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Flames Take Second Straight From Keydets
With the victory, the Flames raise their dual record to 12-11-1 on the season, while VMI falls to 7-8 on the year. In last season's dual inside the Vines Center, Liberty won five of the first six weight class match-ups, as the Flames cruised to a 30-13 dual victory on Feb. 15 for Liberty's 18th dual match win of the year.
Liberty jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead in the dual, as the evening's match started at the 141-pound weight class. The bout was scoreless until the second period, when Liberty's Tim Harner took down David Metzler and pinned the senior at the 4:20 mark to give the Flames the early edge. The match pitted a pair of 20-win wrestlers against each other and gave Harner his team-leading 10th win by fall on the season.
Scott Clymer added to Liberty's lead at 149 pounds with a 4-1 decision over John Held. The freshman scored three points in the second with an escape and a takedown, and added a fourth with riding time at the end of the third to push Liberty's lead to 9-0.
Shaun Smith continued to pad Liberty's advantage, pushing it to 12-0 with a 10-4 decision over Andrew Dionne at 157 pounds. Smith maintained a 5-0 lead after five minutes and held off a late charge in the third from the freshman for the six-point victory.
Chad Porter picked up his team-leading 10th major decision victory of the year with a 16-8 triumph over Jayme Gordon at 165 pounds. Porter carded six takedowns during the contest and held nearly three minutes of riding time for the victory to give Liberty a 16-0 lead.
Liberty got its second pin of the evening and seventh of the year for Aaron Kelley, as the sophomore pinned John Horn 1:40 into the contest, giving the Flames a 22-0 lead following the 174-pound bout.
The Keydets finally got on the scoreboard six bouts into the evening, as Dustin McCabe scored a 9-3 decision victory over Nick Knowles at 184 pounds. The senior used three takedowns and two minutes of riding time to record the six-point victory.
Chris Daggett got the Flames back on their winning ways, pushing Liberty's lead to 26-3 with a major decision over Curtis Moore at 197 pounds. Daggett opened up a 9-1 lead after five minutes and cruised to the 12-1 victory, wrestling in his third weight class on the year.
At heavyweight, Patrick Walker scored five points in both the first and second periods and cruised to a 13-0 major decision win, giving Liberty a 30-3 lead. The win was Walker's team-leading 28th victory on the season.
The Keydets won their second bout of the evening when Jeremy Adams turned an 8-4 lead in the third into a win by fall at 5:45 against Sean Katz, trimming Liberty's lead to 30-9 following the 125-pound bout.
Christian Smith used an early escape in the third period to pull within two points of Tyler Anthony at 133 pounds. However, the senior could not manage to score again, allowing Anthony to gain a 4-2 decision and giving the Keydets their second-straight bout triumph to close out the evening.
The match served as the regular-season finale for both squads. VMI will return the mats on March 8 when the Keydets travel to Chattanooga, Tenn., for the Southern Conference championship.
Liberty will host its fourth and final home event of the year when the Flames welcome five other independent wrestling programs to the Vines Center for the NCAA East Regional Championship on March 9.
Ten weight class winners and an overall wild card will punch their ticket to the NCAA National Championship in St. Louis, Mo., during the event. The regional championship will be the first-ever NCAA championship event held on Liberty's campus.
Liberty 30, VMI 12
125 – Jeremy Adams (VMI) fall Sean Katz (LU), 5:45 – LU 30-9
133 – Tyler Anthony (VMI) dec. Christian Smith (LU), 4-2 – LU 30-12
* 141 – Tim Harner (LU) fall David Metzler (VMI), 4:20 – LU 6-0
149 – Scott Clymer (LU) dec. John Held (VMI), 4-1 – LU 9-0
157 – Shaun Smith (LU) dec. Andrew Dionne (VMI), 10-4 – LU 12-0
165 – Chad Porter (LU) major dec. Jayme Gordon (VMI), 16-8 – LU 16-0
174 – Aaron Kelley (LU) fall John Horn (VMI), 1:40 – LU 22-0
184 – Dustin McCabe (VMI) dec. Nick Knowles (LU), 9-3 – LU 22-3
197 – Chris Daggett (LU) major dec. Curtis Moore (VMI), 12-1 – LU 26-3
HTW – Patrick Walker (LU) major dec. Josh Wine (VMI), 13-0 – LU 30-3
* - Starting weight class
Team Dual Meet Records
Liberty – 12-11-1
VMI – 7-8