Fourth-Ranked Ashland Testing Itself With Trip To Belmont, N.C.

Fourth-Ranked Ashland Testing Itself With Trip To Belmont, N.C.

With the NCAA Super Region II tournament now less than one month away, No. 4-ranked Ashland University wrestling will go head-to-head with six regional opponents at the Region II Duals in Belmont, N.C., on Friday (Jan. 26) and Saturday (Jan. 27).

AU will face Coker, currently receiving votes, and Belmont Abbey at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Friday, respectively. On Saturday, Ashland takes on No. 22 King, Limestone (RV), No. 13 Newberry and Queens at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., respectively.

"Teams from a different area of the country have a different wrestling style," head coach Josh Hutchens said. "It's something we're going to have to be ready for at the regional tournament."

The Eagles, boasting a 4-4 record in duals this season, are carrying 19 wrestlers down south, seven of which are ranked.

"We want to win obviously," Hutchens said. "If we lose, it's not a good thing, but it doesn't hurt our chances to reach our goals. Right now, we've shifted to more of an individual focus on each match."

The six opponents feature a combined six ranked wrestlers, including two at 184 pounds. That's the same weight class as No. 1 AU senior Luke Cramer, currently 11-0 this season.

"If Cramer gets through this weekend, that'll say a lot," Hutchens said. "If we have success as a team, we'll get a really good sense of where we're at."

Regionals will take place Feb. 23-24 in Findlay, Ohio.