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Three Flames Move on at Scuffle
Three members of the Liberty wrestling squad will move on to Thursday's day two action at the Southern Scuffle, hosted by UNC Greensboro at the Special Events Center of the Greensboro Coliseum Complex.
The Flames finished the day with 19.5 team points, placing them 24th in the 32-team field. Scott Clymer (149 pounds) and Chad Porter (165 pounds) can still accumulate team points for the squad, while freshman Kurtis Becker moves on to day two as well, but is competing unattached in the event.
Each of the Liberty grapplers are in the wrestleback brackets, which will begin competition tomorrow at approximately 9 a.m., along with the quarterfinal round of the championship brackets.
The ranked teams in the tournament are leading the way, with No. 1 Cornell holding down first place with 54 points after one day of action. They advanced seven wrestlers in the championship bracket while also having a competitor still alive in the wrestleback bracket. Rounding out the top five are No. 4 Penn State with 50.5 team points, No. 15 Michigan with 49.5 team points, No. 13 Oregon State with 48.5 team points and No. 23 Kent State and No. 3 Minnesota, both with 43.5 team points.
Liberty opened the event slowly before Porter provided the first victory of the day, knocking off Ryan Ham of Campbell with a pin 3:45 into the 165-pound bout.
Porter then faced Ross Powell of Indiana, and finished the bout in 3:30, this time moving on by a 17-0 technical fall win and putting him into the round of 16.
At this point, Porter ran into Hofstra's Paul Gillespie who is currently ranked No. 6 by InterMat. In a close bout, Porter dropped the 4-3 decision with Gillespie taking the one-point edge by having enough riding time for the bonus point.
In his first consolation bout, Porter added his second pin on the day, dropping Brett Miller of UNC Greensboro in 2:20 to move on to the second day of action.
Redshirt junior Clymer followed suit of his teammate, posting a 3-1 record on the day to move on in the tournament at 149 pounds. Despite dropping his opening bout to Daniel Helena of North Carolina, 7-5, Clymer rebounded and picked up victories over his next three opponents.
In his first consolation bout, Clymer pinned Tylor Sigmon of N.C. State 2:23 into the bout.
His next two victories came by decision, defeating Ryan Medved of Gardner-Webb, 4-2 and Penn's Andrew Lenzi 4-0 to close out the day.
Becker produced a 2-1 record at 141 pounds to move on to the second day in Greensboro. After defeating Kasey Davis of Edinboro, 6-4, Becker dropped a 9-4 decision to No. 11 ranked Michael Mangrum of Oregon State.
He then finished the day with a 6-2 defeat of Hokie wrestler Nicholas Murray.
Julian Colon posted three victories for the Flames, but also had two setbacks on the day to fall from the tournament. After losing an 11-9 decision to Craig Eifert, Colon rolled off three decision wins in the wrestleback bracket at 157 pounds before getting pinned by Colton Palmer of North Carolina.
On the day, Liberty lost six bouts by two points or less while also losing eight matches to nationally-ranked opponents, including matchups with the No. 1 ranked grapplers at 149 and 197 pounds.
LibertyFlames.com coverage will continue tomorrow with the continued use of a live blog, starting around 9 a.m. with the wrestlebacks and quarterfinal rounds. The blog will continue the mat side coverage as long as Liberty has grapplers remaining in the event.