Wrestling Heads to St. Louis for NCAA Tournament

Published Thursday, March 16, 2017 at 2:19 pm

Four members of Appalachian State University’ wrestling team will compete on the biggest collegiate stage on Thursday when they battle in St. Louis for the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championship. Photo by Tim Cowie / App State Athletics

Four members of Appalachian State University’ wrestling team will compete on the biggest collegiate stage on Thursday when they battle in St. Louis for the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championship.

The Mountaineers had three wrestlers qualify by winning their respective weight class in the 2017 Southern Conference tournament and one wrestler qualify as an at-large candidate.

Appalachian is represented by seniors Denzel Dejournette at the heavyweight and Vito Pasone at the 125-pound division. The Black and Gold will also have sophomore Matt Zovistoski at 149 pounds and freshman 133-pounder Colby Smith.

Two-time SoCon Wrestler of the Year Dejournette went 23-5 to go along with both him and App State going undefeated in SoCon play at 6-0 and 7-0, respectively. Dejournette had 10 bonus point victories and two seven-match win streaks on the season. The senior was also named SoCon Wrestler of the Year this year. His 106 career victories rank him fifth all-time. In the conference tournament, he made quick work of his opponents, getting a 30-second pin to start things off before a 20-4 technical fall put him in the championship match where he won 7-4.

Zovistoski finished the season with a 23-8 record, including eight bonus point victories before being the champion at 149 pounds in the SoCon Tournament. He began with a 12-0 major decision over Joby Armenta of Gardner-Webb before narrowly defeating Ben Barton of Campbell with a 2-1 decision. Zovistoski then faced SIUE’s John Fahy for the first place batter where App State got the 6-5 decision victory.

SoCon all-conference selection Pasone went 14-7 on the season and 10-3 in duals – undefeated in league action. This year, the senior has seven bonus point victories, including a string of three straight over a group that included nationally ranked opponents. His 88 career victories place him eighth all-time at Appalachian. Pasone fell to Campbell’s Nathan Kraisser, 16-1, before he was able to battle back to blast Gardner-Webb’s Landon LoAlbo with a 20-7 major decision before defeating Alonzo Allen in an 18-1 technical fall in the third-place match.

Conference all-freshman selection Smith finished the regular season with an impressive 24 wins (14 bonus point victories) and only eight losses, going 13-3 in duals. He started off the conference tournament with a 9-1 major decision before getting another major decision when he defeated Jonathan Ryan of Campbell, 12-1, to get to the first place bout. The freshman would fall to Chattanooga’s Chris Debian 7-4 in double overtime to finish second overall.

The NCAA Tournament begins Thursday, March 16 at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo. 

2017 DI WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE
Thursday, March 16 
Time (EST) – Event – Location
11 a.m. – Gates open – Scottrade Center
12 p.m. – Session I – Scottrade Center
3 – 7 p.m. – NCAA Fan Festival – St. Louis Union Station
5:30 p.m. – Gates Open – Scottrade Center
7 p.m. – Session II – Scottrade Center

Friday, March 17
Time (EST) – Event – Location
10 a.m. – Gates Open – Scottrade Center
11 a.m. – Session III – Scottrade Center
2 – 7:30 p.m. – NCAA Fan Festival – St. Louis Union Station
6:30 p.m. – Gates open – Scottrade Center
8 p.m. – Session IV – Scottrade Center

Saturday, March 18
Time (EST) – Event – Location
10 a.m. – Gates open – Scottrade Center
11 a.m. – Session V – Scottrade Center
1 – 7:30 p.m. – NCAA Fan Festival – St. Louis Union Station
6:30 p.m. – Gates open – Scottrade Center
7:35 – 7:50 p.m. – Parade of All-Americans Scottrade Center
8 p.m. – Session VI – Scottrade Center

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