Durham, N.C. -- Six Badgers picked up wins as the 11th-ranked Wisconsin wrestling team earned a 25-17 dual victory over Duke on Friday evening in Card Gym.
"I'm glad that we got a win," assistant coach Kyle Ruschell said. "We came into an ACC school and came away healthy and on top, but we definitely have a lot of stuff to work on since it was our first dual of the season. The upperclassmen did a great job and the underclassmen need to learn from that."
Wisconsin entered the final match up 22-17, but 149-pounder Andrew Crone knew the Blue Devils could steal the match away still. Up against Xaviel Ramos, Crone gave it his all in the first period and narrowly escaped a pin. The junior entered the third period trailing 8-3, but a strong finish gave him the 11-7 decision to seal the UW victory.
"Crone got put to his back early and took it one step at a time," Ruschell said. "He fought off his back for almost a minute and a half, but he came back and got his hand raised."
Freshman Ben Stone gave the Badgers a pivotal spark with his upset. With the Badgers up by just four points heading into the heavyweight match, Stone rose to the occasion by pinning No. 16 Jacob Kasper. Stone recorded the fall at 1:18 and gave the fired-up Badgers plenty to cheer about.
Senior Isaac Jordan met his always high expectations by pinning Michael Wright. The second-ranked 165-pounder recorded the fall at 2:44 to give the Badgers six points.
At 197 pounds, Ricky Robertson won by an 18-6 major decision over Duke's Alexander Belaia-Martiniouk and the junior gave UW a crucial four points heading into Stone's match.
Sophomore Ryan Christensen earned a hard-fought 12-7 decision over Michael Wright in the 174-pound match. Freshman and 133-pounder Eli Stickley also gave the Badgers three points by defeating Cole Baumgartner with a 7-2 decision.
Freshman Izaec Quintanilla got off to a strong start to kick off the dual, but ultimately was pinned by Jose Abbate at 5:46. In the 184-pound bout, Duke's Alec Schenk came away with the 6-3 decision over UW freshman Hunter Ritter.
In a tough match against Thayer Atkins, sophomore Jens Lantz fell with a 5-2 decision while fellow sophomore Luke Rowh lost by a technical fall against Zach Finesilver.
The Badgers will stay in North Carolina this weekend as they head to Raleigh to compete in the Wolfpack Open on Sunday.
"We feel good heading into Sunday," Ruschell said. "We've got about 18 guys out here wrestling, so it will be a team event and hopefully the guys can feed off each other and learn from some of the big wins today.
"We're excited to show everybody what we're capable of."
157: Joey Abbate (Duke) pinned Izaec Quintanilla (Wisc.), 5:46 Duke 6, Wisconsin 0
165: No. 2 Isaac Jordan (Wisc) pinned Michael Wright (Duke), 2:40 Duke 6, Wisconsin 6
174: Ryan Christensen (Wisc) dec. Connor Bass (Duke), 12-7 Duke 6, Wisconsin 9
184: Alec Schenk (Duke) dec. Hunter Ritter (Wisc), 6-3 Duke 9, Wisconsin 9
197: Ricky Robertson (Wisc) major dec. Alex Belaia Martiniouk (Duke) Duke 9, Wisconsin 13
285: Ben Stone (Wisc) pinned No. 16 Jacob Kasper (Duke), 1:18 Duke 9, Wisconsin 19
125: Thayer Atkins (Duke) dec. Jens Lantz (Wisc), 5-2 Duke 12, Wisconsin 19
133: Eli Stickley (Wisc.) dec. Cole Baumgartner (Duke), 7-2 Duke 12, Wisconsin 22
141: Zach Finesilver (Duke) tech fall Luke Rowh (Wisc), 17-0, 5:00 Duke 17, Wisconsin 22
149: Andrew Crone (Wisc.) dec. Xaviel Ramos (Duke), 11-9 Duke 17, Wisconsin 25