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March 25, 2023 1:39 pm

Mount Olive records split in home tri-meet

MOUNT OLIVE – The Trojans registered a split in a pair of South Atlantic Conference Carolinas dual meets on Jan. 21 after facing nationally-ranked No. 2 Lander and Belmont Abbey on Senior Day at Kornegay Arena.

With the split, the University of Mount Olive men’s wrestling team moved to 10-4 overall with a 4-2 record in league play. The Trojans sit fourth in the conference standings with four league dual meets remaining ahead of the NCAA Super Regional II in late February. UMO defeated Belmont Abbey for the first time in program history in the third meeting between the sides.

The team scores for the meet were No. 2 Lander over Mount Olive, 36-10; No. 2 Lander over Belmont Abbey, 41-4 and Mount Olive over Belmont Abbey, 29-16.

Against Belmont Abbey, sophomore Lens Mathurin secured a comeback victory at 125 in the closing seconds of the third period with a four-point near fall as time expired to win by a 7-6 decision. The Crusaders responded with a victory by a 2-0 decision in the 133-weight class before No. 7 ranked John Carayiannis of Belmont Abbey won via fall at 141. The Trojans regained the lead by an 11-9 margin after redshirt freshman Dallas Wilson (149) claimed a 9-1 major decision and junior Michael Vernagallo (157) won by a 13-1 major decision. Sophomore Jake Nicolosi added to the lead with a victory via fall versus Paul Jakub at 165 in the final seconds of the first period to put UMO ahead 17-9. Belmont Abbey trimmed the deficit to 17-16 behind a major decision in the 174-weight class and a decision at 184. Sophomore Jonathan Clack (197) countered with a win via fall in the first period before redshirt senior Nico Ramirez inished the meet with a pin against at heavyweight.

Against Lander, the Bearcats quickly established a 15-0 advantage after a trio of ranked individual wrestlers combined for two falls and a decision. Wilson responded with an 8-0 major decision after securing a four-point near fall and ride time in the third period at 149. Vernagallo followed with a stellar fall in the first period, as UMO trailed 15-10. Over the final five matches, Lander posted a perfect 5-0 mark with a trio of decisions and two pins to win.

— From University of Mount Olive Athletics