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WRES: NC State's Gwiazdowski defeats nation's top-ranked Heavyweight

Posted February 22, 2014

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— The NC State wrestling team split a pair of duals in Durham today. The Wolfpack (14-7) defeated Duke in the final ACC dual of the year, 25-13, then fell to No. 21 Northwestern 24-15. The highlight of the day was NC State’s Nick Gwiazdowski scoring a 5-3 overtime win over the nation’s top-ranked heavyweight, Michael McMullan of Northwestern.

With the win over Duke, Pack head coach Pat Popolizo notched his 100th career dual victory. The Pack’s Sam Speno (141 pounds), Tommy Gantt (157) and Gwiazdowski (285) all won both of their bouts on the day.

After dropping the opening bout at 197 pounds to start the ACC dual against Duke, NC State reeled off six straight wins, including three bonus point victories.

Gwiazdowski started with his 15th pin of the year just 2:25 into the first period. At 125, Duke was forced to forfeit and give up six points. The Pack’s Chris Wilkes (133 pounds), Speno(141) and Brian Hamann (141) all recorded decisions before Gantt scored a major decision over No. 22 Immanuel Kerr-Brown, who was a perfect 5-0 in ACC action, to put the Pack well ahead at 25-4 after the first seven bouts. Duke won the final three matches, but the Pack came out on top 25-13 for the ACC win.

Against No. 21 Northwestern, the Pack won four bouts but fell 24-15.

Gwiazdowski recorded the 5-3 overtime upset of No. 1 ranked McMullan in the second bout to tie it at 3-3. Going into the third period down 3-0, he picked up an escape point early then a takedown to force OT before scoring the winning takedown in extra time. Gwiazdowski finishes with a perfect 20-0 record in duals this year, and has racked up 13 straight wins dating back to Jan. 2. He finished a perfect 6-0 against ACC foes, and six of his last eight wins have come against ranked foes.

Speno got the Pack six points at 141 pounds, as his bout also went to overtime, but he recorded a pin over No. 30 Pasquale Greco to tie the dualat 9-9 at the midway point. After the Wildcats scored a tech fall at 149 pounds, Gantt earned a 13-7 decision at 157 pounds to pull the Pack within 14-12 with three matches left.

Northwestern scored a pin and a major decision to push the score to 24-12, and the Pack’s Michael Macchiavello recorded an 8-6 decision to close the meet at 24-15.

The Pack will next be in action on March 8, traveling to Virginia Tech for the 2014 ACC Championship.

NC State 25, Duke 13
197: #22 Conner Hartmann (DU) major dec. KaRonne Jones; 9-1 (0-4)
285: #6 Nick Gwiazdowski (NCSU) fall Brendan Walsh; 2:25 (6-4)
125: Micah Perez (NCSU) by forfeit; (12-4)
133: Chris Wilkes (NCSU) dec. Evan Botwin; 11-7 (15-4)
141: #26 Sam Speno (NCSU) dec. Xaviel Ramos; 8-5 (18-4)
149: #31 Brian Hamann (NCSU) dec. Connor Bass; 3-1 (21-4)
157: #19 Tommy Gantt (NCSU) major dec. #22 Immanuel Kerr-Brown; 11-2 (25-4)
165: Marcus Cain (DU) dec. Max Rohskopf; 6-4 (25-7)
174: Trey Adamson (DU) dec. #19 Pete Renda; 7-5 (25-10)
184: Jacob Kasper (DU) dec. Michael Macchiavello; 9-6 (25-13)

No. 21 Northwestern 24, NC State 15
197: #14 Alex Polizzi (NW) dec. KaRonne Jones; 8-6 (3-0)
285: #6 Nick Gwiazdowski (NCSU) dec. #1 Michael McMullan; 5-3-SV1 (3-3)
125: Garrison White (NW) dec. Micah Perez; 6-2 (6-3)
133: #33 Dominick Malone (NW) dec. Chris Wilkes; 7-3 (9-3)
141: #26 Sam Speno (NCSU) fall #30 Pasquale Greco; 7:44-SV1 (9-9)
149: #5 Jason Tsirtsis (NW) tech fall Cohl Fulk; 20-4 (14-9)
157: #19 Tommy Gantt (NCSU) dec. Benjamin Sullivan; 13-7 (14-12)
165: #7 Pierce Harger (NW) fall Max Rohskopf; 3:17 (20-12)
174: Kevin Bialka (NW) major dec. Nijel Jones; 16-5 (24-12)
184: Michael Macchiavello (NCSU) dec. Jacob Berkowitz; 8-6 (24-15)

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