DURHAM, N.C. -- The Duke University wrestling team closed out its regular season this evening with a 29-6 loss at Appalachian State. The match was the third dual bout for Duke in two days.
Winning for Duke (3-11) were Robert Mello at heavyweight and Brandon Gambucci at 133 pounds. The win for Gambucci gave him a 3-0 sweep on the weekend, while Mello went 2-1 over the three matches.
The Mountaineers picked up wins in the first six matches to take a 20-0 lead. Mello came out at heavyweight and used a big third period to capture the 3-1 victory. Even at zero after five minutes, Mello started the final session with an escape and a takedown and held off any late attempts from Joe Cummings for the win.
After a pin by the Mountaineers at 125, Gambucci put three more points on the scoreboard for Duke with an 8-6 decision. The Mansfield, Ohio native was deadlocked at 4-4 after the opening period and came out and scored an escape and a takedown to build his lead to 7-6. Gambucci controlled the final two minutes to earn the single point for riding time and the 8-6 victory.
Duke opens postseason action at the ACC Championships March 3 in Chapel Hill, N.C. The entire tournament will be broadcast on ESPN3.