The Maryland wrestling team earned its first ACC win Friday night in a dual meet in Chapel Hill edging the Tar Heels 18-15. In addition to wins from the usual suspects - Jimmy Sheptock and Spencer Myers, the Terps got decisions from some of the lighter weight classes as well as - believe it or not - a critical comeback in a loss that put the Terps in position to win the meet.
The match started with Maryland's Billy Rappo taking on UNC's Nathan Kreisser at 125 punds. Though Kreisser had dropped his last two matches in overtime he was still the twentieth ranked wrestler in the country. Late in the first period, Rappo earned a takedown and three near fall points just before the first period ended to take a huge 5-0 lead. The sophomore started on top in the second and held on for over a minute before Kreisser earned a point for an escape. Kreisser controlled the beginning of the third period long enough to erase Rappo's riding time advantage but the sophomore scored a reversal to take a 7-1 lead. After Rappo again built a ride time advantage the coaches had him allow Kreisser to earn an escape point hoping a Rappo takedown could earn a major decision and a bonus point in the team score. Carolina's sophomore thwarted that plan with a takedown of his own to pull within 7-4 but as the match wound down, he had to allow Rappo the escape as his only chance of completing a comeback would be to gain a takedown and near fall points. Rappo held Kreisser off and closed the match 8-4.
Tyler Goodwin, wrestling at 133 pounds also got off to a fast start in the night's second match against Tar Heel freshman Troy Heilmann. Goodwin earned a takedown and three near fall points in the first 30 seconds of the match to race out to another quick 5-0 Terrapin lead. As Goodwin tried to build riding time, Heilmann managed an escape but Goodwin earned another quick takedown for two points as well as finishing the round with over 2 minutes of riding time. Goodwin started the second round in the down position and Heilmann maintained control for the entire period to erase Goodwin's ride time advantage. The Tar Heel wrestler started the third in control as well and Goodwin ceded two points for stalling and Heilmann earned another point for riding time but Goodwin's 7-4 win gave Maryland a surprising 6-0 team lead.
Carolina began their comeback at 141 pounds when the nationally sixth ranked Evan Henderson took on Maryland's Shyheim Brown. Brown startedthe season strongly for the Terps but has been in a bit of a slump lately and he was unable to break out of it Friday night. After a scoreless first round with not much action, Brown opened the second round in the bottom position and Henderson rode out the round on top to pick up 2 minutes of riding time. Brown started the third in the upper position and Henderson picked up an early escape and a takedown with about 40 seconds to go but Brown denied Henderson any near fall points finally falling 4-0 with the riding time bonus.
Though the individual matches were generally close, Derrick Evanovich dropped his match 7-5 in overtime at 149 pounds despite getting out to a 2-0 lead with a takedown early in the first period. The Tar Heel win evened the team score at six all. The home team took their first lead of the night when Jake Crawford won a 4-2 decision over Ben Dorsay. They extended the team lead to 12-6 with John Michael Staudenmayer took a 7-1 decision over Josh Snook at 165 pounds.
At 174 pounds, Ty Snook, wrestling in his second match of an injury shortened season, regained some family honor with a 7-2 win over Scott Marmoll. Snook picked up an early takedown and three points for a near fall less than a minute and a half into the first period. He picked up another two near fall points before Marmoll picked up a point for an escape Marmoll picked up a riding time bonus controlling the entire second period after opening in the upper position for the only scoring in the ensuing two periods and the Terps were within three in the team competition.
Next up for Maryland, top ranked Jimmy Sheptock took on Alex Utley for the Tar Heels in the 184 pound weight class. The pumped up senior lived up to his ranking winning his twenty-first consecutive match on the season. The wreslters spent most of the first period sizing each other up but Sheptock opened the scoring with a high crotch takedown with 18 seconds left in the period. Sheptock, starting the second period in the down position, needed less than half a minute to win his escape point and scored another takedown within 30 seconds to enter the third with a 5-0 lead. Sheptock also held a 1:12 riding time advantage. Starting in the top position, the senior allowed an early escape then picked up takedown on a counter attack. After permitting another escape Sheptock picked up three more points on a takedown and an illegal hold called on Utley. Maryland's All-American scored another late takedown and the riding time bonus gave him a 13-3 major decision and put the Terps back in front 13-12 on the team scoreboard.
Tony Gardner, stepping up in weight to 194 pounds and wrestling in place of ninth ranked Christian Boley for Maryland, dropped his match but importantly avoided a major decision with a strong third period rally. UNC's Frank Abbondanza held a 7-1 lead at the end of one and earned another point early in the second to sprint out to an 8-1 lead. He led 10-2 at the end of the second with a looming riding time bonus. But Gardner won a point on an escape and a takedown then another two points on a late takedown reversing a late shot from the Carolina wrestler to earn his second takedown of the period. Though he dropped the match 12-7, he left heavyweight Spencer Myers in a position to earn the Terps the team win with a simple decision.
The seventh ranked Myers gave his squad much more than that with a dominant performance and a 16-0 technical fall. He opened the match with a takedown in the the first 15 seconds and added three points on a near fall less than a minute later. He rolled UNC's Bob Coe onto his back with just under a minute to go and again with about 15 seconds to go to lead 11-0 at the end of one. Myers started the second in the down position and walked out an early escape. Half a minute later, the junior scored yet another takedown. Another near fall with 12 seconds left in the second, scored the technical fall and gave Maryland the 18-15 team win.