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Flames to Grapple with Spartans and Patriots
Fresh off a weekend sweep at the NCAA East Regional Duals, Liberty returns home tomorrow evening, to host UNC Greensboro and George Mason in a tri-match. The opening bout is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m., inside the Vines Center.
Liberty improved its dual match record to 10-9-1 over the weekend with four convincing victories at the NCAA East Regional Duals, claiming the team title at the tune-up event. The Flames dominated reigning dual champion Duquesne, 38-3, followed by victories over Gardner-Webb (34-6), Delaware State (39-15) and host Millersville (38-10).
The same five teams, plus Wagner, will reconvene inside the Vines Center on March 9, as Liberty hosts this year's NCAA East Regional Championship. The Flames claimed the title at last year's regional championship, sending four grapplers to the NCAA nationals.
Tuesday evening's trio match with the Spartans the Patriots will be Liberty's final home meet before hosting the NCAA East Regionals.
Liberty will open the first session of the evening against George Mason at 6 p.m., followed by George Mason and UNC Greensboro squaring off at approximately 7:30 p.m. The evening's final session pits host Liberty against UNC Greensboro, starting at approximately 9 p.m.
George Mason comes into the set of duals with a 9-3 record, after dropping a 32-12 dual against CAA foe and No. 22 Old Dominion on the road. Prior to the weekend match-up with the Monarchs, the Patriots were winners in six out of their previous seven duals.
George Mason is paced by freshman Cayle Byers and senior Randy Oates. At 197 pounds, Byers leads the Patriots with a 29-5 record, including four falls and four major decisions. Oates has posted a 20-8 record at 174 pounds, including an 11-2 mark in dual match-ups.
UNC Greensboro has walked away with a victory during its last three trips to the mat, including an upset road victory, 20-18, over Virginia Tech on Sunday. The Spartans come into the dual meet with an 8-5 record.
The Spartans are led by Jeff Hedges, who is ranked No. 17 nationally at 133 pounds, with a 19-9 record. UNC Greensboro's final two weight classes are another of the team's strong suits, with 197-pounder Daren Burns boasting a team-best 26-5 mark, followed by heavyweight Ryan Hsu at 18-9.
Liberty enters the tri-match with three grapplers having more than 20 victories on the season. Tim Harner (23-10) is one of the hottest Flames on the squad, having won his last six bouts, with five out of the six wins coming by fall at 141 pounds.
Aaron Kelley follows with a 21-17 record at 174 pounds, having won his last four match-ups, including decision wins over his two foes this past weekend.
Patrick Walker posted a perfect 4-0 record at the NCAA East Regional Duals, including two wins by fall, giving him nine pins on the year. Walker leads the Flames with a 24-9 overall record and a 14-1 mark in dual match ups.
Flame fans unable to attend the mid-week event can follow the action live via the world wide web, as LibertyFlames.com, the official web site of the Liberty Flames, will be providing live stats mat side from the Vines Center.
125 - Sean Katz (14-20)
133 - T.J. Mitchell (13-15)
141 - Tim Harner (23-10)/Collin Lewis (9-7)
149 - Scott Clymer (14-17)/Sam Walters (1-6)
157 - Julian Colon (16-14)/Josh Duren (6-6)
165 - Chad Porter (21-16)/Joseph Son (5-12)
174 - Aaron Kelley (21-17)
184 - Chris Daggett (6-14)/Nick Knowles (10-15)
197 - Patrick Hogan (3-6)/Jacobi Johnson (3-15)
HWT - Patrick Walker (24-9)
George Mason (9-3)
125 - Brian Wright (14-7)
133 - Joe Coughlin (16-10)
141 - Will Powars (14-14)
149 - Brandon Bucher (10-16)/Aaron Keeton (6-14)
157 - Frankie McLaughlin (17-6)
165 - Tyler Tisdell (0-1)/Andrew Rock (8-13)
174 - Randy Oates (20-8)
184 - Bill Widener (14-15)/Zach Ulm (5-7)
197 - Cayle Byers (29-5)
HWT - Harry Zander (11-3)
UNC Greensboro (8-5)
125 - Mitchell Johnson (9-13)
133 - No. 17 Jeff Hedges (19-9)
141 - Ben Wilmore (4-11)
149 - Marcus Hannah (12-5)
157 - Mark Ring (7-10)/Andrew Saunders (9-9)
165 - Byron Sigmon (12-11)
174 - Mikal McKee (10-14)/Jeremy Cannon (4-3)
184 - Nick Clark (6-10)
197 - Daren Burns (26-5)
HWT - Ryan Hsu (18-9)