Jan. 25, 2014
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Senior 149-pound Raymond Borja’s (Virginia Beach, Va.) major decision with one bout remaining proved to be the deciding factor as the Navy wrestling team (3-2) scored a 19-18 victory over North Carolina (5-7) Saturday afternoon in Chapel Hill. The Mids have now won 11 of the last 12 meetings against the Tar Heels, including five of the last six in Chapel Hill.
With the match deadlocked at 15 with two bouts remaining, Borja stepped to the mat where he met UNC redshirt sophomore Christian Barber. Borja took a 7-1 lead after the opening period, but Barber, who came into the match with a 23-6 overall record and a 7-1 dual mark, trimmed the lead to 7-4 heading into the final period. Borja, though, earned the escape to start the third and and it propelled him to a pair of takedowns and a pair of near falls en route to an 18-5 major decision.
With a 19-15 lead, Navy sent senior Zach Johnson (Memphis, Tenn.) onto the mat for the final bout of the afternoon. Johnson, however, was unable to get anything going, but was able to fight off any chance of a near fall by UNC’s Jake Crawford who desperately needed the extra point victory. Crawford picked up the 6-0 win, but it wasn’t enough as the Tar Heels surrendered the 19-18 victory to Navy.
“Ray came up huge for us,” said Navy interim head coach Brian Antonelli. “He wrestled for the team knowing he needed to get extra points. That’s what teammates do. I couldn’t be more proud of his effort and the message he sent.”
Navy opened the match with its two best wrestlers on the mat early. Returning NCAA qualifier Peyton Walsh (Glen Allen, Va.) beat Carolina’s John Michael Staudenmayer for a second consecutive year in dual action with a 4-1 decision at 165 pounds. Walsh is now 4-0 in dual meets this season and 13-4 over his career.
“Peyton and Staudenmayer have met a number of times. He (Staudenmayer) is a tough wrestler, but Peyton, like he has all year, just grinds out the close matches.”
Fifteenth-ranked Mathew Miller (Edgewood, Md.) gave Navy a 9-0 advantage with his pin against Tar Heels redshirt freshman Scott Marmoll. Miller was in command of the match from the beginning, taking Marmoll to the mat and then acquiring a pair of near falls for an 8-0 lead after the first period before getting the pin in the second period. For Miller, it was was his sixth win by fall this season and 16th of his career.
UNC briefly stopped Navy’s momentum with a 10-5 victory by junior Alex Utley at 184 pounds. He used a takedown and a near fall late in the second period to catapult him to the win over Navy sophomore William Miller (Chinook, Mont.) who was making his first collegiate dual meet appearance.
Navy, though, extended its lead to 15-3 behind wins at 197 and 285 pounds by Paul Rands (Cary, Ill.) and Colynn Cook (Murrysville, Pa.), respectively. Rands scored a takedown against Frank Abbondanza just 30 seconds into the match and never looked back as he claimed a 9-2 victory. At 3-1 in dual action this winter, it’s the most dual victories he has had during his career (including at Northwestern his freshman year). Meanwhile, Cook had a strong second period where he used a pair of takedowns and an escape to take a 5-2 lead. He added riding time to post a 6-3 decision and snap a three-match losing streak.
“Cook and Rands did a nice job today,” added Antonelli. “Colynn continues to improve each match. He was able to contol the tie-up and got some points.
“Rands is putting it together. I think he’s staying composed and focused on getting points. Since the tournament cycle ended, he seems to have gotten into a groove.”
While Navy held a comfortable 15-3 lead midway through the match, North Carolina rallied behind its strength in the lightweights and won thre in a row to tie the match. Navy rookie Brenden Campbell (New Castle, Ind.) was the agressor early in his match against 20th-ranked Nathan Kraisser at 125 pounds, but a short letdown opened a window for Kraisser to take Campbell to the mat and pick up the fall at 2:09.
“Brenden took the fight to Kraisser, but I think he relazed a little and reset just for a second and he pounced on him. I applaud his effort, but it’s a lesson learned that you can’t let down against a talented wrestler like him (Kraisser).”
Freshman Troy Heilmann scored a 5-0 victory over Navy 133-pound junior Colton Rasche (Plano, Ill.) who has struggled with an injury as of late and in turn so, too, has his record. Rasche has dropped four of his last five matches.
Carolina continued the upperhand at 141 pounds where sixth-ranked Evan Henderson dealt Navy senior Joe Locksmith (Kissimmee, Fla.) a 4-0 loss to knot the match at 15.
The Mids return to action next Saturday when they travel to New London, Conn. in hopes of adding to their list of All-Academy Championship titles. The 20th edition of the All-Academy Championship features Air Force, Army, The Citadel, Coast Guard, the Merchant Marine Academy, Navy, Norwich and VMI. Action will begin at 10:00 am with the finals streamed live beginning at 4:00 pm.
Navy 19, North Carolina 18
165: Peyton Walsh (N) dec John Michael Staudenmayer (NC) 4-1
174: #15 Mathew Miller (N) fall Scott Marmoll (NC) 5:26
184: Alex Utley (NC) dec William Miller (N) 10-5
197: Paul Rands (N) dec Frank Abbondanza (NC) 9-2
285: Colynn Cook (N) dec Bob Coe (NC) 6-3
125: #20 Nathan Kraisser (NC) fall Brenden Campbell (N) 2:09
133: Troy Heilmann (NC) dec Colton Rasche (N) 5-0
141: #6 Evan Henderson (NC) dec Joe Locksmith (N) 4-0
149: Raymond Borja (N) major dec Christian Barber (NC) 18-5
157: Jake Crawford (NC) dec Zach Johnson (N) 6-0
### Go Navy ###