No. 10 Eagles Hosting No. 5 Mountain Cats On Saturday

No. 10 Eagles Hosting No. 5 Mountain Cats On Saturday

There are five nationally-ranked wrestlers on No. 10-ranked Ashland University and six on No. 5 University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.

Four ranked matchups are set to take place in a dual between the two teams Saturday (Dec. 2) at 3 p.m. in AU's Kates Gymnasium.

- At 141 pounds, No. 12 Eagles junior Lawrance Dudgeon is slated to face a 2017 national qualifier in No. 6 Mountain Cats sophomore Chris Eddins.

- The 165-pound matchup has No. 3 Ashland sophomore Bret Romanzak set to face No. 11 UPJ sophomore Devin Austin. Romanzak qualified for nationals in 2017, and Austin did the same in 2016.

-No. 10 AU sophomore Christian Price will take on No. 2 Pitt-Johnstown senior Tyler Reinhart at 174 pounds. Reinhart was a national champion in 2016 and earned All-American honors once more in 2017 with a seventh-place finish.

-Eagles junior Deaken McCoy, ranked 10th, will wrestle Mountain Cats No. 11 freshman D.J. Sims in the 285-pound match.

Ashland and Pitt-Johnstown have squared off each of the last two years, with UPJ reigning victorious in both instances.

"It's two historic programs that are always competitive," Eagles head coach Josh Hutchens said. "You're always looking for the best competition to test your guys, and I think there's mutual respect between the two programs."

Also set to wrestle for AU on Saturday afternoon are junior Sebastian Vidika (125 pounds), sophomore Jerry Fenner III (133), freshman Dustin Marteney (149), sophomore Garrett Hall (157) and freshman Trevyon Terry (184).

"There's a certain mentality you have to have when competing in a dual," Hutchens said. "It's not just about yourself. You have to score points when you can and not give up extra points. This is one opportunity against a great team for guys to show us that they deserve to be the guy at that weight."

Also, for the first time in program history, Saturday's dual will air live online through a four-camera production with broadcasters. The dual will be replayed on SportsTime Ohio three times - Sunday (Dec. 1) at 1 p.m., Monday (Dec. 4) at 1 a.m. and Monday at 9 a.m.

"There will be a little more excitement in the air for this one," Hutchens said.

This is the first of five home duals for the Eagles this season and the first of nine duals overall. Ashland, earning a sixth-place finish at the 2017 national meet in Birmingham, Ala., won six of its ten duals throughout the 2016-17 season.