DURHAM, N.C.—The Duke wrestling team closes out the calendar year with its first dual of the 2018-19 campaign Thursday evening at Gardner-Webb. The Blue Devils and Runnin’ Bulldogs meet at 7 p.m., at Paul Porter Arena.
How to Follow
Thursday evening’s match begins at 7 p.m., and will be streamed on ESPN+. Fans can buy a subscription to ESPN+ for $4.99 per month. Unable to watch, there also will be live updates on Twitter via @DukeWRES.
Last Time Out
Duke took 28th of 43 teams at the Cliff Keen Invitational this past weekend in Las Vegas. Mitch Finesilver led the way with a fifth-place showing at 149 pounds, while Matt Finesilver came up just one win short of making the podium. It was the second consecutive season in which a Blue Devil wrestler landed on the podium at the prestigious tournament. Kaden Russell also had a solid showing overall, eventually falling to Will Sumner of Utah Valley in the consolation round of eight.
Last Time We Met
The Blue Devils won nine of the 10 bouts and earned bonus points in four to post a convincing 38-3 victory over Gardner-Webb. Brandon Leynaud and Matt Finesilver both posted bonus points in their victories.
Zach Finesilver to Make Season Debut
Redshirt senior Zach Finesilver will make his 2018-19 season debut Thursday night at 165 pounds. Zach missed the early portion of the season due to an offseason injury and has worked his way back into the dual lineup. The two-time NCAA qualifier, Zach finished second at the ACC Championships in 2018. He is 51-39 for his career.
Thursday night, Duke’s Zach Finesilver will have a familiar last name to go up against as the younger brother of 197-pounder Alec Schenk will line up at 165 for the Bulldogs. Schenk, a sophomore, is 8-5 on the year. His older brother, Alec, will return to the Duke lineup in January after taking the first semester off.
Duke holds a commanding 28-2-1 record in the all-time series with Gardner-Webb. The Blue Devils cruised past the Bulldogs 38-3 in Durham last season. The last time Gardner-Webb defeated Duke was in 2016, a 19-18 victory on the Blue Devils’ home mat.
About Duke Wrestling
Duke enters its first dual of the year after finishing 28th of 43 teams at the Cliff Keen Invitational this past weekend. Eighth-ranked Mitch Finesilver paces the Blue Devils with a 12-2 overall record and took fifth in Las Vegas. Matt Finesilver remains in the top 20 at No. 20 this week after just missing a spot on the podium last weekend. Josh Finesilver is 9-4 overall this season with four of the wins coming by fall, which is three more than he had in all of his rookie campaign. At 184 pounds, Kaden Russell has taken big strides and is 8-5 on the year and took third at the Keystone Classic.
Duke Probable Lineup
Redshirt freshmen Harrison Campbell and Louis Castellano will be making their dual match debuts at Garnder-Webb. Campbell will wrestle at 125 pounds, while Castellano will bump up to 197 for the night. Araad Fisher also will be wrestling for the first time this season, filling the heavyweight slot.
125 – Harrison Campbell (1-4)
133 – Open
141 – Josh Finesilver (9-4)
149 – Mitch Finesilver (12-2)
157 – Brandon Leynaud (0-6)
165 – Zach Finesilver (0-0)
174 – Matt Finesilver (9-3)
184 – Kaden Russell (8-5)
197 – Louis Castellano (0-0)
HWT – Araad Fisher (0-0)
The Bulldogs will be wrestling in their fourth dual of the season. They are 2-1 overall with wins over Ouachita Baptist and Queens and a loss at Clarion. Tyler Marinelli leads the team with an 8-0 record and is ranked 13th at 157 pounds by InterMat. At 165 pounds, Evan Schenk is 8-5, while Kyle Homet is 7-4 at 174. Gardner-Webb most recently competed at the Wolfpack Open with Anthony Perrine leading the way with a sixth-place finish at heavyweight.
125 – Open
133 – Brandon Bright (R-Fr. / 2-5)
141 – Conrad Schiess (Fr. / 2-5)
149 – Taylor Parks (So. / 3-5)
157 – #13 Tyler Marinelli (R-Sr. / 8-0)
165 – Evan Schenk (So. / 8-5)
174 – Kyle Homet (Fr. / 7-4)
184 – Nathaniel Kale (Fr. / 0-5)
197 – Chase Emory (So. / 1-4)
285 – Jeffery Linker (R-Fr. / 6-5)
Duke will take a break for final exams and the holidays before returning to compete at the Southern Scuffle Jan. 1-2. Alec Schenk will return to the Blue Devil lineup in Chattanooga.