CHARLESTON, S.C.-The Duke University wrestling team opened its dual match season this evening with a hard-fought 28-14 loss to The Citadel. The Blue Devils garnered four victories on the evening.
Winning for Duke were freshman Tanner Hough, sophomore Ryan Harding, redshirt senior A.J. Guardado and redshirt junior Diego Bencomo. Harding and Bencomo both picked up major decisions, but Duke could not overcome the Bulldogs.
The match started at 165 pounds with Duke's Harding going up against Michael Harper. Harding got off to a fast start and never looked back en route to a 14-2 major decision. The victory gave the Blue Devils an early 4-0 lead in the match and marked Harding's first major decision victory of the year and his 15th overall win.
The Bulldogs came right back with 18th-ranked Turtogtokh Luvsandorj earning a major decision, 13-4 over Duke freshman Randy Roden. The back and forth match continued as Bencomo turned in an outstanding effort in his first match of the season. He controlled all seven minutes of the contest to post a 15-6 major decision and give the Blue Devils the 8-4 lead through three matches.
At 197 pounds, The Citadel's Kelby Smith registered the early takedown for a 2-0 lead, but Duke sophomore Brian Self got a point back with an escape in final seconds of the first period. Self started the second session off with another escape to even the bout score at two heading into the final period. Smith picked up an escape to start the third and added a takedown and held off Self in the final minute for the 6-2 decision.
The Citadel picked up momentum in the next three matches, earning falls at heavyweight and 125 pounds. The Blue Devils were forced to forfeit at 133 pounds to give the Bulldogs a 25-8 edge heading into the final three matches of the evening.
After Duke dropped two straight matches, Hough got the Blue Devils back on track with a hard-fought victory at 141 pounds. Jordan Dix and Hough fought through a scoreless first period before Hough scored on a reversal in the second session. Dix started the final period with an escape, but Hough held on for the 2-1 decision.
The Blue Devils picked up another victory at 149 pounds from Guardado. Going up against David Ivashchenko, Guardado scored with a takedown with 21 seconds remaining in the first period to take a 2-1 lead. Ivashchenko evened the match with an escape, but Guardado dominated the final stanza with an escape and takedown to take the 6-3 decision.
Duke's Immanuel Kerr-Brown closed out the match at 157 pounds against Pierre Frazile. The bout was even as the two traded escapes to remain tied 1-1 midway through the final period. Frazile managed a score with a takedown late in the third session to make it 3-1 before Kerr-Brown got an escape to make it 3-2. The Rome, Ga., native continued to fight for the winning score, but came up just short in the one-point loss.
The Blue Devils return to action Jan. 9 at North Carolina. The match is set for 7 p.m., at Carmichael Auditorium.
165 Ryan Harding (Duke) def. Michael Harper (The Citadel), Major dec. 14-2 (4-0)
174 Turtogtokh Luvsandorj (The Citadel) def. Randy Roden (Duke), Major dec., 13-4 (4-4)
184 Diego Bencomo (Duke) def. John Duane (The Citadel), Major dec., 15-6 (8-4)
197 Kelby Smith (The Citadel) def. Brian Self (Duke), Dec. 6-2 (8-7)
285 Andrew Delaney (The Citadel) def. Andrew Fulk (Duke), Fall, 1:30 (8-13)
125 Richard Alarcon Jr. (The Citadel) def. Peter Terrezza (Duke), Fall, 6:27 (8-19)
133 Kyle Casaletto (The Citadel) won by forfeit (8-25)
141 Tanner Hough (Duke) def. Jordan Dix (The Citadel), Dec., 2-1 (11-25)
149 Andrew Guardado (Duke) def. David Ivashchenko (The Citadel), Dec., 6-3 (14-25)
157 Pierre Frazile (The Citadel) def. Immanuel Kerr-Brown (Duke), Dec., 3-2 (14-28)