Class AA lines sixth, 11th at NCPAs, seal regular-season title
April 13, 2014 | Lakeland, Fla.
Liberty University's paintball program finished the year in first place in the Class AA standings and received a banner recognizing them as 2013-14 season champions on the final day of competition at the National Collegiate Paintball Association national tournament in Lakeland, Fla. Though the Flames did not claim a championship individually with any of its four teams entered at the tournament, Liberty earned a total of 569.39 points to wind up 30 points in front of Texas A&M.
Liberty's Blue line placed sixth and its Red line 11th out of 50 Class AA teams in the weekend event. Texas A&M's best of three Class AA teams finished 10th in the tournament
North Carolina State, which dealt the Flames' Blue line its only loss in Saturday's pool play, was the overall Class AA team champion; and State University of New York (SUNY) Oswego, which eliminated Liberty in the quarterfinals, finished runner-up.
The Flames played Texas Tech to a 1-1 tie and advanced by time tie-breaker to the Ocho-Finals as one of the top 16 teams. It then defeated the University of Massachusetts, 2-0, before falling to SUNY, 2-0.
"The Blue line had a good performance from freshman Victor Cortes," Flames Head Coach Todd Hoglund said. "He was able to trade out on a key one-on-one, which gave us the tie and took it down to time. Ryan Esquirrell also played well on the snakeside. He was able to get some key eliminations to really help that line move forward."
The Flames' Red line, which went 4-0 Saturday and received a first-round bye on Sunday, lost its opening match to the University of Wisconsin-Stout by a 2-0 count in the Race-To-2 format.
"To have two teams in the top 12 on the Class AA side is really good and to have one of the teams make it to the top six was outstanding," Hoglund said. "Our Class A team (which placed 11th out of 15 teams) didn't produce as I hoped, but the overall performance of all the teams really shows the scope of our program. To have four teams compete at such a high level really speaks volumes of what we can do at Liberty University."
The Class A bracket champion was the University of Central Florida, which had a bit of a home-course advantage being from nearby Orlando. It defeated the University of Connecticut, 14-6, in Sunday's championship match.