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Flames Fall to Cowboys to Open Dual Match-Ups
With the victory, Wyoming pushes it dual meet record to 5-2 on the year. The loss for Liberty, who has now dropped three out of its last four dual matches, drops the Flames' season record to 5-6.
Due to a lingering injury suffered by Liberty's Joe Pantaleo last weekend at the Virginia Duals, the Flames were unable to field a competitor at 125 pounds, giving Wyoming's Michael Martinez a forfeit victory and the Cowboys an early 6-0 lead.
Cory VomBauer pushed Wyoming's margin to nine points, 9-0, as he handed the Flames Christian Smith his fourth straight setback in a 5-2 decision at 133 pounds.
The Flames got on the scoreboard at 141 pounds, as senior Tim Harner continued his run of recent success with a 7-2 decision over Cole Dallaserra. The win extended the senior's winning streak to four straight and trimmed the Flames' deficit back to six points, 9-3.
Chase Smith shifted the momentum back in favor of Wyoming, when he scored an 8-0 major decision victory over Frankie Gayeski at 149 pounds to give the Cowboys a 10 point lead, 13-3.
Shaun Smith remained close in his match-up at 157 pounds, but for the fifth time this year, the junior dropped a decision by three points or less, as Eric Coxbill pushed the Cowboys' lead to 16-3 with an 8-5 decision victory.
The remainder of the bout was controlled by Wyoming, with four wins by fall and a major decision victory to quickly add 28 points to the scoreboard for the Cowboys.
Alex Reider opened the dominating stretch when he pinned Josh Duren in the first period (2:10) at 165 pounds.
The Cowboys then ran their pair of nationally ranked grapplers out onto the mat, with each adding two more wins by fall. Shane Onufer, ranked No. 17 at 174 pounds, picked up his team-leading 30th dual victory of the year when he pinned Aaron Kelley 65 seconds into their bout.
Joe LeBlanc continued the run when the No. 9 ranked wrestler at 184 pounds defeated Eli Sanchez by fall in the second period (3:33), pushing Wyoming's advantage to 31 points, 34-3.
Andrew Wilson ended the Cowboy's pin streak, but his effort wasn't good enough to halt Wyoming's winning ways, as Alfonso Hernandez blanked Liberty's freshman, 10-0, in a major decision win at 197 pounds.
Wyoming closed out the victory in its first of three dual matches on the afternoon, with its fourth win by fall. Jacob Scharbrough pinned Patrick Walker at 4:50, handing the No. 30 ranked grappler at heavyweight the first consecutive losses by fall in his three year career at Liberty.
The Flames will have a chance to even their dual record later on in the afternoon, when Liberty closes out its day at the tri-match and circles the mats with host N.C. State at 4:30 p.m.