LARAMIE, Wyo. -
After starting the season with three events within the friendly confines of Laramie, the University of Wyoming wrestling team will hit the road for a slate of nonconference dual competitions.
UW faces three teams over the weekend, as it squares off with Binghamton, No. 21 Old Dominion and Buffalo as part of the 12th annual Journeymen/ASICS Northeast Duals. The matches take place Saturday in Troy, N.Y.
For the first time since 2009, the Pokes will compete in the state of New York. Matches for Wyoming begin Saturday morning on the campus of Hudson Valley Community College. In a round-robin dual format in which each squad competes in at least three duals, the Cowboys take on Buffalo at 9:30 a.m. MT on mat 6, Old Dominion at 12:35 p.m. on mat 4 and Binghamton at 2:30 p.m. on mat 5. An intermission will take place from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
A look at Wyoming
The Pokes (0-2 overall) are in search of their first victory of 2014-15. But the early slate has been one of the toughest in the nation so far, as UW has fallen to No. 7 Nebraska and No. 2 Minnesota. Despite being winless, Wyoming still is receiving votes in the USA Today/NWCA Division I Coaches Poll, a dual-based ranking.
Five Cowboys are featured prominently in the national rankings. Senior Tyler Cox is ninth at 125 pounds, along with senior Dakota Friesth (19th at 165), sophomore Benjamin Stroh (16th at 184), senior Shane Woods (14th at 197) and junior Tanner Harms, who is 20th at 285 pounds.
A look at Buffalo
The Bulls, a member of the Mid-American Conference, are 3-1 this season. In the national rankings, UB's Max Soria is 14th at 125 pounds at 11-0. UB finished 66th at the NCAA Championships a season ago.
A look at Old Dominion
The Monarchs, ranked 21st in dual polls, lost their season opener Nov. 23 to No. 7 Missouri to drop to 0-1 overall and 0-1 in Mid-American Conference duals. Ranked competitors include No. 17 Brandon Jeske (125), No. 8 Chris Mecate (141), No. 10 Alexander Richardson (149), No. 4 Jack Dechow (184) and No. 18 Jake Henderson at 285. ODU finished last season's NCAA Championships in 23rd place with 18.5 points.
A look at Binghamton
In their most recent action, the Bearcats (0-1) of the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association fell to Arizona State on Nov. 15. BU boasts a ranked wrestler at 285, with No. 12 Tyler Deuel. Last season, Binghamton accumulated 4.5 points to place 49th in the final team standings at NCAAs.
He said it
"We can't think about our losses or just focus on trying to win these duals. Each individual needs to come out and focus on their effort and wrestling with toughness and not wrestle with fear," Wyoming head coach Mark Branch said. "We need to wrestle for the school and the brand and go out there and make people proud. We train too hard to not go out there and compete at our highest level.
"Let's walk off the mat exhausted and leave everything out there. The results will take care of themselves and I hope we can walk away and feel good about where our team is headed. The early schedule has been tough and challenging, but I hope it's brought us to another level."
Last time/series history
UW has compiled a 5-0 combined mark against the three opponents in program history. The Pokes are 2-0 versus Buffalo, 2-0 versus Old Dominion and 1-0 against Binghamton all-time.
The probable matchups
Wyoming vs. Buffalo
125 pounds: #10/9/13 Tyler Cox vs. #NR/NR/14 Max Soria (UB)
133: Drew Templeman vs. Sean Peacock (UB)
141: Cole Mendenhall vs. Jason Estevez (UB)
149: Jake Elliott vs. Justin Cooksey (UB)
157: Archie Colgan vs. Wally Maziarz (UB)
165: #19/19/NR Dakota Friesth vs. Rrok Ndokaj (UB)
174: Andy McCulley vs. Muhamid McBryde (UB)
184: #16/17/17 Benjamin Stroh vs. Tony Lock (UB)
197: #17/16/14 Shane Woods vs. Joe Ariola (UB)
285: #NR/NR/20 Tanner Harms OR Leland Pfeifer vs. Ian James (UB)
Wyoming vs. Old Dominion
125 pounds: #10/9/13 Tyler Cox vs. #17/NR/NR Brandon Jeske (ODU)
133: Drew Templeman vs. Michael Hayes (ODU)
141: Cole Mendenhall vs. #8/8/11 Chris Mecate OR Jacob Kingett (ODU)
149: Jake Elliott vs. #11/10/13 Alexander Richardson (ODU)
157: Archie Colgan vs. Austin Eads OR Devin Geoghegan OR TC Warner (ODU)
165: #19/19/NR Dakota Friesth vs. Tristan Warner (ODU)
174: Andy McCulley vs. Austin Coburn (ODU)
184: #16/17/17 Benjamin Stroh vs. #5/4/6 Jack Dechow (ODU)
197: #17/16/14 Shane Woods vs. Kevin Beazley (ODU)
285: #NR/NR/20 Tanner Harms OR Leland Pfeifer vs. #18/NR/NR Jacob Henderson OR Matt Tourdot (ODU)
Wyoming vs. Binghamton
125 pounds: #10/9/13 Tyler Cox vs. Thierno Diallo OR Joe Nelson OR Kyle Kelly (BU)
133: Drew Templeman vs. David White (BU)
141: Cole Mendenhall vs. Dylan Caruana OR Nick Tighe (BU)
149: Jake Elliott vs. Brian Conrad (BU)
157: Archie Colgan vs. Vincent Deprez or Colton Perry or Joe Mastro or Joe Jackson (BU)
165: #19/19/NR Dakota Friesth vs. Zack Zupan (BU)
174: Andy McCulley vs. Steve Schneider (BU)
184: #16/17/17 Benjamin Stroh vs. Jack McKeever (BU)
197: #17/16/14 Shane Woods vs. Caleb Wallace (BU)
285: #NR/NR/20 Tanner Harms OR Leland Pfeifer vs. #17/NR/12 Tyler Deuel (BU)
Rankings based on most recent InterMat/FloWrestling/Amateur Wrestling News polls.