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Strong Finish Pushes Liberty to Win at Duals

January 9, 2009
|  Hampton, Va.
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Patrick Walker was one of five wrestlers to win at the end of the match-up against Northern Colorado, helping securing the 25-16 win for the Flames.

Patrick Walker was one of five wrestlers to win at the end of the match-up against Northern Colorado, helping securing the 25-16 win for the Flames.

The Flames posted victories in their last five bouts to overcome a double-digit deficit and advance to the second day at the Virginia Duals with a 25-16 victory over Northern Colorado, Friday afternoon, at the Hampton Coliseum.

With the victory, Liberty will open action on Mat 6, Saturday morning, against No. 22 Penn. The Quakers, who have four Top 20 wrestlers on their roster, where dropped into the consolation bracket after suffering a 30-12 setback to No. 15 Edinboro earlier on Friday.

The victor in the Liberty vs. Penn dual will face off against the winner of No. 24 Kent State and Virginia match-up, later Saturday afternoon, to remain in the running for a team finish at the two-day event.

Liberty's Joe Pantaleo suffered an injury earlier against Central Michigan's Scott Sentes, who is ranked No. 9 at 125 pounds, and was unable to return to the mat against Northern Colorado, giving the Bears an early 6-0 edge on the medical forfeit.

Casey Cruz kept things rolling for Northern Colorado with a 6-2 decision over Christian Smith at 133 pounds, before Tim Harner got the Flames on the scoreboard for the second straight bout.

This time, the senior pinned Cooper Hayes 2:11 into the match-up, with his second consecutive win by fall in his second event back wrestling at the 141-pound weight class.

The Bears continued to handle the dual, taking the next two weight match-ups. Michael Polkowske controlled his squabble with Frankie Gayeski with a 15-3 major decision victory at 149 pounds, followed by Justin Gaethje's 7-3 decision over Julian Colon at 157 pounds to push Northern Colorado's lead to 10 points, 16-6.

However, the Flames started to get back on track, when Brad Clark scored a four-point decision victory, 12-8, over Tanner Weiks at 165 pounds.

Aaron Kelley, who earlier in the day pinned his competitor from No. 13 Central Michigan, continued to show great control in the event with a 13-3 major decision victory over Brandon Kammerzell at 174 pounds.

Chris Daggett continued to keep momentum on the Flames' side with a 17-2 technical fall victory over Ryan Johnson at 184 pounds, giving the senior his 13th victory of the year and the Flames their first lead in the dual match-up, 18-16.

Andrew Wilson picked up his second collegiate victory in a 6-3 decision win over Eric Brennan at 197 pounds, before Patrick Walker secured the Flames' fifth dual victory of the year with an 8-0 blanking of Justin Truell at heavyweight.

Once again, Flame fans unable to make the trek across the Commonwealth to the Hampton Coliseum to see Liberty's match-up with No. 22 Penn, Saturday morning, can follow the action live at www.VirginiaDuals.org, the event's official web site.