BOONE, N.C. -- By picking up his second major decision in the last three bouts, redshirt freshman Zack Strickland's 11-3 victory at 165 pounds was the deciding factor in Appalachian State University wrestling's 16-15 win over Southern Conference foe, Campbell, Tuesday night at Varsity Gymnasium.
With the narrow victory, the Mountaineers improve their conference winning streak to 11 straight and move to 6-2 overall and 3-0 in the SoCon.
After facing setbacks at 149 and 157 pounds to begin the dual, Strickland gave Appalachian some momentum, cruising to an 11-3 major decision over Campbell's Paul Duggan. For Strickland, it was his 18th win of the season as he remains perfect in duals (8-0).
Following the Strickland win, redshirt freshman Colin Hedash (174 pounds), sophomore Jake Johnson and redshirt sophomore Paul Weiss each tallied decisions, propelling the Mountaineers to a 13-6 lead.
Campbell made its way back into the dual, stringing together two hard-fought decisions. Redshirt sophomore Nick Vetell, who is listed at 174 pounds, matched up with Campbell's heavyweight, Joe Nolan. Vetell hung with Nolan, earning a late escape to allow Nolan to gain just three points for the Camels.
At 125 pounds, redshirt sophomore Dominic Parisi suffered his first defeat in dual matches this season, falling for the second time this year to CU's Eric Montoya, 8-5. Parisi remains the only attached Mountaineer with 20 wins on the season.
Senior Brett Boston gave the Mountaineers some breathing room at 133 pounds with a 6-1 decision over Campbell's Tanner Bidelspach. With the win, the Apps controlled the dual heading into the last bout of the night, 16-12.
Needing at least a major decision to force a tiebreak, Campbell's Michael Dahlstrom was unable to earn the four or more points against App State's Chris Johnson, tallying a 5-4 decision over Johnson. Nevertheless, the Mountaineers came away the tightly contested 16-15 victory.
Appalachian takes a short break, but returns to Varsity Gymnasium on Friday, Jan. 18, as the Apps host The Citadel. First bout is slated for 6:30 p.m.
149: Brent Jorge (CU) dec. Zach Kechter (APP), 11-4 (CU 3-0)
157: Nick Rex (CU) dec. Aaron Scott (APP), 3-2 (CU 6-0)
165: Zack Strickland (APP) maj. dec. Paul Duggan (CU), 11-3 (CU 6-4)
174: Colin Hedash (APP) dec. Cody Ryba (CU), 11-6 (APP 7-6)
184: Jake Johnson (APP) dec. Matt Cox (CU), 3-0 (APP 10-6)
197: Paul Weiss (APP) dec. John Merickel (CU), 3-1 (APP 13-6)
285: Joe Nolan (CU) dec. Nick Vetell (APP), 10-3 (APP 13-9)
125: Eric Montoya (CU) dec. Dominic Parisi (APP), 8-5 (APP 13-12)
133: Brett Boston (APP) dec. Tanner Bidelspach (CU), 6-1 (APP 16-12)
141: Michael Dahlstrom (CU) dec. Chris Johnson (APP), 5-4 (APP 16-15)
149: Jorge dec. Kechter, 11-5
Jorge jumped out to a quick 6-2 lead within the first minute of the opening period, which included a three-point near fall. Kechter tried to fight his way back into the bout, earning an escape point within the first three seconds of the second period. Jorge closed the bout scoring a quick escape, followed by another near fall to give Campbell its first points.
157: Rex dec. Scott, 3-2
After a scoreless opening period, Scott earned an escape point in the second period and held the 1-0 lead into the final period. Rex struck quickly with a two-point takedown and accumulated enough riding time to capture the 3-2 decision.
165: Strickland maj. dec. Duggan, 11-3
Strickland earned a takedown in the opening period and took a 2-0 lead into the second period. After earning an escape, Strickland looked to have a pin on Duggan, but could only manage two near fall points to lead 7-0 after two periods. In the final period, Strickland added to his lead with two stalls, an escape and the riding time point to win, 11-3.
174: Hedash dec. Ryba, 11-6
Hedash and Ryba traded takedowns in the first period, but Hedash notched his second takedown of the period and took a 4-3 lead into the second period. With an escape, followed by his third takedown, Hedash led, 7-4, heading into the final period. Scoring did not come until 17 seconds remained in the dual, as Hedash earned two more takedowns and a riding time point for the 11-6 decision.
184: Jake Johnson dec. Cox, 3-0
Johnson grabbed the lead with a minute left in the second period with a two-point reversal and controlled riding time for the 3-0 decision. It was the first victory in a dual in the sophomore's career.
194: Weiss dec. Merickel, 3-1
Scoring broke early in the second period, as Merickel escaped six seconds into the period. Weiss got back on track with a takedown with just 30 seconds left in the second period. Weiss closed the scoring with an escape to take the 3-1 decision.
285: Nolan dec. Vetell, 10-3
As Vetell tried to tire Nolan throughout the bout, Vetell found himself down 9-2 and facing the riding time point with 50 seconds left in the match. The redshirt sophomore found some room and was able to escape Nolan's hold, giving Nolan the 10-3 win, but allowing CU to earn just three points.
125: Montoya dec. Parisi, 8-5
In the most anticipated bout of the night, Montoya and Parisi were even through the first two periods with a 5-5 score. Montoya was able to grab an escape point early, as Parisi tried to put Montoya on his back many times. Montoya clinched his 25th win of the season; as he notched a takedown with 17 seconds remaining, giving Parisi his first loss in a dual this season.
133: Boston dec. Bidelspach, 6-1
Boston earned his first takedown with 27 seconds left in the second period and controlled for the remainder, earning another takedown early in the final period for the 6-1 victory. For Boston, it was his sixth win of the season.
141: Dahlstrom dec. Chris Johnson, 5-4
Dahlstrom opened scoring with a takedown, as Johnson quickly escaped to close the first period, 2-1. Dhalstrom added another takedown, but Johnson quickly bounced by with a two-point reversal. Johnson drew the bout even with an early escape but could not finish on top as Dahlstrom accumulated enough riding time for the 5-4 decision.