No. 10 Braves Upset By Visiting Limestone
PEMBROKE – UNCP got pins from all-Americans Russell Weakley and Mike Williams, as well as a major decision from Shane Nolan, but visiting Limestone captured each of the seven remaining matches on the night to post a 24-16 upset victory over the 10th-ranked Braves on Thursday evening in the English E. Jones Center.
The setback marred Senior Night for the Braves (13-5) who honored their graduating student-athletes - Weakley and Dennis Fix - prior to the start of wrestling action. Limestone (5-12) won for just the second time in its last 12 dual meets, but captured its second consecutive series victory over the Black and Gold with the result. The meet marked the regular season finale for both sides.
Weakley, ranked No. 1 in the 125-pound weight class for the second-straight poll, needed just 40 seconds to pin Brandon Feix in the opening bout of the night, but the Braves fell behind quickly after that, dropping each of the next four matches to take a 13-6 deficit into the intermission. The run by the Saints was keyed by fourth-ranked Mike Magaha's 8-6 overtime win over Timdarius Thurston at 133 pounds, as well as Kyle Freiberg's 17-3 major decision over Patrik Foxworth in the 157-pound bout.
Williams, ranked No. 1 at 165 pounds for the second-straight poll as well, got the hosts back in it with a first period pin (2:31) over Chris Didyoung coming out of the break, but the Saints used Bryce Sopko's 16-0 technical fall over Jordan Ford at 174 pounds, as well as Casey Bradley's 2-0 decision over Shiheem Bryant at 184 pounds to stretch their team lead out to 21-13.
Nolan gave the Braves a bit of hope with his 10-2 major decision over Josh Sprewell but, needing at least a technical fall to forge a tie on the scoreboard, James De La Riva was unable to hold off Tarek Alaruri in the heavyweight bout before falling by a 2-1 decision.
The Braves will be back in action again, Feb. 25-26, when they head to Erie, Pa., for the NCAA Super Region I Tournament inside Gannon's Hammermill Center.
Limestone 24, #10 UNCP 16
125: No. 1 Russell Weakley (UNCP) pinned Brandon Feix (LC) F 0:40
133: No. 4 Mike Magaha (LC) dec. Timdarius Thurston (UNCP) SV 8-6
141: Mike Hellman (LC) dec. Tyquan Easton (UNCP) D 10-7
149: Theran Goodale (LC) dec. Brendon Parker-Risk (UNCP) D 4-3
157: Kyle Freiberg (LC) maj. dec. Patrik Foxworth (UNCP) M 17-3
165: No. 1 Mike Williams (UNCP) pinned Chris Didyoung (LC) F 2:31
174: Bryce Sopko (LC) tech. fall Jordan Ford (UNCP) TF 16-0; 6:53
184: Casey Bradley (LC) dec. Shiheem Bryant (UNCP) D 2-0
197: Shane Nolan (UNCP) maj. dec. Josh Sprewell (LC) M 10-2
285: Tarek Alaruri (LC) dec. James De La Riva (UNCP) D 2-1
Starting Weight: 125
Records: Limestone 5-12; UNCP 13-5