Teams: UC Davis at No. 11 Boise State
Where: Bronco Gymnasium – Boise, Idaho
When: Saturday at 7 p.m.
Who to watch: Last Friday against Oregon State, sophomore Abe Otrambo registered the Aggies‘ lone bonus-point victory with a pin only 1:30 into his match. The Anaheim, Calif. native is having a solid year and is second on the team with three pins.
Otrambo is in his full year in the 197-pound class after switching from 184 in January of last year. He is looking for his fifth dual victory of the season against Boise State, but he’ll have his work cut out for him as he faces No. 5 Brent Chriswell.
Did you know? The Aggies are 1-1 against ranked opponents this year. On Nov. 23, UC Davis beat No. 10 Northwestern at the Pavilion 23-15, but fell to No. 13 Oklahoma State 29-7 in Stillwater, Okla. on Jan. 4.
Preview: UC Davis split its conference duals this weekend with a convincing 22-12 victory over Oregon State at the Pavilion on Friday before losing 22-12 to Cal State Fullerton on Sunday.
“Oregon State was only the second time all year we had a full lineup,” coach Lennie Zalesky said. “We’re a pretty tough team when we have our full lineup. To get them healthy we’re just going to have to give them some rest. I thought we could have really pushed for a win at Fullerton if we had a healthy lineup there.“
The Aggies are going to need all the help they can get with the 11th-ranked Broncos, who are the frontrunners in the Pacific-10 Conference and have yet to lose a conference dual this year (4-0). Boise State has seven nationally ranked wrestlers, including four ranked in the top five.
“They’re a tough team, and I think they deserve to be ranked even higher,” Zalesky said. “We match up well with them at most of the weights and will have a chance to win our share of matches.“
The Aggies have been banged-up by injuries the last few weeks. Zalesky does not see having all his wrestlers back by this weekend, and instead looks to the Pac-10 tournament as a timetable for when his team will return to full health.
“The goal is to go into the Pac-10 tournament with each of our 10 guys healthy,” Zalesky said.
– Kyle Hyland