Appalachian State stays in SoCon title race with win over UTC

BOONE, N.C. -- Appalachian State Wrestling stayed in the Southern Conference championship race with a 21-14 home victory Sunday against Chattanooga, which suffered its first league loss.

The Mountaineers (5-6, 3-1 SoCon) clinched the victory against the Mocs (5-6, 3-1) in Varsity Gym when senior Michael Elliott ended the dual with a Sudden Victory takedown for a 6-4 decision at 165 pounds. App State possessed a four-point lead heading into that matchup, so Chattanooga needed a win with bonus points to either push the team score to a dual-deciding tiebreaker or give the Mocs a come-from-behind victory.

The outcome leaves Campbell (4-0, 2-0) as the only SoCon team without a league loss. The Camels won 19-17 against App State and wrestle at Chattanooga next Sunday.

Thomas Flitz got the Mountaineers off to a strong start with a 13-4 major decision at 174 pounds before Randall Diabe's 4-1 decision at 197 pounds, Cary Miller's 10-2 major decision at 285 pounds and Codi Russell's 11-3 major decision at 133 pounds pushed the team score to 15-6.

Chattanooga's Chris Debien posted a 9-4 decision in the next match, but a one-point team penalty for a second misconduct call against the Mocs' coaching staff meant that the team score was 15-8 after Debien's win. App State moved ahead 18-8 on Matt Zovistoski's 3-1 decision at 149 pounds, but the Mocs trailed only 18-14 following Ryan Resnick's first-period pin at 157 pounds.

That set the stage for Elliott, who improved to 20-11 overall and 5-2 in duals this season with his victory against Drew Nicholson.

Flitz led 10-2 after one period against Hunter Fortner thanks to three takedowns and a four-point near fall.
After Chattanooga's Dominic Lampe claimed a 3-2 decision against Alan Clothier at 184 pounds, the 17th-ranked Diabe improved to 20-5 on the season and 10-1 in duals with his victory against Rodney Jones. Diabe used a takedown to claim a 3-0 lead and increase his riding time entering the third period.

Miller led 5-0 after two periods of his win against Connor Talley, and Russell had a 6-1 lead when he allowed a third-period escape in order to pursue a major decision. He recorded takedowns with 32 and 12 seconds remaining to attain one.

App State returns to action Thursday night at Duke.

174: Thomas Flitz (APP) def. Hunter Fortner (UTC), 13-4 maj. dec.
184: Dominic Lampe (UTC) def. #32 Alan Clothier (APP), 3-2 dec.
197: #17 Randall Diabe (APP) def. Rodney Jones (UTC), 4-1 dec.
HWT: #26 Cary Miller (APP) def. Connor Tolley (UTC), 10-2 maj. dec.
125: #23 Fabian Gutierrez (UTC) def. De'Andre Swinson-Barr (APP), 11-6 dec.
133: #31 Codi Russell (APP) def. Jake Huffine (UTC), 11-3 maj. dec.
141: #33 Chris Debien (UTC) def. Irvin Enriquez (APP), 9-4 dec.
149: #25 Matt Zovistoski (APP) def. Tanner Smith (UTC), 3-1 dec.
157: Ryan Resnick (UTC) def. Angel Najar (APP), fall, 1:12
165: #32 Michael Elliott (APP) def. Drew Nicholson (UTC), 6-4 dec. (SV-1)

* Chattanooga penalized one team point for a second misconduct call


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