CHAPEL HILL, N.C.—Duke University freshman Xaviel Ramos and redshirt sophomore Brendan Walsh captured their first ACC wrestling victories this evening in a 24-12 setback to North Carolina at Carmichael Arena.
Redshirt junior Immanuel Kerr-Brown remained undefeated in conference action, while redshirt sophomore Conner Hartmann joined him in the win column. Duke (6-12, 0-5 ACCC) captured four of the nine matches, but couldn’t overcome early bonus points scored by North Carolina (6-10, 1-4).
North Carolina raced out to an 11-0 lead with wins at 165, 174 and 184. Hartmann garnered the Blue Devils’ first points of the night with a narrow 3-1 decision over Frank Abbondanza at 197.
After a scoreless first period, Hartmann escaped quickly to start the second for the 1-0 advantage after two periods. Defending against Hartmann’s shots throughout the first two periods, Abbondanza tied the bout with an escape early in the third to force Hartmann to get a takedown for the win.
In search of his 17th win of the year, Hartmann scored a takedown on a good shot with only 10 seconds remaining in the bout. The win pushes him to 17-8 on the year and 1-4 in ACC competition.
Redshirt sophomore Brendan Walsh added three more points to Duke’s scoring line with his first career ACC victory. Walsh scored an early takedown and never looked back en route to the 11-6 decision over Bob Coe. The win was his fourth of the year and pushed his dual record to 2-1 overall, while the 11 points are the second most he’s scored in a bout this season.
A forfeit at 125 stretched North Carolina’s lead back to 11 and the Tar Heels added a win at 133 before Xaviel Ramos joined Walsh in getting his first career ACC victory at 141.
Ramos, trailing Brian Bokoski 5-4 after two periods, started the third on bottom and looking for the escape to tie. Bokoski appeared as if he might get the better of the Duke rookie as he nearly got him on his back, but Ramos turned and scored the reversal and nearfall to garner the 9-6 decision.
At 149 pounds, Christian Barber used a first-period takedown to hold off Duke’s Connor Bass in the 2-1 decision. Bass, on top in the third, tried to turn Barber, but came up just shy of picking up his second ACC win.
Kerr-Brown, in fitting fashion of saving Duke’s unbeaten for last, was in control from the very beginning against Jake Crawford. The Duke captain scored a late takedown in the first and cruised to the 5-1 for his 21st win of the year and 14th dual victory.
Duke is back in action Sunday, Feb. 16 at The Citadel. The non-conference dual is set for 4 p.m.