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Wrestling stumbles on Senior Night
By Nick Phillips
The UNCP wrestling team honored its two seniors, Russell Weakley and Dennis Fix, prior to hosting Limestone in both teams' final dual matches of the season on Feb. 10.
Things started off on the right foot for the Braves, with the All-American Weakley earning a pin in under a minute in the night's first matchup, but UNCP would only tally two more victories as Limestone was victorious in the remaining seven contests to knockoff 10th-ranked Braves by a 24- 16 win.
The win was just Limestone's second in their last 12 matches, but the second consecutive win over UNCP.
Weakley, the No. 1 ranked wrestler in the country in the 125-pound weight class, put in 40 seconds worth of work before earning the pin against Brandon Feix.
In the 133-pound matchup, Limestone's Mike Magaha, ranked 4th in the country, knocked off UNCP's Timdarius Thurston with a sudden victory, overtime 8-6 win to start the visitor's winning run.
Mike Hellman bested the Braves' Tyquan Easton in the 141-pound matchup by a 10-7 decision before Theran Goodale took a 4-3 decision win over UNCP's Brendon Parker-Risk at 149-pounds.
The capstone in the Limestone run was Kyle Freiberg's major decision win over Patrik Foxworth at 157-pounds before UNCP All-American Mike Williams' win in the 165- pound contest.
Williams, also ranked first in the country in his weight class, pinned Chris Didyoung in 2:31 to give the host Braves a opening.
Back-to-back victories for Limestone in the 174 and 185-pound matchups, including a tech fall victory at 174-pounds, pushed the visitors lead out farther.
The Braves' Shane Nolan gave UNCP a chance after his major decision win over Josh Sprewell in the 197-pound matchup to bring UNCP within five points heading to the final matchup.
Needing a five-point tech fall victory to tie or a six-point pin to give the Braves the win, UNCP 285- pound wrestler James De La Riva was defeated by a 2-1 decision to finish off the visitors win.
The Braves finish the dual season with a 13-5 record heading into the postseason.
UNCP hits the mat again on Feb. 25 and 26 in Erie, Pa., for the NCAA Super Region I Tournament.
The NCAA Division II National Championships take place in Kearney, Neb., on March 11 and 12.