After watching third-ranked Irvine beat eighth-ranked Mission Viejo, 41-21, Thursday night in nonleague wrestling, it's hard to understand why Irvine Coach John Phillips was so worried before the match.
"[The Diablos] are a good team. Some of our best wrestlers aren't starting. And I don't think it's a given. It could go either way," Phillips said before the match.
Despite Phillips' worries, his wrestlers won nine of 14 matches.
Irvine (1-0), which won last week's Aliso Niguel Tournament, had not faced Mission Viejo (0-1) in a dual meet since leaving the South Coast League in 1991.
"We're missing our top 103- and 119-pounder," Phillips said. "We had to do some juggling, but it seemed to work."
Freshman Phong Tran (103) defeated Mission Viejo's Blane Harden, 19-5.
Andrew Pena (125), Chris Rush and Tim Testerman all won by pin for Irvine.
Although Irvine won, Mission Viejo had some highlights, with standout Estevan Bonilla winning his 119 match by pinning Brandon O'Campo in 1 minute 18 seconds.