling 30-12 against the No. 14-ranked Mountain Hawks.
“We wrestled like a team tonight, winning came down to heart and not giving up,” AU Head Coach Teague Moore told AU Athletics following the win over North Carolina State. “Kevin Tao overturned a loss from earlier this season and Devon Bradley earned his first victory. It was an exciting night.”
Leading the way for the Eagles recently has been heavyweight Blake Herrin. He won all four of his individual matches to improve his record to 17-5 with a team-best .773 win percentage. The redshirt junior has done a nice job filling in for Ryan Flores, who graduated last year as one of the most decorated grapplers in AU history.
Meanwhile, David Terao has burst on the scene for the Eagles, as the redshirt freshman has also won all four of his most recent matches in the 125-pound weight class. Terao earned pinfall victories over two of his four opponents, including defeating Lehigh’s Alex Abreu in 54 seconds. He tallied a 22-6 mark during his redshirt season and is now helping the Eagles to dual meet victories in 2013.
Tao has been another bright spot for AU, going 3-1 over the four-meet stretch. Tao earned two pinfall victories and picked up a 7-3 decision over North Carolina State’s Thomas Gantt. His only loss came against Lehigh’s Shane Welsh, who entered the match ranked 20th in the country at 149 pounds.
The Eagles will sport a 4-3 record in dual meets when they travel to take on Hofstra and Columbia on back-to-back days.
Hofstra is coming off a 2-1 showing in the Colonial Athletic Association Duals at George Mason, in which the Pride picked up victories over Boston University (20-19) and George Mason (32-8) but dropped a 19-12 decision to Old Dominion.
After going 2-1 at the Mustang Duals in San Luis Obispo, Calif., Columbia lost its last dual to Bucknell. Lions captains Jake O’Hara and Stephen West, who are 13-3 and 15-4 on the season, respectively, lead Columbia.