Until this weekend, Duke had never beaten Boston University.
The Blue Devils (4-5) changed that Saturday afternoon, capturing a 30-13 victory against the visiting Terriers (5-4) in Card Gymnasium, avenging last season’s 21-18 loss.
“A lot of good things happened tonight,” Duke head coach Glen Lanham said. “Our guys really pushed the pace. We put those guys in situations that they didn’t want to be in.”
In addition to pushing the pace, the Blue Devils picked up their intensity, made the first moves and wrestled confidently, Lanham said. Redshirt freshman Trey Adamson set the tone for the meet, pinning Boston University junior Eric Des Lauriers in one minute in the 174-pound weight class to give Duke a 6-0 lead.
“I was really excited to actually start,” Adamson said. “I’ve never started a dual. It was good to get the pin, energize my team and get things rolling fast.”
Redshirt senior Diego Bencomo extended the Blue Devils’ lead to 12-0 after pinning Terrier sophomore Alex Najjar in 5:48 in the 184-pound division. In the 133- and 149-pound weight classes, respectively, redshirt sophomore Brandon Gambucci and redshirt freshman Marcus Cain also pinned their opponents, accounting for 12 more of Duke’s 30 points.
Redshirt freshman Michael Chapman and sophomore Tanner Hough scored the Blue Devils’ remaining six points with major decision victories in the 197- and 141-pound divisions, respectively.
“I felt like we had confidence tonight in our shots, even in the matches that we lost,” Lanham said.
Duke redshirt sophomore Immanuel Kerr-Brown exemplified this confidence in his match against Terrier junior Nestor Taffur in the 157-pound weight class. Kerr-Brown, who fell to Taffur 6-4 in a major decision, attributes the high points of his match to specific adjustments that he and Lanham made in practice after the Appalachian State meet Wednesday evening.
“We’ve been working on the little things and tightening up my game,” Kerr-Brown said. “The escape I got and the one shot I got were things we worked on this week.”
Although there were more positives than negatives in Duke’s performance, the Blue Devils continued to get ridden out on the bottom at times, Lanham said. Even in matches that Duke won, the Blue Devils wrestled with less confidence in the bottom position than on top.
“Everyone wants to wrestle on their feet,” Lanham said. “Wrestling on the bottom is something that we’ve got to improve on.”
Getting consistently better is a task that the team has grown accustomed to.
“We’re constantly improving, and it’s great to see that,” Kerr-Brown said.