BOONE, N.C — Wrestling in front of a standing-room-only crowd at Varsity Gym, Randall Diabe and Codi Russell picked up impressive wins to lead Appalachian State in its 28-7 home loss to No. 15 North Carolina on Sunday.
With both sets of bleachers filled and fans not only standing at floor level but also lining up along the second-level railing, the Mountaineers participated in their first home dual of the 2018-19 season. They entered the match just outside the Top 25, as the leader in other teams receiving votes, and four top-15 individuals helped the Tar Heels (3-0) jump from No. 23 to No. 15 last week.
An intermission followed the first five matches, and App State (2-2) posted its first victory when the 14th-ranked Diabe capitalized on four takedowns in a 10-2 major decision against Hunter Queen at 197 pounds. Three matches later, in his 2018-19 dual team debut, the 23rd-ranked Russell used a tying takedown as the second period ended and an escape early in the third period to claim a 4-3 win against James Szymanski at 133 pounds.
The Mountaineers’ closest calls in losses came at 174 pounds and the heavyweight division. Thomas Flitz was tied at 5-all entering the third period against Devin Kane, who stayed on top for the entire period and used that riding-time bonus to win 6-5 at 174, and Cary Miller was tied 1-all with 13th-ranked Cory Daniel before Daniel registered a takedown in the closing seconds.
The Tar Heels’ lineup featured three top-10 wrestlers, and back-to-back victories from two of them pushed UNC to an early lead, as ninth-ranked Austin O’Connor won a major decision against Jonathan Millner at 149 and sixth-ranked Kennedy Monday posted a 5-1 decision against Angel Najar at 157. Najar hung tough and trailed 2-0 entering the final period.
Josh McClure’s major decision against Joe Accousti at 165 preceded Flitz’s tight match, and eighth-ranked Chip Ness earned a major decision against 21st-ranked Alan Clothier at 184.
After the order flipped following the matchups at 197 and the heavyweight division, Joe Heilmann won a major decision against Andy Richard at 125 pounds, and the dual ended with A.C. Headlee winning a decision against Irvin Enriquez at 141 pounds.
App State returns to action Friday night with a 7 p.m. home dual against Ohio.
Season tickets for App State Wrestling are also available for $35 (adults) and $15 (youth) by clicking HERE for an online purchase, contacting the ticket office at 828-262-2079 or going to the App State athletics ticket office located at the Holmes Center. Single-match tickets are $7 (adult) and $3 (youth).
No. 15 North Carolina 28, Appalachian State 7
149: #9 Austin O’Connor (UNC) def. Jonathan Millner (APP), 14-3 maj. dec. (0-4)
157: #6 Kennedy Monday (UNC) def. Angel Najar (APP), 5-1 dec. (0-7)
165: Josh McClure (UNC) def. Joe Accousti (APP), 10-1 maj. dec. (0-11)
174: Devin Kane (UNC) def. Thomas Flitz (APP), 6-5 dec. (0-14)
184: #8 Chip Ness (UNC) def. #21 Alan Clothier (APP), 10-2 maj. dec. (0-18)
197: #14 Randall Diabe (APP) def. Hunter Queen (UNC), 10-2 maj. dec. (4-18)
HWT: #13 Cory Daniel (UNC) def. Cary Miller (APP), 3-1 dec. (4-21)
125: Joe Heilmann (UNC) def. Andy Richard (APP), 14-5 maj. dec. (4-25)
133: #23 Codi Russell (APP) def. James Szymanski (UNC), 4-3 dec. (7-25)
141: A.C. Headlee (UNC) def. Irvin Enriquez (APP), 7-0 dec. (7-28)