Flames stay in fourth place after Day 2 of NCWA tournament
March 11, 2016 | Kissimmee, Fla.
On Friday's second day of the NCWA Grand National Championships, Liberty University's defending national champion wrestling team remained in fourth place in the team standings and qualified one wrestler for Saturday's championship final at Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee, Fla.
Junior Josh Ferenczy, seeded second at 174 pounds, advanced to the title bout with an 8-6 victory over Akron's Shane Brown in the championship quarterfinals and 11-1 major decision over Grand Valley State's Bailey Bischer in the semis. He will meet Central Florida's top-seeded Geordan Speiller for the title.
The Flames have a total of 93.5 points to rank a distant fourth behind Emmanuel College (177.5), Central Florida (172), and Grand Valley State (154).
Also at 174, Liberty freshman Taylor Westlake defeated UMBC's Brandon Buckingham, 6-4, in his second consolation round match before pinning Texas State's Noah Villermarett in 2:43 and dropping a 2-1 decision to Brown to narrowly miss a top-eight All-American finish despite going 3-2.
Flames 141-pound freshman Brandon Robinson lost his championship quarterfinal match to Grand Valley State's second-seeded Zach Cooper by fall in 3:15 before advancing to the consolation quarterfinal with a 4-3 decision over BYU's Tyler Carlyle. He will square off with Central Florida's Matthew Seymour in Saturday's consolation quarterfinals.
At 165, Liberty sophomore Michael Bryant dropped a 5-2 decision to Air Force Prep's top-seeded Ricky Padilla in the championship quarterfinals before scoring a 10-6 decision over Emmanuel College's Nicholas Perez. He will meet Penn State DuBois' John Prentice in his consolation quarterfinal match.
Flames senior heavyweight Josh Travers lost his championship quarterfinal, by 8-1 decision to Air Force Prep's Mo Fifita, before winning his first match over teammate Dominick Johnson, 8-6. Johnson had scored an 8-6 decision over Marion Military Institute's Durell Robinson before pinning Houston's Christopher Woods in 6:22 to advance to meet Travers, Travers is scheduled to face Southern Florida's John Puleo in the consolation quarterfinals.
Liberty junior 235-pounder Charles Hancock, meanwhile, lost a 9-3 decision to Connecticut's Steven Webb in his championship quarterfinal before being eliminated by Rickey Carter, the No. 1 seed out of Florida A&M, by a 5-1 decision.
At 125 pounds, Flames freshman Dell Ngonga won his first two rounds of consolation matches — by 16-0 technical fall in 3:20 over Northeastern's Yuval Shatil and 10-3 decision over South Florida's Rory Roderick. His tournament ended with a 2-0 loss to Apprentice's Ty Boyd, who had rallied to defeat Ngonga, 6-5, in the closing seconds of their teams' third-place final at the NCWA National Duals.
In a battle between teammates at 149 pounds, Flames junior Ike Podell pinned sophomore Jonah Swinson in 16 seconds before scoring a 9-2 decision over Grand Valley's Jake Sobeck. However, he came up on the short end of an 11-9 decision against Antonio Martinez of Texas.
Liberty freshman Brian DiCesare was eliminated with a 6-3 decision to Penn State DuBois' Garrett Brown in the 133-pound consolation bracket.
Wrestling will resume at 9 a.m. with consolation bracket action before the championship finals are set for 6 p.m. Live action can be viewed with a subscription to FloWrestling.com.