Appalachian State University wrestling downed No. 25 North Carolina in a down-to-the-wire battle, 18-16, on Sunday afternoon at Varsity Gym to improve to 3-0 for the fifth time in program history.
In a revenge match from 2014-15 when the Mountaineers lost by one point late to the Tar Heels, 23rd-ranked Appalachian edged out head coach JohnMark Bentley’s alma mater. The win gives the Black and Gold their second victory over a nationally ranked opponent this season and their second victory against a Power 5 school this season – a program first since year-by-year results were first recorded in 1990-91.
With only two major decisions and one technical fall on the day, the match was neck-and-neck, as the Mountaineers and Tar Heels (1-1) vied for every weight class.
Appalachian fell behind early in the team score as UNC’s James Szymanski defeated senior Vito Pasone on an 8-4 decision to open the day. But freshman Colby Smith battled the Apps back in, tying the team score up when he downed Tyrone Klump by 5-0 decision in the 133-pound weight class.
The balance beam continued to sway as No. 8 141-pounder, Joey Ward of North Carolina, defeated sophomore Irvin Enriquez by a 12-3 major decision before No. 11 sophomore Matt Zovistoski won a come-from-behind barn-burner against Troy Heilmann, 7-6.
Riding the momentum of Zovistoski’s comeback victory, freshman Gavin Londoff upset North Carolina’s No. 16 Joey Moon with a huge 5-2 decision in the 157-pound weight class.
The 165- and 174-pound classes went win and loss for the Mountaineers, as No. 17 Forrest Przybysz dropped John Clark in a 5-0 decision before Marcus Johnson fell the No. 8 Ethan Ramos in a 20-5 technical fall.
The nail-biter of the night came in the 184-pound match when junior David Peters-Logue took Elijah Kerr-Brown to overtime tied at 2-2. Peters-Logue battled hard against the Tar Heel, trying to not give up the sudden-death point, before finally getting a one-point escape to win the weight class and put Appalachian ahead.
North Carolina stormed back in the 197-pound match, as Daniel Chaid downed sophomore Randall Diabe by a 19-7 major decision to put the Tar Heels back up one with only the heavyweight bout to go.
No. 9 senior Denzel Dejournette came out of the gates with ferocity, making multiple attempts at takedowns in the first few moments of the match. Corey Gilliland fought him off for only an instance before Dejournette got the points he was looking for. After the end of the third and final period, the senior heavyweight had his 8-2 decision, sealing the win for Appalachian State by one point.
Appalachian State wrestling returns to action on Wednesday, Nov. 30 as it travels to face its second-straight nationally-ranked ACC opponent, No. 9 NC State. The action begins at 7 p.m.
RESULTS: 125: James Szymanski (UNC) def. Vito Pasone (APP), 8-4 dec. 133: Colby Smith (APP) def. Tyrone Klump (UNC), 5-0 dec. 141: #8 Joey Ward (UNC) def. Irvin Enriquez (APP), 12-3 maj dec. 149: #11 Matt Zovistoski (APP) def. Troy Heilmann (UNC), 7-6 dec. 157: Gavin Londoff (APP) def. #16 Joey Moon (UNC), 5-2 dec. 165: #17 Forrest Przybysz (APP) def. John Clark (UNC), 5-0 dec. 174: #8 Ethan Ramos (UNC) def. Marcus Johnson (APP), 20-5 TF 184: David Peters-Logue (APP) def. Elijah Kerr-Brown (UNC), 3-2 dec. 197: Daniel Chaid (UNC) def. Randall Diabe (APP) 19-7, maj dec. HWT: #9 Denzel Dejournette (APP) def. Corey Gilliland (UNC), 8-2 dec.