By David Rogers. February 8, 2018. BOONE, NC — After splitting victories in the first four matches (174, 184, 197, and HWT), the visiting Duke Blue Devils won four of the next six weight classes to leave Varsity Gym with a 25-17 win over host Appalachian State in a non-conference match.
Photographic images by David Rogers for Blowing Rock News
App State was behind 7-9 at the end of the first four wrestling tilts, then fell further behind when Duke grapplers prevailed in the 125 and 133 weight classes. At the 125s, Duke’s Thayer Atkins won a close, 4-2 decision over the Mountaineers’ De’Andre Swinson-Barr. The Blue Devils’ Josh Finesilver followed that with an exciting 10-8 triumph over App State’s Codi Russell.
Those two losses left Appalachian at a 7-15 deficit in the team score, a daunting challenge for the middle weights to overcome if ASU was to capture the team title.
And they almost did it. At 141 lbs., Appalachian’s Irvin Enriquez needed only 60 seconds to surprise Duke’s Jeremiah Reitz with a pin that garnered six team points to shrink the deficit to just 13-15. Gavin Londoff was inspired by Enriquez’s quick work, dominating his Duke opponent at 149, Brandon Leynaud with a major decision (14-5) that catapulted Appalachian into the lead, 17-15, with two matches remaining.
Unfortunately, the Mountaineers suffered two technical falls at 157 and 165, Mitch Finesilver of Duke taking a 19-2 win against Angel Najar and Zach Finesilver making it a Finesilver family sweep with a 16-1 technical fall vs. the Mountaineers’ Laken Cook.
Appalachian head coach JohnMark Bentley admitted to reporters later, “We simply were not offensive enough. Duke was more offensive. They did a better job of attacking and deserved that win.”
Appalachian State has one more Southern Conference (SoCon) dual meet on the 2017-18 schedule, travelling to Charleston, SC to face The Citadel on February 18th before returning to Charleston two weeks later for the SoCon tournament.
“We need to attack. We need to be more offensive,” Bentley noted, in assessing his team’s prospects against The Citadel and in the conference championships.
Duke 25, App State 17
- 174: Matt Finesilver (DU) def. Forrest Przybysz (APP), 15-1 maj. dec. (0-4)
- 184: Alan Clothier (APP) d. Kaden Russell (DU), 16-5 maj. dec. (4-4)
- 197: Randall Diabe (APP) def. Alec Schenk (DU), 8-3 dec. (7-4)
- HWT: Jacob Kasper (DU) def. Cary Miller (APP), 17-1 tech. fall (7-9)
- 125: Thayer Atkins (DU) def. De’Andre Swinson-Barr (APP), 4-2 dec. (7-12)
- 133: Josh Finesilver (DU) def. Codi Russell (APP), 10-8 dec. (7-15)
- 141: Irvin Enriquez (APP) def. Jeremiah Reitz (DU), fall, 1:00 (13-15)
- 149: Gavin Londoff (APP) def. Brandon Leynaud (DU), 14-5 maj. dec. (17-15)
- 157: Mitch Finesilver (DU) def. Angel Najar (APP), 19-2 tech. fall (17-20)
- 165: Zach Finesilver (DU) def. Laken Cook (APP), 16-1 tech. fall (17-25)