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#5 PackWrestle gets back in the win column against #19 Princeton, 32-9

Andy Mead/ACC

Under Pat Popolizio’s direction, the NC State wrestling team (6-1) hasn’t been handed many defeats. And despite the impressive showing, December’s dual against #1 Iowa still goes as a loss in the record books, so Sunday’s road contest against #19 Princeton (0-2) was an opportunity to “get right”. That’s exactly what the Pack did, winning eight of ten bouts with five for bonus points.

The dual started at heavyweight and, as was probably expected following recent results, Tyrie Houghton was the guy for NC State. This wasn’t exactly the most thrilling way to kick-off the dual - the match started out slow, but Tyrie controlled the second half to take the 6-3 victory. At 125, Princeton’s #1-ranked Pat Glory did not weigh-in and thus gave Jakob Camacho the victory via forfeit. This was very disappointing - I was eager to see how Jakob fared against the new benchmark for the weight - and is honestly an issue plaguing college wrestling over the last several years. I hate to speculate in the event that Glory was truly unable to compete yesterday, but this really just looks like a duck. If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck... Too many guys sit out of these highly-anticipated ranked matchups, which isn’t a good look for a sport that is still combatting relevance and asking for more mainstream opportunities. Unfortunately, there’s no real punishment for this kind of behavior other than a couple of Twitter callouts, so it will continue. Hey, we have been guilty of it before too so I’m not casting any stones. It’s just frustrating to see as a fan trying to promote the sport. Nearly every dual it seems that one of the big matchups you tune in to see doesn’t end up materializing.

The kicker here is that Glory actually has taken exception to previous #1 Spencer Lee doing the exact same thing to him a couple times.

Until there are real implications put on dual results, we will continue to see this behavior. No doubt Princeton is a better dual team with Glory in their lineup, but what is their payoff for potentially risking Glory’s NCAA seed in a tough matchup against Camacho? Nothing. A dual win or a dual loss means nothing to Princeton. Right now, we only recognize the team results of the individual NCAA tournament, so that will continue to be what teams and coaches value. Wrestling’s regular season is 70% dual format, yet we have absolutely no reward for dual success. If we had a separate national tournament in dual format, similar to what the Collegiate Duals was designed to resurrect, then maybe these teams would start to care about whether or not they got blown out by 20+ points. Feel free to continue discussion on this below.

Trombley, Jack, and Tariq all took care of business to keep the shutout alive going into 157, 20-0. At 157, we actually did end up getting the anticipated matchup between #11 Ed Scott and #5 Quincy Monday that was promised, and it did not disappoint. As expected, Monday’s explosiveness was on display early - he scored a takedown barely 20 seconds into the match off of a blast double. Ed didn’t waste any time getting out and from there looked like he had Monday figured out. Quincy was trying to fend off Scott’s forward pressure with low attacks but Ed kept catching him with his underhook and jacking him back up. He was able to wear Monday down slowly and secure two takedowns of his own to win 6-4. Another top-10 win for Ed and this one means more than the others. Monday is one of this weight’s safest picks to get on the podium in March in my mind, and Ed just showed that he is unquestionably on that level if not a tier above. I’m so excited to see him continue to develop this season, and he should surely be moving into the top-5 in next week’s rankings.

Princeton finally broke the streak with a 5-4 win over AJ Kovacs. But the Hidlay’s righted the ship with a tech fall and major decision by Hayden and Trent, respectively. To close out the dual it looked like Isaac Trumble would comfortably cruise to victory. He secured the first two takedowns and was dominating from the top position with a 4-1 lead, but with short time he got a little too loose with his ride and ended up getting reversed right to his back. He was locked up tight and surrendered the pin with 16 seconds left in the period. A real bummer way to end a dominant dual showing. Isaac clearly has the tools to be dangerous at this weight, but this just shows he still has a few things to tighten up before March.

#5 NC State 32-9 #19 Princeton

  • 285: Tyrie Houghton (NCSU) dec. Matthew Cover (PRIN); 6-3 (3-0 NCSU)
  • 125: #10 Jakob Camacho (NCSU) forfeit (9-0 NCSU)
  • 133: Jarrett Trombley (NCSU) major dec. Nick Masters (PRIN); 11-3 (13-0 NCSU)
  • 141: #15 Ryan Jack (NCSU) major dec. Danny Coles (PRIN); 14-3 (17-0 NCSU)
  • 149: #3 Tariq Wilson (NCSU) dec. Marshall Keller (PRIN); 6-4 (20-0 NCSU)
  • 157: #11 Ed Scott (NCSU) dec. #5 Quincy Monday (PRIN); 6-4 (23-0 NCSU)
  • 165: Jake Marsh (PRIN) dec. AJ Kovacs (NCSU); 5-4 (23-3 NCSU)
  • 174: #5 Hayden Hidlay (NCSU) tech fall Nate Dugan (PRIN); 17-2 (28-3 NCSU)
  • 184: #3 Trent Hidlay (NCSU) major dec. #22 Travis Stefanik (PRIN); 17-4 (32-3 NCSU)
  • 197: Aidan Conner (PRIN) pin #13 Isaac Trumble (NCSU); 2:44 (32-9 NCSU)

This marks the end of the non-conference portion of the Pack’s schedule. They will take next week off and gear up for an electric ACC opener against #10 Virginia Tech on January 21st. This dual has decided the ACC Dual Team Championship for the last several years and is always down to the wire. This season we get them at home and will be one of your last few opportunities to send off our sixth-year seniors like Hayden Hidlay, Tariq Wilson, and Thomas Bullard in style. Without a doubt, one of the reasons they stuck around another year was to experience another PACKed dual environment in Reynolds, so let’s give it to them. Be sure to grab your tickets here. And tell everyone you know, no matter how much they care/know about wrestling. I can guarantee they will have a blast.