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No. 22 Penn Ends Flames Run at Virginia Duals

January 10, 2009
|  Hampton, Va.
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Shaun Smith picked up one of Liberty's two bout victories against No. 22 Penn on Saturday at the Virginia Duals.

Shaun Smith picked up one of Liberty's two bout victories against No. 22 Penn on Saturday at the Virginia Duals.

The Flames narrowed an early deficit midway through their match-up with the Quakers, but No. 22 Penn closed the dual with five straight bout victories to advance in the consolation bracket of the Virginia Duals with a 35-9 victory over Liberty, Saturday morning, at the Hampton Coliseum.

With the victory, the Quakers up their dual meet record to 2-1 in the event and 6-2 overall in the 2008-09 season. Penn advances to take on No. 24 Kent State, who upended Virginia, 19-15, while the Flames, who are now 5-5 on the year, see their tournament run come to an end.

For the second straight match-up in the Virginia Duals, the Flames faced a six point deficit to open the dual, as Liberty was unable to field a competitor at 125 pounds. Coming into the weekend, Liberty would have sent freshman Joe Pantaleo out to face Rollie Peterskin, who is rated No. 7 nationally in his weight class; however, Liberty's rookie suffered an injury against Central Michigan on Friday and was unavailable.

Bryan Ortenzio kept things rolling for the Quakers at 133 pounds, as he edged out a one point decision, 2-1, over Christian Smith to push Penn's lead to nine points, 9-0.

Tim Harner continued his run of success in his return to the 141 pound weight class, as the senior recorded his third win by fall in the event. This time, he pinned Rick Rappo, who was 10-3 coming into the bout, in the second period, 5:01, narrowing Liberty's deficit to three points, 9-6.

The Quaker sent one of their four nationally ranked grapplers to the mat next in Cesar Grajales, and the senior proved why he is ranked No. 10 at 149 pounds, with a 13-2 major decision victory over Zac McCray.

Shaun Smith kept the Flames in the bout at 157 pounds with a 2-1 decision, to trim Penn's lead to four points midway through the match-up, 13-9.

However, unlike Liberty's late run to victory against Northern Colorado, Friday night, the Flames were unable to find victory in the later weight classes, dropping five straight bouts to finish the two-day tournament with a 1-2 record for the second time in three seasons.

The Quakers opened the second half of the dual with a forfeit victory for No. 15 Zach Shanaman at 165 pounds, followed directly by a 6-4 decision win by Scott Griffin over Aaron Kelley at 174 pounds.

Colin Hitschler ran his season record to 12-3, narrowly recording an 8-7 decision over Chris Daggett at 184 pounds, just before Thomas Shovlin etched a 12-3 major decision win over Andrew Wilson at 197 pounds.

Trey McLean ended the dual in the first period of his heavyweight match-up with Patrick Walker (1:33), handing Liberty's junior heavyweight his first loss by fall since losing to last year's NCAA national runner-up, D.J. Bergman, in the first round of the 2008 NCAA National Championship.

The Flames will continue their dual meet schedule next Saturday, when they travel to Raleigh, N.C., for a pair of dual match-ups with N.C. State and Wyoming. The tri-match, which is hosted by the Wolfpack, is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.