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Flames Return Home to Host Quad on Saturday
Two weekends ago, Liberty opened up the home portion of its 2007-08 slate by hosting defending ACC champion N.C. State inside the Vines Center. The Flames won four out of the first five bouts and got a 4-1 decision at 157 in the final match-up of the evening to secure an 18-18 draw with the Wolfpack.
The tie enabled Liberty to remain unbeaten at home under second-year head coach Jesse Castro, running the Flames dual meet record to 5-0-1 since the former four-time NCCAA champion took over the reigns of the program.
This time around, the Flames will have to secure four wins to keep Castro's streak alive, as Liberty is slated to wrestle each team in the quad field. The Flames enter the weekend with a 3-8-1 dual meet record.
Liberty is paced by Patrick Walker at heavyweight and Tim Harner at 141 pounds. The pair of NCAA national qualifiers boast of the top two records on the team, with Harner leading the way with an 18-10 mark. Walker is close behind with a 17-9 record, thanks to wins in six out of his last eight bouts.
The Flames open the all-day event with Davidson at 10 a.m. The Wildcats come into the event with a 1-5 dual meet record, with their lone dual win coming in a 35-15 decision over Princeton. Last weekend, Davidson dropped a pair of duals with a 45-4 loss to Virginia and a 30-9 defeat to UNC Greensboro in Southern Conference action.
The Wildcats are led by Ben Altman at 125 pounds and Trebor Clavette at 174 pounds, with both grapplers leading the way with 19 points scored on the season. Altman is 17-7 overall and 4-0 in dual meets, followed by Clavette's 17-4 overall record and 5-1 mark in dual events.
During the second round, the Flames will take on Bucknell, who will be looking for some revenge when they enter the Schilling Center. Last year, Liberty stunned the Bison, as the Flames rallied by winning four out of the last five matches to claim a narrow 25-24 decision at Davis Gym.
Bucknell is fresh off a 21-12 home victory over Brown last Friday, which ran the Bison's record to 5-7-1 on the year. Bucknell is paced by 133-pounder David Marble and 165-pounder Andy Rendos. Both wrestlers are ranked in the Top 20 nationally.
Marble, ranked No. 15, boasts of a 17-4 overall record and is tied for the team lead with a 10-3 mark in dual events. Rendos, at No. 19 in the latest polls, is tied with Marble with a 10-3 dual meet record and has won 11 out of his last 12 bouts to run his overall record to 15-6.
In round three of the afternoon, the Flames will take to the mats against Messiah, a NCAA Division III program out of Grantham, Pa. Last season, Liberty won all but two of its 10 bouts with the Falcons, including four wins by fall and another by major decision en route to a 36-9 victory.
Messiah, 8-9 on the season, has faced a daunting schedule this year, with nine of its 16 dual matches coming against nationally ranked opponents. The Falcons have won two of the nine with victories over No. 19 Oneonta (26-15) and No. 25 Wilkes (23-23 by falls).
The Falcons are led by a set of 20-win grapplers, including 149-pounder Craig Gin, who leads the squad with a 24-6 record and nine wins by fall. Following closely behind Gin is Trent Zempel at 165 pounds with a 22-4 record and David Jones, with a 20-10 mark at 174 pounds.
The final dual of the day will pit Liberty against The Citadel. The Flames and the Bulldogs have met on the wrestling mats twice prior to this weekend. The first time came during the first year of the program, with The Citadel claiming a 35-12 win during the 1974-75 season.
The second match-up came during the final year of the program, before it was disbanded for 12 years. During the dual, Liberty claimed a 29-17 season, marking the third-to-last dual victory during the 1993-94 season.
This year's Bulldogs are coming off a split, Tuesday evening, in a pair of Southern Conference bouts. The Citadel opened the evening with a 28-10 win over VMI, before falling, 32-12, to No. 19 Chattanooga. The Citadel comes into the weekend with a 3-3 dual record.
The full-day roundabout marks one of four chances Liberty fans can come out to support the wrestling team at home this year. Following the weekend round of duals, the Flames' remaining home matches include a tri match with UNC Greensboro and George Mason on Feb. 5 and the NCAA East Regional Qualifier on March 9.
Liberty Quad Meet Schedule
Round 1 (Starting at 10 a.m.)
Mat 1 - Liberty vs. Davidson
Mat 2 - Messiah vs. The Citadel
Mat 1 - Liberty vs. Bucknell
Mat 2 - Davidson vs. Messiah
Mat 1 - Liberty vs. Messiah
Mat 2 - Bucknell vs. The Citadel
Mat 1 - Liberty vs. The Citadel
Liberty (3-8-1 dual record)
125 – Sean Katz (10-16)
133 – T.J. Mitchell (8-12)
141 – Tim Harner (18-10) or Collin Lewis (7-6)
149 – Scott Clymer (11-16) or Sam Walters (0-4)
157 – Shaun Smith (9-14) or Julian Colon (14-12)
165 – Chad Porter (16-15) or Joseph Son (4-9)
174 – Aaron Kelley (17-16)
184 – Chris Daggett (5-12) or Nick Knowles (5-13)
197 – Patrick Hogan (3-6) or Jacobi Johnson (2-13)
HWT – Patrick Walker (17-9)
Bucknell (5-7-1 dual record)
125 – Greg Hart (11-6)
133 – No. 15 David Marble (17-4)
141 – Luke Chohany (14-8)
149 – Kevin LeValley (16-8)
157 – Brantley Hooks (7-7)
165 – No. 19 Andy Rendos (18-5)
174 – Shane Riccio (15-6)
184 – David Thompson (13-6)
197 – Charlie Wonsettler (9-12)
HWT – George Hingson (16-8)
The Citadel (3-3 dual record)
125 – Tyler Sim
133 – Anthony Easter or Mike Fenton
141 – Michael Arias or Kirby Thompson
149 – Derek Royster
157 – Keith Koziel
165 – Brendan Prince
174 – Derek Sickel
184 – Darius Caldwell
197 – John Buck
HWT – Aaron Brown
Note: Individual records for The Citadel were not available.
Messiah (8-9 dual record)
125 – Bryce Stever (9-13)
133 – John Ayers (2-3)
141 – Barry Thrush (14-12)
149 – Craig Gin (24-6)
157 – Mike Bressler (19-9)
165 – Trent Zempel (22-4)
174 – David Jones (20-10)
184 – Matt McHugh (11-13)
197 – Dando Speers (6-13)
HWT – Tim Hopkins (6-12)