Redshirt senior Jacob Kasper started off his second new year in a row on a high note this week to take Duke to its highest finish ever at the Southern Scuffle heading into the dual-match season.

Kasper's second straight title in the heavyweight division at the 24-team event in Chattanooga, Tenn., Monday and Tuesday paced the Blue Devils to a fifth-place finish with 80 points. The No. 2 seed Kasper beat No. 8 seed Mike Boykin of N.C. State with an overtime takedown in the final seconds to cap a thrilling bout and win 3-1.

Five other Duke wrestlers joined Kasper on the second day of competition Tuesday, including redshirt junior Mitch Finesilver, who was making his season debut. Finesilver, the No. 2 seed at 157 pounds, did not meet much resistance on his way to the championship match, but was quickly pinned by defending national champion Jason Nolf from Penn State to settle for second place. The top-ranked Nittany Lions won the team title in dominant fashion with 197 points, and No. 14 Northern Iowa, No. 6 Lehigh and Navy also finished ahead of the Blue Devils.

The two other Duke wrestlers to wind up on the podium were senior Luke Farinaro, who finished in seventh place at 197 pounds after going 4-2 in the competition, and freshman Matt Finesilver, who went 3-2 at 174 pounds to finish eighth. Zach Finesilver and Thayer Atkins were still in contention Tuesday at 125 pounds and 165 pounds, respectively, but both lost in the consolation bracket just short of the podium.

Senior Alec Schenk also won two matches, upsetting Stanford's No. 16 Nathan Traxler in an 11-2 major decision at 197 pounds Monday. Freshman Josh Finesilver was the only Blue Devil to win more than once, going 2-2 Monday at 133 pounds. The four Finesilver brothers, competing in college together for the first time of their careers, combined to go 12-7 in Chattanooga. 

Kaden Russell, Brandon Leynaud and Jeremiah Reitz each went 1-2 Monday, and Josh Copeland and Parker Walton were each eliminated Monday after two straight losses to start the competition.

Duke will meet Army, Wyoming and American at the Carolina Duals all day Friday to kick off the dual-match season.