The Appalachian State wrestling team played host to the Duke Blue Devils Wednesday night at Varsity Gym. The Mountaineers fell to Duke by a team score of 25-19.
The match began at the 125-pound weight class. Appalachian started strong picking up three-straight wins. Vito Pasone (Wikes-Barre, Pa./ E.L. Meyers) got the first six points of the evening due to a Duke forfeit at the 125-pound weight class.
At the 133-pound weight class, senior Chris Johnson (Hillsborough, N.C. / Orange) grabbed momentum by earning a first-period fall (1:29) against Dukes Evan Botwin. The Mountaineers led 12-0.
Jake Smith (Newark, Calif. / Newark) picked up a 9-3 decision at the 141-pound weight class and got the Apps up with a 15-0 lead.
Duke refocused and began to take the momentum from the Apps. They pick up two-straight decisions at the 149 and 157-pound weight classes putting them on the board (15-6) and pulling closer to the Mountaineers.
Next at 165, Zack Strickland (Muncey, Pa. / Northern Lehigh) proved why he was a 2013 NCAA qualifier. Strickland won convincingly by picking up an 8-0 major decision. App led 19-6.
Although coming out strong, the Mountaineers cooled off losing the next four matches. Adrian Soto-Perez (Laurinburg, N.C. / Laurinburg) gave up a major decision to Trey Adamson, Nick Vetell (Trinity, N.C. / Trinity) and Kacee Hutchinson (Candler, N.C. / Enka) both lost by falls in the 184 and 197-pound weight classes, respectively.
With the Mountaineers now losing by a score of 22-19, Denzel Dejournette (Winston-Salem, N.C. / R.J. Reynolds) wrestled a tough match against #19 nationally ranked Conner Hartmann. Hartmann picked up the 5-3 decision by last minute take down and Duke defeated Appalachian 25-19.
Appalachian was without nationally ranked Dominic Parisi (Concord, N.C. / Jay M. Robinson) and Dylan Cottrell (Spencer, W.Va. / Roane County)for the night.
Appalachian will be back in action Saturday in Varsity Gym as they host the Appalachian Open starting at 9 a.m. The tournament will feature teams from the ACC and SoCon.
Duke 25, App State 19
125: Vito Pasone won by forfeit (APP leads 6-0)
133: Chris Johnson (APP) fall Evan Botwin (DUKE), 1:29 (APP leads 12-0)
141: Jake Smith (APP) dec. Xaviel Ramos (DUKE), 9-3 (APP leads 15-0)
149: Jake Faust (DUKE) dec. Aaron Scott (APP), 6-0 (APP leads 15-3)
157: Immanuel Kerr-Brown (DUKE) dec. Nick Hall (APP), 9-7 (APP leads 15-6)
165: Zack Strickland (APP) maj dec. Marcus Cain, 8-0 (APP leads 19-6)
174: Trey Adamson (DUKE) maj dec. Adrian Soto-Perez (APP), 23-9 (APP leads 19-10)
184: Andrew DeHart (DUKE) fall Nick Vetell (APP), 1:35, (APP leads 19-16)
197: Jacob Kasper (DUKE) fall Kacee Hutchinson (APP), 3:37 (DUKE leads 22-19)
HWT: Connor Hartmann (DUKE) dec. Denzel Dejournette (APP), 5-3 (DUKE wins 25-19)