Gardner-Webb Wrestling To Host Duke Wednesday Night In Paul Porter Arena (7 pm)

Tim Cowie Photo  |
Tim Cowie Photo |

BOILING SPRINGS – Gardner-Webb's wrestling squad returns home Wednesday night to host Duke at 7:00 pm in Paul Porter Arena.

The Runnin' Bulldogs (5-6, 2-3 SoCon) are coming off a challenging stretch – with three road duals in a row, including two against top-20 squads.

Duke (3-6, 0-2 ACC) snapped a three-match losing streak with an 18-16 win at Old Dominion on January 25 – and competed well in a 26-13 loss at No. 5 Virginia Tech on January 29 in Blacksburg.

Gardner-Webb captured a 19-18 win last season over then No. 24 Duke, winning in Durham in thrilling fashion.

Gardner-Webb has been strong in its middle to upper weights, with 149-pounder Chris Vassar (17-7), 157-pounder Ryan Mosley (17-9), 165-pounder Tyler Marinelli (13-4), 174-pounder Austin Trott (15-3) and 184-pounder Hunter Gamble (16-3) each enjoying strong seasons to date. Heavyweight Boyce Cornwell (17-7) has also been solid in his final season on the mat for GWU.

The Blue Devils have five wrestlers in their starting lineup with double figures wins so far, with heavyweight Jacob Kasper (23-1) one of the nation's elite in his weight class. Kaspar is ranked No. 4 nationally entering Wednesday night's matchup with Cornwell. The two did not wrestle last season in Durham, as Cornwell edged Brendan Walsh to seal Gardner-Webb's team win.

Duke will also send a ranked competitor to the mat at 174 pounds, with No. 17 Connor Bass (15-8) matchup up with two-time NCAA qualifier Trott.

The Blue Devils have enjoyed success at the lower weights, with 125-pounder Thayer Atkins (17-7), 133-pounder Cole Baumgartner (16-8) and 141-pounder Zach Finesilver (13-8) each in double figures entering Wednesday's bout.

The match will stream live on The Big South Network (, free of charge.

Projected Starters

Gardner-Webb (5-6, 2-3 SoCon)
125: Landon LoAlbo (2-10)
133: Philip Anderson (5-13)
141: Ryan Hull (7-12)
149: Chris Vassar (17-7)
157: Ryan Mosley (17-9)
165: Tyler Marinelli (13-4)
174: Austin Trott (15-3)
184: Hunter Gamble (16-3)
197: Payton Mills (6-13)
285: Boyce Cornwell (17-7)

Duke (3-6, 0-2 ACC)
125: Thayer Atkins (17-7)
133: Cole Baumgartner (16-8)
141: Zach Finesilver (13-8)
149: Xaviel Ramos (3-12)
157: Jake Faust (6-2)
165: Garrett Neff (1-6)
174: No. 17 Connor Bass (15-8)
184: Alec Schenk (7-11)
197: Luke Farinaro (1-6) or Alex Belaia-Martiniouk (1-6)
HWT: No. 4 Jacob Kasper (23-1)