DURHAM, N.C. – Duke redshirt junior Mitch Finesilver and redshirt senior Jacob Kasper notched technical falls to lead the Blue Devils to a 19-16 win over Virginia in ACC wrestling action Saturday afternoon in Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Blue Devils won five bouts overall in the dual, with the bonus points being the difference for Duke.
The victory over the Cavaliers is the first for Duke since 2005 and evens the Blue Devils’ season mark to 5-5 overall and 1-2 in league action. Virginia drops to 4-8 overall and 0-3 in conference. The Blue Devils grabbed the lead from the opening match and never looked back with rookie Jeremiah Reitz securing the win in the second to last match of the day.
Duke opened the afternoon at 157 pounds with 11th-ranked Mitch collecting a 16-0 technical fall over Fred Green. He built a 10-0 advantage in the first period en route to securing his 22nd win of the season and scored the crucial bonus points for a 5-0 advantage on the team score.
Zach Finesilver made a valiant comeback in the third period, but came up just short against Andrew Atkinson at 165 pounds, as the Cavaliers got on the scoreboard to make it 5-3.
The seesaw action continued with 19th-ranked Matt Finesilver earning three points for the Blue Devils at 174 and Drew Peck answering with a decision for Virginia at 184. Matt, leading 2-1 after the first period, scored four points in the second to pull away from Will Schany for the 8-2 decision. It was his seventh straight victory and 20th of the year.
With the Blue Devils holding a narrow 8-6 lead in the team score, Alec Schenk and Kasper quickly launched Duke in front by 10, 16-6, with wins at 197 and heavyweight, respectively. Schenk trailed 4-2 after the opening three minutes before fighting back to tie the bout at 5-5 with two minutes left to wrestle. The Duke captain controlled the final period to win 9-7, his 17th win on the season.
Kasper followed suit and did what he’s done all season and recorded his fifth technical fall of the year with a hard-fought 18-3 victory. Tied 2-2 with Tyler Love after the first period, Kasper went to work and built his advantage to 9-2 after two stanzas. He continued to work hard, scoring back points in the third to go up 16-3 with seven seconds left. In a restart position with Kasper on top and only seven seconds remaining to get the technical fall, Kasper turned Love just in time to score the crucial two points in his match and the five for the team to put Duke up 16-6.
The Cavaliers started to chip away at the 10-point Duke lead with consecutive decisions from No. 16 Louie Hayes at 125 and No. 9 Jack Mueller at 133. The six points from the decision kept Virginia within striking distance of the win with two matches remaining.
It was a rematch from the Cliff Keen Invitational at 141 pounds. Reitz was aiming for a repeat performance against Sam Martino to secure the win for the Blue Devils. The Duke rookie scored the early takedown and lead 2-1 after the first period. He rode well throughout the match and held off any offensive threats from Martino to come away with the decisive 4-2 decision.
The Blue Devils hit the road for their next dual at Appalachian State Feb. 8 at 6 p.m. Duke returns home Feb. 11 to host ACC foe Pittsburgh.
Duke 19, Virginia 16
157 – No. 11 Mitch Finesilver (Duke) tech fall Fred Green (UVA), 16-0 [Duke 5, UVA 0]
165 – Andrew Atkinson (UVA) decision Zach Finesilver (Duke), 6-5 [Duke 5, UVA 3]
174 – No. 19 Matt Finesilver (Duke) decision Will Schany (UVA), 8-2 [Duke 8, UVA 3]
184 – Drew Peck (UVA) decision Luke Farinaro (Duke), 6-2 [Duke 8, UVA 6]
197 – Alec Schenk (Duke) decision Jay Aiello (UVA), 9-7 [Duke 11, UVA 6]
285 – No. 4 Jacob Kasper (Duke) tech fall Tyler Love (UVA), 19-4 [Duke 16, UVA 6]
125 – No. 16 Louie Hayes (UVA) decision Thayer Atkins (Duke), 1-0 [Duke 16, UVA 9]
133 – No. 9 Jack Mueller (UVA) decision Josh Finesilver (Duke), 5-0 [Duke 16, UVA 12]
141 – Jeremiah Reitz (Duke) decision Sam Martino (UVA), 4-2 [Duke 19, UVA 12]
149 – Sam Krivus (UVA) major decision Brandon Leynaud (Duke), 17-5 [Duke 19, UVA 16]