Young Ashland Lineup Set To Face West Liberty In Home Dual

Young Ashland Lineup Set To Face West Liberty In Home Dual

The location for the dual will be the same, but the opponent for No. 10 Ashland University wrestling will look entirely different on Friday (Dec. 8) than that of the opponent it faced on Saturday (Dec. 2).

The Eagles (0-1) lost to No. 5 Pitt-Johnstown (5-1), 25-12, in their first dual of the season. The Mountain Cats sent six nationally-ranked wrestlers to the mat to overcome the four that Ashland featured.

West Liberty (3-2), visiting Kates Gymnasium to start the weekend, is not ranked and doesn't have a ranked wrestler on its roster.

"The amount of mistakes you can get away with will be better," Eagles head coach Josh Hutchens said. "You can go through the dual, and people watching might not see a mistake. But when you face Pitt-Johnstown, you make a little mistake and all of the sudden you get taken down."

AU, on the other hand, has No. 3-ranked sophomore Bret Romanzak (14-3 at 165 pounds) and No. 10 Christian Price (8-3 at 174) in its lineup.

Ashland beat the Hilltoppers, 37-9, last season, as just one wrestler lost an individual match for the Eagles.

However, only three AU wrestlers who competed in 2016's dual are in Friday's lineup. Five freshmen, four sophomores and junior Sebastian Vidika are set to go in this one.

Freshmen Carson Speelman (6-4 at 141) and Tristen Weirich (9-5 at 285) are both competing in their first collegiate dual.

"You get more opportunities with what you do when you're in there," Hutchens said. "If you go out and perform well, I don't care who's coming back. If you go out and perform well, you're going to get matches."

AU won't compete at home again until it faces Lake Erie in a dual on Jan. 20 at 7 p.m.

Next up for the Eagles is a trip to the coveted Midwest Classic in Indianapolis, Ind., on Dec. 16-17.