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Seven Still Remain after Scuffle's Day One
The seven grapplers helped the Flames to log 11.5 team points, placing Liberty 26th out of 31 teams. The elite tournament field includes four Top 25 programs, plus three more who are receiving votes in the latest USA Today/InterMat/NWCA Division I national rankings.
Kent State and Virginia Tech stand atop the team listings, as both programs, who received Top 25 consideration in the poll released on Dec. 23, have 41 points. No. 17 Edinboro is in third with 40 points, followed closely behind by No. 3 Cornell. No. 19 Hofstra stands in seventh place with 32.5 points and No. 24 Virginia rounds out the event's elite in ninth place with 28 points.
Liberty's wrestlers opened strong at 125 pounds, as Joe Pantaleo pinned UNC Greensboro's Robert Gribschaw with seven second left in the first period in the second of 568 total bouts on the day. After falling to Virginia Tech's Brock Livorio, Pantaleo remained alive in the event with a narrow 3-2 decision over The Citadel's Richard Alarcon.
At 133 pounds, Christian Smith also opened with a victory, shutting out Lock Haven's William Ashnault, 2-0. The senior then lost a 10-4 decision to Virginia Tech's Will Livingtston and he is slated to open up the consolation bracket tomorrow against Lock Haven's Nikkien Fauntleroy in Bout 583.
Wrestling for the first time this year at 141 pounds, Tim Harner opened with a 7-6 decision over Old Dominion's Brennan Brumley. A 5-0 decision loss to Virginia's Nick Nelson dropped the senior in the consolation bracket, where he will face Edinboro's Steve Waite tomorrow morning.
Frankie Gayeski was one of three Liberty Flames to enter the event at 149 pounds and still remains alive after posting a 2-1 record on the first day. After suffering a first-round fall to Boston University's Mike Roberts, Gayeski began to make his run in the consolation bracket with a 6-3 decision win over fellow teammate Scott Clymer.
The Lehigh transfer then followed with a 3-1 decision over Kent State's Thomas Windom, earning him the right to square off against Boston University's Andrew Swank tomorrow.
Chad Porter, competing unattached for Liberty as he is officially redshirting this season, finished with a 1-1 record on the day and remains an active wrestler in the consolation bracket.
Seeded No. 7 in the event at 165 pounds, Porter opened with a 4-2 decision over Navy's Jason Coyne, before dropping a tightly contested 3-2 decision to Kent State's Obie Simpson.
Chris Daggett, seeded No. 5 at 184 pounds and ranked No. 18 nationally in his weight class, suffered a 15-0 technical fall loss to Edinboro's Shawn Fendone to open his day.
However, the senior quickly responded with an 8-0 blanking of Davidson's Sam Ohair, pitting him against Bloomsburg's Brian Shaw in the first of several consolation matches tomorrow.
Closing out Liberty's seven remaining active wrestlers is Brandon Johnson. The sophomore suffered a 6-2 decision loss to Cal State Bakersfield's Riley Orozco, and after back-to-back byes in the consolation bracket, remains alive.
However, Johnson will have his hands full when he takes to the mats tomorrow morning, as he will be pitted against Cal State Bakersfield's Brandon Halsey. The nation's No. 16 wrestler at 197 pounds was upended by unattached wrestler Henry Turner, when the Lock Haven grappler stunned Halsey with a win by fall 65 seconds into the bout.
Tickets are still available for the event. Adult tickets are $12, student tickets are $8 and children under the age of 5 are free.
Liberty fans unable to attend the event can purchase live video streaming for the second day of this year's Southern Scuffle by visiting SouthernScuffle.com.
Single day packages are priced at $9.95. Coverage will begin at 9 a.m. on Tuesday from the Greensboro Coliseum's Special Events Center. Feature matches will be scheduled on a specific mat for video coverage. The web site will also be running live scoring.