GREELEY, Colo. – The Blue Devils won four of the final five matches of the afternoon to come away with a thrilling 19-18 victory over host Northern Colorado in non-conference wrestling action this afternoon at Bank of Colorado Arena. Duke leaves Colorado with a 2-0 mark after defeating Cal State Bakersfield earlier in the day.
Duke, trailing 14-6 midway through the dual, received victories at 197, 285, 125 and 133 to rally to its second win of the season. The Blue Devils benefited from a crucial major decision from redshirt senior Jacob Kasper, proving to be the decisive point they needed for the win over the Bears.
Both Mitch and Matt Finesilver captured decisions at 157 and 174, respectively to keep the Blue Devils in striking distance at 10-6 after four bouts. In their homecoming the Finesilver brothers went 7-1 overall in the two duals.
With Duke down 4-0 after the opening bout at 149, Mitch put Duke on the scoreboard with an 8-2 decision as he just missed getting the major. He improves to 4-1 in duals and, while Matt notched his second dual win of the day with a 6-1 decision. Matt debuted in the starting lineup after missing the Carolina Duals to injury.
The Bears extended their lead back to eight with a major decision at 184, but the last half of the dual belonged to the Blue Devils.
Redshirt junior Alec Schenk sparked the comeback with a hard-fought 7-5 decision over Tanner Davis. Schenk was outstanding in the third period, outscoring Davis 4-1 to pick up win No. 15 of the year.
Kasper followed suit and contributed four points as he exerted his will on Robert Winters in the third period for the 12-2 win. He extends his win streak to 12 matches and pushes his record to 23-2.
After a tough match to start his day in Colorado, Thayer Atkins responded by outlasting Sean Cannon 9-5. Down early, Atkins roared into the lead and never looked back, securing his first dual victory of the year and bringing Duke within two.
Josh Finesilver completed the comeback at 133 pounds, but not without slight controversy as he held off a final effort from Rico Montoya to get the 7-6 decision. The true freshman scored a reversal at the end of the second period. to take the 6-4 lead and then was able to fight his way through a scramble down the stretch for the 7-6 triumph and 19-14 lead on the team scoreboard.
Rookie Jeremiah Reitz, wrestling a senior, did well to hold Ben Polkowske to a major decision as the Bears’ senior was in search of the technical fall for the win.
Duke makes its home debut Jan. 19 against No. 5 NC State. The dual is slated to start at 7:30 p.m., in Cameron Indoor Stadium. The match will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra and can be watched at WatchESPN.com or via the ESPN app.
Duke 19, Northern Colorado 18
149 – Jimmy Fate (UNC) major dec. Brandon Leynaud (Duke), 12-1, UNC 4, Duke 0
157 – No. 11 Mitch Finesilver (Duke) dec. Tyler Kinn (UNC), 8-2, UNC 4, Duke 3
165 – No. 19 Keilan Torres (UNC) fall Zach Finesilver (Duke), 3:43, UNC 10, Duke 3
174 – Matt Finesilver (Duke) dec. Seth Bogulski (UNC), 6-1, UNC 10, Duke 6
184 – Dylan Gabel (UNC) major dec. Kaden Russell (Duke), 12-0, UNC 14, Duke 6
197 – Alec Schenk (Duke) dec. Tanner Davis (UNC), 7-5, UNC 14, Duke 9
285 – No. 5 Jacob Kasper (Duke) dec. Robert Winters (UNC), 12-2, UNC 14, Duke 13
125 – Thayer Atkins (Duke) dec. Sean Cannon (UNC), 9-5, UNC 14, Duke 16
133 – Josh Finesilver (Duke) dec. Rico Montoya (UNC), 7-6, UNC 14, Duke 19
141 – Ben Polkowske (UNC) major dec. Jeremiah Reitz (UNC), 14-4, UNC 18, Duke 19