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Early Run Lifts Spartans over Flames at Home

February 2, 2010
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Frankie Gayeski claimed his team-leading 20th victory of the year during Tuesday night's dual against UNC Greensboro.

Frankie Gayeski claimed his team-leading 20th victory of the year during Tuesday night's dual against UNC Greensboro.

The Flames won the opening bout, but dropped the next six, allowing the visiting Spartans of UNC Greensboro to secure a 23-15 dual wrestling victory over Liberty, Tuesday night, inside the Vines Center.

The victory was the second in a row for UNC Greensboro and upped the Spartans' mark to 5-6 on the season. The loss, Liberty's second straight at home, dropped the Flames to 7-8 on the year. Following the win, UNC Greensboro now has taken three of the last four duals against the Flames during the last four seasons.

Beginning at 165 pounds, Chad Porter gave the Flames the early lead with a 10-3 decision in the evening's first bout. Porter scored a quick takedown and added two near-fall points to hold a 4-1 lead following three minutes of action.

Porter scored his second takedown with five seconds left in the second to take a 6-2 edge. After Porter scored an early escape and his third takedown, he was in position to record a major decision victory thanks to his riding time edge (4:24), but Victor Hojilla got away for a late escape with 37 seconds left to keep the final bout margin at seven points.

UNC Greensboro answered right back when Byron Sigmon picked up a 7-3 decision over Brad Clark at 174 pounds, beginning a run of six-straight wins for the visitors.

Sigmon held a slight 2-1 lead after the first, before the junior scored four additional points with a pair of reversals in the second. Clark tied to make several moves on Sigmon during the last two minutes, but the Spartan grappler was able to hold him off and add an additional point for his riding time advantage (3:39) to knot the overall dual at 3-3.

Andrew Saunders controlled the 184-pound bout from the opening whistle, as the junior picked up his 24th win of the year with a 6-2 decision over Nick Knowles.

Saunders scored a takedown midway through the first and added an escape point and a second takedown late in the second to open up a 5-0 lead after two periods. Knowles finally got on the board with a takedown 30 seconds into the third, but it was not enough to erase the deficit, allowing the visitors to take the lead in the dual for good, 6-3.

After the first three bouts went the distance, the next was over within seconds of its beginning. Ryan Sughrue made a quick move on Jacobi Johnson just after their 197-pound matchup began and he turned the early takedown into a win by fall 24 seconds into the bout to push UNC Greensboro's lead to 12-3.

In a rematch of their opening round bout at UNC Greensboro's Southern Scuffle, Andrew Wilson and Peter Sturgeon took to the mats again at heavyweight. Sturgeon had advanced in the December event with a 5-3 decision over Wilson.

The match remained scoreless after one period, thanks to Wilson narrowly avoiding a takedown after two minutes of action. The match remained tied after five minutes, thanks to two escapes by Sturgeon and a takedown by Wilson.

Sturgeon chose to start the third period down and quickly escaped the position. The move proved to be the deciding factor in the bout, as Sturgeon picked up his 28th victory of the year, 3-2, which now ranks him fifth nationally in total wins by heavyweights this season.

Eric Chandler kept things rolling for the visitors, as the freshman quickly jumped out to a sizeable lead on Jonathan Childress and never looked back in the 125-pound bout.

Chandler carded two takedowns, each with near-fall points, to open up a 9-1 lead after three minutes of action. Two additional takedowns pushed the margin to 13-2 after two periods, while a third and final takedown ended the bout by technical fall (18-3) at 6:19.

The visitors closed out their run of six-straight wins when Casey Boyle scored a comeback victory over Joe Pantaleo in a 3-2 decision at 133 pounds.

Boyle scored the bout's first point in the second period with a quick escape from the down position. However, Pantaleo took control of the match in the third with a reversal 40 seconds into the final period.

Pantaleo tried to keep Boyle to the mat and ride out the clock, but the redshirt freshman made a move the official deemed illegal and he was docked a point. Five seconds later, Boyle got away from Pantaleo for the match's decisive point, pushing UNC Greensboro's overall lead to 23-3.

Liberty was finally able to stop the Spartans' run when Scott Clymer scored an impressive 5-4 decision over Ivan Lopouchanski, who came into the 141-pound matchup with 27 wins, which ranks second nationally in victories in the weight class.

Clymer led 3-1 after three minutes of action, but Lopouchanski clawed his way back with an escape and a takedown in the third to knot the match at 4-4 going into the final period.

Clymer started the last two-minute session down and Lopouchanski allowed him the quick escape point, which ended up deciding the match, as Clymer kept the sophomore at bay to score the one-point victory, 5-4.

Frankie Gayeski showed few signs of rust, as the redshirt senior took to the mats next for the Flames at 149 pounds in his first match since Jan. 8, as he had been sidelined due to an injury for nearly a month.

Gayeski quickly opened up a 6-1 lead after three minutes with two takedowns and a pair of near-fall points. He added a reversal and a second takedown in the second, before ending the bout with his fourth win by fall this year at 6:07. The victory narrowed UNC Greensboro's dual lead to 23-12 and gave Gayeski his team-leading 20th victory of the year.

Shaun Smith scored a quick takedown into his 157-pound bout with Travis Sheehy and led 2-1 after the first period. Following a scoreless middle session, Smith put the match out of reach, thanks to an escape, a second takedown and 3:41 of riding time to secure his fifth win in a row with a 6-2 decision.

Liberty will return to the wrestling mats on Saturday when the Flames travel to Buies Creek, N.C., to participate in the annual Eastern Regional Duals.

The event, which will be hosted by Campbell this year, will serve as a prelude to the NCAA East Regional Championship on March 6.

Liberty has walked away the victor at the Eastern Regional Duals the last two years, including last year, when the Flames posted a 5-1 dual record in the event. Liberty will have four dual events on Saturday, beginning with a matchup with Duquesne at 9 a.m.