After clinching at least a share of the Southern Conference regular-season title on Friday, Appalachian State University wrestling lost its non-conference match against No. 20 Virginia, 29-12, at Varsity Gymnasium on Saturday. The Mountaineers (11-4) were dealt their third loss
to a ranked opponent, while the ACC dual-meet champion Cavaliers (9-1) remain dominant in the final weeks of the regular season.
Appalachian’s Mike Kessler (Bay City, Mich./Western) put up strong fight against No. 7 Nick Nelson at 141 pounds, but the Cavalier’s second-period reversal made the difference, and Nelson survived with a 3-0 decision.
Virginia rattled off two more wins and quickly built a 12-0 lead in the team standings.
ASU’s 165-pounder, No. 15 Kyle Blevins (Sapulpa, Okla./Sapulpa), squared off against No. 16 Nick Sulzer in the evening’s only showdown of ranked wrestlers. While the two fought evenly for two periods, Blevins rode the duration of the third and tacked on two back points for the 4-0 edge.
The Cavaliers then pulled away, 18-3, with a pin at 197 pounds. Senior Austin Trotman (Winston-Salem, N.C./Mount Tabor), ranked No. 12 in the nation, built upon his reputation and came out firing at 184 pounds. While Nick Kidd did well to fend off a major loss, Trotman triumphed 8-3. UVa remained in control for the rest of the evening, yielding only six points to Tony Gravely (Martinsville, Va./Magna Vista), who picked up his second-straight forfeit win.
After the final buzzer, the Cavaliers walked away with a comfortable 29-12 win, handing the Mountaineers just their fourth loss of the year.
With their 11-4 overall record, the Apps have notched double-digit dual wins for the first time since 2007-08. Even if ASU drops its final two duals, the Mountaineers will have the program’s fewest losses since winning their last SoCon title in 2002-03 (11-2). Appalachian State’s season concludes with one final weekend of matches, as the Apps host Duke on Sat., Feb. 18 at 6 p.m. and Davidson in the season finale on Sun., Feb. 19 at 2 p.m.
No. 20 Virginia (9-1) 29, Appalachian State (11-4) 12
Feb. 11, 2012 | Boone, N.C. | Varsity Gymnasium
141: No. 7 Nick Nelson (UVa) dec. Mike Kessler (ASU), 3-0
149: Gus Sako (UVa) maj. dec. Savva Kostis (ASU), 15-5
157: Jedd Moore (UVa) tech. fall Chip Powell (ASU), 19-4 (7:00)
165: No. 15 Kyle Blevins (ASU) dec. No. 16 Nick Sulzer (UVa), 4-0
174: Vinny Waldhauser (UVa) pinned Jesse Johnson (ASU), 4:05
184: No. 12 Austin Trotman (ASU) dec. Nick Kidd (UVa), 8-3
197: Ryan Malo (UVa) maj. dec. Paul Weiss (ASU), 10-2
285: Derek Papagianopoulos (UVa) dec. Joe Cummings (ASU), 5-2
125: Tony Gravely (ASU) won by forfeit
133: Joe Martinez (UVa) maj. dec. Brett Boston (ASU), 16-6
Photo Courtesy: Kyle Blevins, ASU Athletics