Flames post fifth straight top-five finish at NCWA tournament
March 12, 2016 | Kissimmee, Fla.
One NCWA Grand National Championships runner-up and three more All-American finishes gave Liberty University's wrestling team enough points to post its fifth consecutive top-five team showing, Saturday at Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee, Fla.
The Flames held onto fourth place with 97.5 points, five more than Penn State DuBois, which entered the tournament ranked fourth in the NCWA Division I poll, one spot higher than Liberty. Emmanuel (Ga) College captured the team title with 213 points followed by Central Florida (191), and Grand Valley State (188).
Flames junior Josh Ferenczy, ranked second at 174 pounds, met Central Florida's top-seeded, undefeated Jordan Speiller in the championship final. He was trailing 7-4 before Speiller pinned him at the 2 minute, 32 second mark of the second period, ending Ferenczy's season at 37-11 and as a second-place All-American.
Liberty 141-pound freshman Brandon Robinson (7-2) lost his consolation quarterfinal match to Central Florida's Matthew Seymour before winning his seventh-place bout over Towson's Jeffrey Hayden by forfeit. After making his season debut in the Mid-Atlantic Conference tournament, going 3-0 to win his weight class, he earned All-American honors by finishing 4-2 at nationals.
At 165, Flames sophomore Michael Bryant (16-6) also reached the seventh-place final despite losing a 3-1 decision to John Prentice of Penn State DuBois in the consolation quarterfinals. He scored a 7-5 decision over Fresno's Mason Temple to place seventh after going 4-2 in the tournament, securing All-American status.
Finally, at heavyweight, Flames senior Josh Travers (19-10) was pinned in his consolation quarterfinal match by Southern Florida's John Puleo in 6:29 before facing Justin Reynolds from tournament-leading Emmanuel College in the seventh-place final. He opened the scoring with a second-period escape before allowing Reynolds to record a takedown for a 2-1 lead in the second. Travers managed a dramatic escape to tie the match at 2-2 with six seconds remaining in the third period before Reynolds escaped early in the sudden-death overtime for a 3-2 decision, relegating Travers to an eighth-place finish.
Complete results are available online.