Wrestling Drops ACC Opener to North Carolina, 19-15

Jan. 11, 2009

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Ranked Maryland wrestlers Steven Bell, Alex Krom and Hudson Taylor all emerged victorious Sunday, but the Terrapins lost their ACC opener to the North Carolina Tar Heels, 19-15, ending the Terps' 10-match winning streak in ACC duals, dating back to 2006.

"I'm very disappointed with the result," Maryland head coach Kerry McCoy said. "I think we had a lot of close matches that we could have won and it just didn't happen. We have to go back to the drawing board and figure out how to win those close matches."

The meet started with the heavyweight bout and Justin Dobies got the Tar Heels (5-6, 1-0 ACC) off to a good start with a 9-4 decision and a 3-0 North Carolina lead.

The Terps (3-5-1, 0-1 ACC) then took the next three matches.

Junior Brendan Byrne posted a dominant victory at 125 pounds, winning a five-point technical fall, 21-6 at 6:42.

At 133 pounds, No. 9 Bell and Mike Rappo battled to the very end in a very-intense match. Tied at 4-4 late in the third period, Bell registered a takedown. However, Rappo answered with a quick escape and Bell had to hold him off in the final seconds to get out with a 6-5 victory.

Leading 8-3, No. 15 Krom dominated the 141-pound matchup, taking a 9-1 major decision against No. 20 Vincent Ramirez to give the Terps a 12-3 advantage heading into the middle weights.

Unfortunately for the Terps, the Tar Heels took the next five matches to clinch the victory.

The turning point came at 149 points. Redshirt senior Steve Fehnel rallied late against Nick Stabile to force overtime, but Scotton earned a quick takedown to win 5-3 in the first sudden-victory period.

Thomas Scotton won for the Tar Heels at 157 pounds to make it a 12-9 Terps lead and the Tar Heels finally re-gained the lead in the 165-pound match, as No. 17 Keegan Mueller took a 10-0 major decision against Brian Letters.

Narrow decisions at 174 and 184 pounds made it 19-12 Tar Heels heading into the 197-pound bout, ending Maryland's hopes of victory.

With the match already decided, No. 10 Taylor and No. 16 Dennis Drury engaged in a rematch of last year's ACC Championship match at 197 pounds. History repeated, as Taylor won by the same score as last time, 10-5.

The Terps hit the road this weekend for a pair of tough duals at top-10 programs from the Big 12. Maryland is at No. 10 Oklahoma Friday before heading to No. 4 Nebraska Sunday.

HWT - Justin Dobies (NC) dec. Patrick Gilmore, 9-4 (3-0)
125 - Brendan Byrne (MD) tech. fall over Nick Shields, 21-6 (6:42) (3-5)
133 - No. 9 Steven Bell (MD) dec. Mike Rappo, 6-5 (3-8)
141 - No. 15 Alex Krom (MD) major dec. No. 20 Vincent Ramirez, 9-1 (3-12)
149 - Nick Stabile (NC) dec. Steve Fehnel, 5-3 (SV1) (6-12)
157 - Thomas Scotton (NC) dec. Kyle John, 6-4 (9-12)
165 - No. 17 Keegan Mueller (NC) major dec. Brian Letters, 10-0 (13-12)
174 - Ben Fiacco (NC) dec. Bradley Nielson, 5-3 (16-12)
184 - Daniel Llamas (NC) dec. Owen Smith, 3-1 (19-12)
197 - No. 10 Hudson Taylor (MD) dec. No. 16 Dennis Drury, 10-5 (19-15)