Over a stretch of 10 days in three states against three ranked opponents, the Cal Poly wrestling team battled through a roller-coaster of emotions to a 2-1 record, and the Mustangs’ schedule is not letting up.

Ryan Sidarto — Mustang Daily

This Friday, the team faces Pac-10 foe Cal State Bakersfield, looking to move their dual meet record to 7-1. The Mustangs’ only loss coming to No. 3 Boise State on Sunday after defeating No. 26 Oregon State on Friday.

Bakersfield owns only one ranked wrestler on Intermat’s top 20 and nearly fell from the site’s team rankings as the No. 53 squad, however 157-pound senior Barrett Abel is far from writing the Roadrunners off.

“It’s an interesting matchup against Bakersfield because as a team they are not as good as Boise State and Oregon State,” Abel said. “But technically on paper, they are favored in six of 10 matches. They match up against us well.”

Various Mustangs faced Bakersfield wrestlers earlier this season, but most of them were filling the spots of varsity wrestlers who now occupy the weights. However, one probable rematch will occur at 197-pounds when Cal Poly’s Ryan Smith looks to avenge a loss against No. 17 Riley Orozco.

Smith dropped a match to Orozco in the second round of the Midlands Tournament in late December,  falling in a close 9-5 decision, but Smith has been coming on strong lately. The team captain has won five of his last six matches including a 5-3 decision over No. 19 Chad Hanke of Oregon State.

The only other first-team wrestler to face a Roadrunner earlier this season was 174-pounder Steven Vasquez. He also dropped a tight 7-3 battle in his final match at the Reno Tournament of Champions to Joey Granata.

The close matches between the Mustangs and Roadrunners epitomize the tough and grinding style of wrestling Bakersfield practices.

“They are not a team that is really technical,” Abel said. “But they pride themselves on being tough and making it a battle. I think we proved up against Oregon State that’s OK, we like to battle too.”

He also said he remains fully confident the Mustangs can pull off the necessary upsets to post another win on their record.

The Mustangs make their final trip outside of California before the Pac-10 Championships on Sunday to take on the 15th-ranked Arizona State Sun Devils. Abel will have to gear up for a match against No. 4 Bubba Jenkins in Tempe.

The two faced each other at the Las Vegas Invitational and Abel dropped a major decision, giving up 19 points, while collecting only 6. Keeping the match closer on Sunday saves team points, giving the Mustangs a better shot at the upset.

Ryan DesRoches, who has the Mustang single-season pin record, has a good opportunity to break a pinning dry spell in his match against Te Edwards, who he pinned in the first period in their first bout this season. However, the two battled to a 8-6 decision in their last meeting in Reno. DesRoches is currently four falls shy of his record, positing 13 pins so far, including one in just 33 seconds.

“I’m not going to let (the desire for a pin) distract me to the point where I lose a match because I’m worried about getting a pin, but it would be cool if I could break the record,” DesRoches said. “But it’s not the biggest thing. The most important thing is just winning.”

Heavyweight Atticus Disney has knocked off two ranked opponents this season, defeating No. 18 Kurt Kilmek of Cal State Fullerton and avenging a loss to Oregon State’s No. 12 Clayton Jack on Friday with a 12-6 win. He has yet to be defeated by a major decision as a Mustang, but a win against ASU’s No. 18 Levi Cooper would bring much needed points to the squad and even the season series between the wrestlers. Cooper defeated Disney 9-4 in Reno, before the Pac-10 Championships.

“This weekend showed me that I could wrestle with the best of the nation,” Disney said. “But then the match against Boise State highlighted some areas that I need to work on and some weaknesses I still have in my game plan. I think this week is about realizing that I’m up there with the best competition and I need to take a hold of my game plan and patch it up.”

The matches against Cal State Bakersfield and Arizona State will be broadcast over the internet. The Mustangs take on Bakersfield Friday night at 6:30 p.m. in Mott Gym and Arizona State on Sunday at 2 p.m.

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