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Eagles Edge LU to Take Campbellsville Duals
Liberty opened up a 10-point advantage over Eastern Michigan during the final dual on Saturday. But, the Eagles won four of the last five weight class match-ups, including a major decision at 149 pounds in the last bout to give Eastern Michigan a 17-16 come-from-behind victory over the Flames and claim the Campbellsville Duals.
Eastern Michigan finished the afternoon with a perfect 3-0 record to take the overall afternoon dual, with Liberty following closely behind with a 2-1 mark. Newberry, currently ranked No. 9 nationally in the latest NWCA NCAA Division II poll, was 1-2 on the day, leaving host Campbellsville, who was the country's top ranked NAIA program coming into the season and current No. 7, to finish the day winless at 0-3.
Liberty opened the day with a convincing 26-9 victory over Campbellsville, as the Flames claimed victory in seven out of 10 weight classes. Zac McCray set the tone with an 11-2 major decision to start at 149 pounds.
Chris Daggett gave the Flames their largest margin in the match (14 points at 17-3), following a win by fall over Josh Young at 184 pounds. Decision victories by Patrick Walker (7-1/285 pounds), Sean Katz (2-1/125 pounds) and T.J. Mitchell (7-6/133 pounds) sealed the win.
The Newberry match was a back-and-forth battle, with both squads splitting decisions over the first four weight classes. Kyle Walters gave the Flames their first sizeable lead, 12-6, in the overall match with a pin at 1:52 over Keeno Griffin at 184 pounds.
Kelly Anundson pulled the Indians within two, 12-10, with an 11-1 major decision win over Nick Knowles. But Liberty reeled off three-straight wins, including Walker's 5-4 decision over Cy Wainwright, who is ranked No. 5 at 285 pounds in the NCAA Division II ranks, to secure the victory.
In the final and deciding dual match-up of the day, Liberty opened up a 10-point lead, 13-3, to take control of its match with Eastern Michigan, early following a 2-1 decision by Walters at 184 pounds.
The Eagles, Eastern Michigan, fresh off a 31-6 victory over an Ohio team, who earlier in the year defeated Liberty 22-10, nailed down wins during three out of the next four matches to pull within three points, 16-13, following Sean Clair's 3-2 overtime decision win against Christian Smith at 133 pounds.
Needing more then a decision victory to take the dual match-up, Eastern Michigan got an 11-2 major decision win by David Pienaar over Tim Harner at 141 pounds in the final bout of the day, allowing the Eagles to claim the win and finished the dual meet undefeated.
Walker and Aaron Kelley (174 pounds) both finished the day perfect with 3-0 records, with all three wins coming by decision. Chad Porter (165 pounds) was 2-1 on the day with a pair of major decision wins, while Walters was 2-0 with one of two wins by fall for Liberty on the day.
The Flames will take some time off over the next few days to complete the fall semester during the upcoming exam week.
Liberty, who now has a 3-5 dual record on the year, will return to the mats on Dec. 18 when it travels to Reno, Nev., to participate in the Reno Tournament of Champions. Last year, Liberty placed 13th out of 29 teams, with Tim Harner's fifth-place finish at 141 pounds highlighting Liberty's stay at the western event.