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Flames Set to Battle Bulldogs in Second Dual
Liberty opened its 2008-09 campaign with a resounding 43-6 dual match victory over NCAA East Regional foe Gardner-Webb, Tuesday evening, inside the Vines Center. The Flames captured victory in eight out of 10 weight classes, including five wins by fall and three more by technical fall.
Tim Harner, who currently ranks No. 19 nationally at 141 pounds, captured his first bout wrestling up a weight at 149 pounds, as he won by technical fall, 19-4, with 34 seconds left in his match-up with Austin Reece.
Newcomer Brad Clark and junior Aaron Kelley followed, also polishing off their foes by technical fall. Clark also won in the third period (6:41) by blanking Dave Sweeney, 15-0, at 165 pounds. Kelley made quick work of Jonathon Velzquez, taking the 174-pounder down early, followed by five straight near-fall moves to capture a 16-0 victory 2:42 into the bout.
Highly touted rookie Joe Pantaleo began his collegiate career at 125 pounds by pinning Cortney Roberts at 4:31, with the three-time state high school state champion's result marking the first of five Liberty wins by fall.
Julian Colon, at 157 pounds, and Chris Daggett, ranked No. 19 at 184 pounds, both pinned their opponents in the first round, 2:35 and 1:34 respectively. Brandon Johnson rounded out Liberty's winners by fall, sticking Matthias Piasecki to the mat with one tick left on the second-period clock at 197 pounds.
Liberty's final victor on the evening came from three-time NCAA national qualifier Christian Smith at 133 pounds. The senior controlled the match from the onset, winning by major decision, 9-0, which was aided by 5:21 of riding time.
The Flames will run out the same line-up onto the mats this Saturday in their second straight match-up against a Bulldog program. The opening whistle is set to sound at 11 a.m., inside the McAlister Field House, marking one of several home teams slated to compete for The Citadel during its annual Homecoming weekend.
The Citadel is coming off a successful run at last weekend's Citadel Open, where four grapplers captured weight class victories in the open event.
David Ivanshchenko, competing unattached at 141 pounds, opened with a pin 39 seconds into the first round, while following with three straight decisions to capture the weight class championship. Ivanshchenko is a perfect 5-0 on the year, as he opened the season with a 7-0 blanking in The Citadel's 28-6 dual victory over Belmont Abbey on Nov. 7.
Keith Koziel also posted a 4-0 record in being crowned champion at 165 pounds, opening the weight class with two straight wins by fall.
J.C. Oddo, at 174 pounds, and Odie Delany, at 197 pounds, both finished the day-long event with unblemished 3-0 marks to capture their respective weight classes. Both grapplers opened their weight classes with consecutive wins by fall.
The Flames had some success against the Bulldogs last year, as Liberty knocked off The Citadel, 21-12, on Jan. 26, as part of the Liberty Quad event, hosted at the Schilling Center.
The Bulldogs opened with decisions at 125 and 133 pounds to jump out to a quick 6-0 lead. However, Harner's first round pin (2:12) sparked the Flames to five straight wins, before Liberty's Patrick Walker capped of the dual victory with an 8-1 win over Aaron Brown at heavyweight.
125 – Joe Pantaleo vs. Tyler Sim or Richard Alarcon
133 – Christian Smith vs. Pierre Frazile
141 – Frankie Gayeski vs. Derek Royster or David Ivaschenko
149 – No. 19 Tim Harner vs. Kip Thompson
157 – Julian Colon vs. Justin Sparrow
165 – Brad Clark or Shaun Smith vs. Keith Koziel
174 – Aaron Kelley or Nick Knowles vs. J.C. Oddo
184 – No. 19 Chris Daggett vs. Kelby Smith
197 – Brandon Johnson vs. Odie Delaney
HWT – Josh Pelletier vs. Aaron Brown or Ivan Muller
Note: Probable starters are listed Liberty vs. The Citadel