Though the Mountaineers split the evening’s ten bouts, Appalachian State University wrestling held on for a 21-19 victory against Southern Conference opponent The Citadel on Friday at McAlister Field House. With the win, the Mountaineers (9-3, 3-0 SoCon) remain undefeated in SoCon
action, while the Bulldogs (4-7, 0-1 SoCon) lose their league opener.
With their ninth dual victory of the season, the Mountaineers have earned tied the 2009-10 season for the most wins in the tenure of head coach JohnMark Bentley. With five duals remaining, Appalachian has clinched its first winning season since going 14-7 in 2007-08, and another win will give the squad its most since the same year.
Senior Mike Kessler (Bay City, Mich./Western) began the evening at 141 pounds. He opened the scoring with a takedown in the first period and another in the second to earn a 4-1 decision. Classmate and 149-pounder Savva Kostis (Boone, N.C./Watauga) entered the second period tied 4-4 and notched two escapes to his opponent’s takedown for a 6-6 score heading into the third period. Seth Vernon’s escape was the lone point of the final stanza and proved decisive in Kostis’ 6-7 loss.
Senior Chip Powell (Greensboro, N.C./S.W. Guilford) notched a first-period takedown at 157 pounds and carried his 2-0 lead through a scoreless second into the final period. After a quick escape, his Bulldog opponent managed a takedown to narrow the match to 3-2, but Powell escaped again and added a riding-time point for a 5-2 decision.
No. 17 Kyle Blevins (Sapulpa, Okla./Sapulpa) opened the 165-pound scoring with a first-minute takedown and added four more with a two-point nearfall and another takedown. Leading 6-1, Blevins added an escape just six seconds into the second period and closed the second with a 9-1 lead. The Mountaineer went into high-gear in the third period, picking up a trio of takedowns and a three-point nearfall for an 18-3 (6:04) tech. fall.
With Appalachian in front, 11-3, junior Carter Downs (Jupiter, Fla./Jupiter Christian) had trouble at 174 pounds, facing No. 18 Turtogtokh Luvsandorj, who totaled six takedowns for a 13-5 major decision. No. 12 Austin Trotman (Winston-Salem, N.C./Mount Tabor) opened up the Mountaineer lead by way of a quintet of takedowns and three points received by stalling to secure a 16-3 major and put the Apps on top, 15-7.
In a 197-pound rematch after a 5-3 loss at the Southern Scuffle, freshman Paul Weiss (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) took on Kelby Smith and kept the match deadlocked at 3-3 after the first period. Smith pulled away with a takedown in the second and another in the third and dismissed the Mountaineer 9-4.
At heavyweight, the big men remained scoreless through two periods, but in the final two minutes, Joe Cummings (Valley Cottage, N.Y./Nyack) found himself in trouble, and No. 19 Odie Delaney capitalized with a pin in the final minute (6:12) to give the Bulldogs their first lead, 16-15.
Looking to regain the lead, 125-pound senior Tony Gravely (Martinsville, Va./Magna Vista) dominated his bout and needed only 51 seconds to seal his fall and put the Black and Gold back on top 21-16. Needing to avoid a pin to seal the win for the Mountaineers, junior Brett Boston (Morganton, N.C./Freedom) opened the scoring with a takedown 30 seconds into the bout, however The Citadel’s Kyle Casaletto rode out the second period and scored five in the final period to earn the 8-4 decision. Nevertheless, the Mountaineers avenged last season’s loss and came away with the 21-19 victory.
The Mountaineers will return home next weekend to host the Appalachian Open on Sat., Jan. 28. Their next dual will be their final on the road when they travel to Chattanooga on Sun. Feb. 5. Appalachian concludes its regular season with four home duals beginning with VMI on Fri., Feb. 10. Appalachian Open tournament details will be posted on GoASU.com as soon as they are finalized.
Appalachian State (9-3, 3-0 SoCon) 21, The Citadel (4-7, 0-1 SoCon) 19
Jan. 20, 2012 | Charleston, S.C. | McAlister Field House
141: Mike Kessler (ASU) dec. Jordan Dix (CIT), 4-1 (ASU 3-0)
149: Seth Vernon (CIT) dec. Savva Kostis (ASU), 7-6 (TIE 3-3)
157: Chip Powell (ASU) dec. Pierre Frazile (CIT), 5-2 (ASU 6-3)
165: No. 17 Kyle Blevins (ASU) tech. fall Michael Harper (CIT), 18-3 (6:04) (ASU 11-3)
174: No. 18 Turtogtokh Luvsandorj (CIT) maj. dec. Carter Downs (ASU), 13-5 (ASU 11-7)
184: No. 12 Austin Trotman (ASU) maj. dec. Josh Tuck (CIT), 16-3 (ASU 15-7)
197: Kelby Smith (CIT) dec. Paul Weiss (ASU), 9-4 (ASU 15-10)
285: No. 19 Odie Delaney (CIT) pinned Joe Cummings (ASU), 6:12 (CIT 15-16)
125: Tony Gravely (ASU) pinned Richard Alarcon Jr. (CIT), 0:51 (ASU 21-16)
133: Kyle Casaletto (CIT) dec. Brett Boston (ASU), 8-4 (ASU 21-19)
Phorto Courtesy: Kyle Blevins, ASU Athletics