No. 12 wrestling begins a three-dual road stretch in California beginning in Palo Alto at the University of Stanford at 3 p.m. Saturday.
The Chippewas have won nine of their last 10 duals dating back to Jan. 6 and are on a six-dual win streak.
In last year’s match up against Stanford, who was ranked No. 12, CMU was able to come away with a 22-13 victory. Continuing back in the record books in the 2009-2010 season, the Chippewas picked up another victory against the Cardinal, 33-6.
“Any time you beat a quality opponent it gives your team confidence,” said senior 184-pounder Ben Bennett. “You really learn what you have to improve on.”
This year’s match-up, the tables will be turned. The Chippewas are the ranked team, and Stanford is having a tough year, holding a 6-15 record overall and 1-7 record on the road.
“The teams are different this year,” said head coach Tom Borrelli. “Stanford is redshirting a lot of guys that wrestled last year. And we have guys that are wrestling this year that were redshirted last year.”
This will also be the seniors’ last road trip of the season before the Mid-American Conference and NCAA tournaments begin. This follows a performance against Eastern Michigan on Feb. 8 where all the seniors went undefeated in their final home dual of the season.
“I think they’re looking forward to the sunshine and warm weather,” Borrelli said. “I don’t how much time they’ll have to enjoy it, but it can be kind of a break.”
CMU will also compete against California Polytechnic State University and California State University-Bakersfield on Sunday.
The Chippewas have only competed against Cal-Poly once in the past six years and they shut it out 38-0 back in the 2006-07 season.
After a three-day stint in the Golden State, CMU will travel back to Michigan to compete against in-state rival Michigan State in East Lansing.
“That should be a real good match,” Borrelli said. “We’ve had a lot of success over the years against them. I’m sure they’ll be looking to end that.”
Despite all of the losses coming on the road this year, they all have been on the east coast.
The team will look to pick up three quick dual wins before the last dual of the year against the Spartans. Then the Chippewas have more than a two-week break before the MAC tournament begin.
“I’m excited to compete this weekend, and get on the mat,” Bennett said. “I’ve never been to California. This weekend we’ll have three opportunities to go out and execute what we work on before tournament time hits.”