Teams: UC Davis vs. Arizona State
Records: Aggies, 0-0; Sun Devils 0-0
Where: The Pavilion
When: Friday at 7 p.m.
Who to watch: After coming off of a 20-7 season, junior Barrett Abel looks to make huge contributions this year.
The 149-pound, Diamond Springs, Calif. native posted a team-best .741 winning percentage in 2008-09.
He finished Pac-10 play with an individual record of 10-4 and finished third at the league championships with a pin of Teddy Astorga from Cal State Fullerton.
Did you know: UC Davis opened up Pac-10 play last year with a matchup against Arizona State. The Aggies received strong performances from Abel and fellow junior Joey Wilson, but fell to the Sun Devils by a score of 26-12.
Junior Anthony Robles from Arizona State turned in a stellar performance against UC Davis as he pinned former Aggies Marcos Orozco in 4:05.
Preview: UC Davis will return several important starters from last year’s team. The most notable are Abel and fellow juniors Brandon Low and Ricky Alcala.
The Aggies will also welcome in a large freshman class of 20 – 10 of whom are redshirts.
These newcomers will try to account for the absence of Orozco and other seniors such as Nexi Delgado, Dustin Noack, and Jon Clark. Orozco led last year’s team with 22 individual wins.
The Sun Devils are ranked 17th nationally and return eight of 10 starters from a season ago.
With just a single freshman and a host of returners, the Sun Devils enter the 2009-10 campaign with additional experience as Robles and junior Chris Drouin are each nationally ranked in the top five of their respective weight classes.
– Aaron Fischman