Appalachian State rolls in SoCon opener

BOONE, N.C. -- Fresh off a long-awaited Southern Scuffle medal stand appearance that fulfilled an individual goal, Appalachian State senior wrestler Randall Diabe gave the Mountaineers an immediate lift in their Southern Conference opener Tuesday.

Diabe began App State's 39-10 home victory against Gardner-Webb by closing the first period of his 197-pound match with a pin, and heavyweight Cary Miller's first-period pin in the next match preceded a pair of six-point forfeits that gave the Mountaineers (3-5, 1-0) a quick 24-0 advantage. Matt Zovistoski had a pin at 149 pounds, and Alan Clothier (184) ended the dual against the Runnin' Bulldogs (2-4, 0-1) with a first-period pin.

"I just wanted to go out there and execute and get the team rolling," said Diabe, who recorded his first pin of his senior season. "You get the heavyweight feeding off your pin, and you get the forfeits. By all that happening, we kept rolling. I was just going out to set the tone."

Moving forward from a difficult nonconference run that included consecutive duals against North Carolina, Ohio, NC State and Oklahoma, App State won its 17th straight SoCon dual since a loss to Gardner-Webb midway through the 2015-16 season. The Mountaineers shared a league title that season and won consecutive outright titles with 7-0 league records in 2016-17 and 2017-18.

In addition to the four pins Tuesday, plus wins by forfeit from Andy Richard (125 pounds) and Codi Russell (133), Angel Najar (157) claimed an 8-2 decision against Gardner-Webb's Evan Schenk.

Miller needed only 67 seconds to pin Gabriel Pickett, Clothier closed his match against Chase Emory with 25 seconds left in the first period and Zovistoski pinned Chase McKinney during the second period of their matchup.

"I thought we wrestled good in spots," App State coach JohnMark Bentley said. "There were several guys that went out there and took control of their matches and scored a lot of points. There were a couple other weights where I thought we looked a little bit flat, and I don't know if that's just coming off the (Southern) Scuffle that's a big tournament. I'm not sure, but overall, it's about what I expected, and it was good to get a win in front of the home crowd again."

App State returns to action Sunday afternoon at VMI and will be back at Varsity Gym the following Sunday, on Jan. 20, to face Campbell. Single-match tickets at $7 (adult) and $3 (youth) can be purchased by clicking HERE.

197: Randall Diabe (APP) def. Jack Trautman (GWU), fall, 3:00
HWT: Cary Miller (APP) def. Gabriel Pickett (GWU), fall, 1:07
125: Andy Richard (APP) won by forfeit
133: Codi Russell (APP) won by forfeit
141: Blake Mulkey (GWU) def. Irvin Enriquez (APP), 7-4 dec.
149: Matt Zovistoski (APP) def. Chase McKinney (GWU), fall, 4:41
157: Angel Najar (APP) def. Evan Schenk (GWU), 8-2 dec.
165: Tyler Marinelli (GWU) def. Michael Elliott (APP), 13-0 maj. dec.
174: Kyle Homet (GWU) def. Joe Accousti (APP), 5-3 dec.
184: Alan Clothier (184) def. Chase Emory (GWU), fall, 2:35


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