Arizona State’s No. 4 fight targets No. 17 Stanford at home

When wrestling No. 4 Arizona State hosts No. 17 Stanford from Desert Financial Arena on Friday noon, it will be an encounter that didn’t seem likely a year ago.

Stanford’s struggle overcame a dark chapter that nearly saw the university’s program cut until May 2021, when Stanford made the decision to reinstate the program following public outcry, among other reasons.

Stanford is also returning 2021 NCAA champion Shane Griffith (165) to the program. Griffith, nationally ranked third in his weight class, will highlight the duel when he takes on number 7 Anthony Valencia, who recently made the Mexican national team.

Another ranked game is at 145 between ninth-ranked ASU’s Kyle Parco and 12th-ranked Stanford’s Jaden Abas.

At the Pac-12 Championships last year, Arizona State won the tag team title while Stanford finished third. ASU is coming off three straight wins, including a 20-17 victory over No. 25 Oregon State last week.

The ASU Wrestling is one of many events taking place at the Desert Financial Arena this weekend, as the building will host a men’s basketball game the day before the duel and then a women’s basketball game at 6 p.m. Friday night.

Around campus

—After facing off and losing close games to the best team in the nation, Arizona State hockey returns to Oceanside Ice Arena to host Alaska-Fairbanks for the weekend at 7:05 p.m. The Sun Devils have a two-week break. before traveling to Fairbanks to face the Nanooks again. With 29 games played, rookie Josh Doan has already become the top rookie in program history with 31 points (11 goals, 20 assists). Doan’s performance ranks him in the top 10 of all NCAA skaters.

—With the Pac-12 Championships fast approaching, Arizona State Swimming and Diving will travel to Tucson on Saturday to take on Arizona for the final meet before the championships scheduled for March 2-5 in Seattle. The ASU men are currently ranked No. 6 in the nation, while the Arizona men are No. 20. The Arizona women are No. 23 and the ASU women have received votes in the polls. The contest begins at 12 p.m. from the Hillenbrand Aquatic Center.

—Arizona State Men’s Tennis takes on the University of San Diego on Sunday from the Whiteman Tennis Center at 1 p.m. North West. ASU has not won since beating Grand Canyon 7-0 on Jan. 14. During that span, ASU faced three ranked teams.

—Alexandra Forsterling, Arizona State golfer, was named Pac-12 Golfer of the Month on Thursday. In January, Forsterling finished in the Top 15 in all four of his events. The senior led ASU’s No. 12 women’s golf team to a Game in the Desert high score against No. 2 Oklahoma State, No. 14 Arizona, UCLA No. 15, Miss Ole No. 24, Denver and Kansas.

– Arizona State softball was ranked No. 21 in the USA Today/NFCA preseason rankings. ASU is one week away from the start of its home season for the Kajikawa Classic on Thursday, Feb. 10 with a doubleheader against California Baptist at 4 p.m. and No. 3 Oklahoma State at 6:30 p.m.

Contact the reporter at [email protected] or 602-647-4122. Follow her on Twitter @jennarortiz.

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