After the Aggies swept the Stanford duals two weeks ago, UC Davis was on the rise with a 2-1 Pacific-10 record and a 6-2 overall record.
Since then, the Aggies have been plagued by injuries.
UC Davis dropped a pair of duals this weekend, first falling to conference rival Cal State Bakersfield on Friday before dropping Saturday’s dual to San Francisco State.
Despite a two-week, non-action hiatus, the Aggies went into both duals without their full lineup. Coach Lennie Zalesky was concerned about the injuries heading into the weekend.
“I don’t know what we’re going to have this weekend,” Zalesky said. “Injuries have taken their toll on us.“
Friday – Cal State Bakersfield 34, UC Davis 7
Sophomore Barrett Abel and senior Dustin Noack were the lone Aggies to win their duals, with Abel gaining a major decision in the 149-pound class, as UC Davis fell to Cal State Bakersfield 34-7 at Icardo Gym in Bakersfield, Calif.
Cal State Bakersfield proved too strong for the injury-plagued Aggies, as it won six of the eight contested matches Friday night and improved its record to 8-4 overall and, more importantly, 5-1 in conference play.
The Roadrunners got major decisions from Trevor Hall at 157 pounds and No. 8 Mitch Monterio at heavyweight and a technical fall from No. 15 Brandon Zoeteway at 125-pounds. They also benefited from two Davis forfeits at 133 and 197 pounds that contributed to 12 team points and solidified the Roadrunners win over the Aggies.
Saturday – San Francisco State 24, UC Davis 23
The Aggies had beaten the Gators the last eight times the two teams had faced each other. But with UC Davis‘ injuries and some luck on San Francisco State’s side, the Gators were able to pull out a 24-23 upset win over the Aggies at Main Gymnasium in San Francisco on Saturday night.
The Aggies were missing half of their varsity wrestlers due to injury.
“It was tough because we were missing five out of our 10 varsity wrestlers,” Zalesky said. “We had to put in a lot of young guys and we were forced to forfeit in two duals.“
The Aggies had three wrestlers make their collegiate debut on Saturday night because of the injuries.
The forfeits and lack of experience were the two biggest contributing factors to the Aggies‘ one-point loss. The two forfeits gave the Gators 12 team points as they improved their record to 6-4 on the year.
One bright spot for the Aggies was Abel, who improved his individual dual record to 10-0 on the year in the 149-pound weight class with a pin over Josh Nolan. Noack pinned his opponent at 165 pounds.
The Aggies return to the Pavilion Friday night for a tilt with conference rival Oregon State. It’ll be UC Davis‘ first home contest since Dec. 16. Zalesky said UC Davis could have its full lineup back by the 7 p.m. start.
“We’re hoping to have all 10 varsity wrestlers back by Friday,” Zalesky said. “It will be a tough match up because we’re pretty even. I think we will go point-for-point with them.“
KYLE HYLAND can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.