BOONE, N.C. - The Duke wrestling team faced a 17-15 deficit with just two matches remaining, but a pair of technical falls lifted the Blue Devils to a 25-17 victory over Appalachian State Thursday evening inside Varsity Gym. Consecutive dominant performances by Mitch Finesilver and Zach Finesilver gave the final 10 points of the dual to Duke, extending its win streak to three straight matches.
With Duke (6-5) trailing 17-15, Mitch dominated Angel Najar from the opening whistle, and cruised to the 19-2 technical fall to launch Duke back in front by three, 20-17. The tech fall was his fourth of the year and second consecutive.
Zach followed suit and iced the dual victory for the Blue Devils with a 16-1 tech fall over Laken Cook at 165. It was his first technical fall of the season as he picked up his fifth dual win of the season.
The Blue Devils took a 4-0 lead after the first match of the evening, when Matt Finesilver picked up a 15-1 major decision at 174 pounds against No. 18 Forrest Przybysz. The ranked victory was the second for the rookie and pushed his win streak to eight matches.
Appalachian State (8-4) answered with a major decision at 184 and decision at 197 for its first lead of the night, 7-4.
The tide turned back in Duke’s favor as the Blue Devils won three straight matches to go up 15-7 after six bouts. Senior Jacob Kasper continued his dominance at heavyweight with a technical fall after two periods, besting Cary Miller 17-1. The nation’s fourth-ranked heavyweight pushed his career wins total to 98 and his season total to 29.
Senior Thayer Atkins and rookie Josh Finesilver put forth gritty performances, coming away with narrow decisions at 125 and 133, respectively. Atkins held off De’Andre Swinson down the stretch for the 4-2 decision, while Josh outscored Codi Russell 10-8.
Appalachian State responded with bonus point victories at 141 and 149, scoring 10 points to go up 17-15 with Mitch and Zach remaining. From there, Mitch and Zach Finesilver closed out the match in strong fashion.
The Blue Devils return to action Sunday with a 2 p.m. match inside Cameron Indoor Stadium against Pittsburgh. The match will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra and can be viewed on the WatchESPN platform.
Duke 25, App State 17
174: Matt Finesilver (DU) def. Forrest Przybysz (APP), 15-1 maj. dec. (0-4)
184: Alan Clothier (APP) def. Kaden Russell (DU), 16-5 maj. dec. (4-4)
197: Randall Diabe (APP) def. Alec Schenk (DU), 8-3 dec. (7-4)
HWT: Jacob Kasper (DU) def. Cary Miller (APP), 17-1 tech. fall (7-9)
125: Thayer Atkins (DU) def. De'Andre Swinson-Barr (APP), 4-2 dec. (7-12)
133: Josh Finesilver (DU) def. Codi Russell (APP), 10-8 dec. (7-15)
141: Irvin Enriquez (APP) def. Jeremiah Reitz (DU), fall, 1:00 (13-15)
149: Gavin Londoff (APP) def. Brandon Leynaud (DU), 14-5 maj. dec. (17-15)
157: Mitch Finesilver (DU) def. Angel Najar (APP), 19-2 tech. fall (17-20)
165: Zach Finesilver (DU) def. Laken Cook (APP), 16-1 tech. fall (17-25)