Liberty tied for second after first day of NCWA Tournament
March 13, 2014 | Allen, Texas
Through Thursday's first day of competition in the National Collegiate Wrestling Association Championships at the Allen Event Center in Allen, Texas, Liberty University's wrestling team is locked in a tie for second place with Shorter University — the team it lost to in the semifinals of the NCWA Champions Cup Duals — with 72.5 points. They trail only Grand Canyon University (82.5), which defeated Shorter in the national duals final. Fourth-place Central Florida (60), The Apprentice School (54.5), Florida Gulf Coast University (54), and Grand Valley State (Mich., 51.5) are still in contention.
In the 125-pound bracket, Liberty freshman Tim Nordan received a first-round bye before pinning his first opponent, Central Florida's Evan Dipsiner, in 1 minute, 46 seconds. He then scored a 10-3 decision over Florida's Jacob Wasserman to reach Friday's quarterfinals against Grand Canyon's A.J. Salazar.
Liberty 133-pound freshman Ryan Diehl received a first-round bye before taking just 2:16 to score a 15-0 technical fall over Grand Valley's Tyler Dempsey in his first match. He then pinned Penn State-DuBois' Austin Sheibley in 3:21 to advance to Friday's quarterfinals, where he will face Penn State-Mont Alto's Jimmy Hughes.
At 141 pounds, Liberty graduate student Colin Lewis received a first-round bye before scoring a 9-6 decision over Washington State University's Jerdon Helgeson and dropping a 7-4 decision to the University of Texas-Austin's Antonio Martinez to drop to the consolation bracket. Also, sophomore Josh Sanders pinned Florida A&M's Philip Menendez in 1:14 in his first-round bout before winning by injury default over Northwest Missouri's Travis Peter and losing a 2-0 decision to North Florida's Chad Baumann.
Flames sophomore Peter Tatanish received two byes and won by forfeit before earning his first decision, 7-3 over Air Force's Robert Walker. He will wrestle South Carolina's Nicholas Cegelski in the 149-pound quarterfinals.
At 157, Liberty junior Chase Boontjer scored a 13-1 major decision over Penn State-DuBois' Jake Hines before pinning Wichita State's Devin Webber in 3:26. He will face Grand Canyon's Bryant Wood in the quarterfinals.
Liberty freshman Josh Ferenczy had an exceptional first day at nationals, recording two technical falls, for three bonus points, at 165. First, he needed 5:22 to shut out New Hampshire's Paul Gesel 15-0. Then, he took 5:38 to dominate USC's Armand Farrokh 18-2, setting up a quarterfinal bout with Navy Prep's Sam O'Dell.
Junior Keyshaun Ward, meanwhile, scored two major decisions to advance to his quarterfinal match against Florida Gulf Coast University's Giovanni Jiovenetta. Ward dominated Stony Brook's Scott Dunkirk 17-5 before cruising past Georgia Southern's Najee Banks, 11-2.
At 197, Liberty senior Aaron Thompson, the 2012 NCWA champion and 2013 runner-up, received two byes as the No. 1 seed before needing just 1:46 to deck Navy Prep's Nick Mabry and advancing to the quarterfinals by injury default. He will face Saginaw Valley's Wayne Sanders on Friday.