Women's wrestlers thrive out of Club Sports training space
November 17, 2020 | Lynchburg, Va.
Following a few months of weight training, Liberty University's women's wrestling team has enjoyed sparring on its new mats rolled out in the Club Sports Training Complex wrestling room this fall.
"I'm just so thankful that we have the OK to be on the mats right now and to start actually wrestling," said first-year Head Coach Charisse Manley, who competed as a graduate student for the Lady Flames the past two seasons. "We've been praying that the Lord would open the door for us to get back on the mats quickly (and) it's just so exciting. This is why we wrestle. We love to be on the mats, we love to train to be the best."
Lady Flames senior Catherine Morales said the transition has gone smoothly for Manley, who brings a new dynamic to the team as a former team member herself.
"She has been unofficially leading our team for two years now, so to now have her be an official coach is really exciting," Morales said. "She really knows how to bring our team together and to get the best effort out of every person on our team."
The new facility has given the program a moral boost following an offseason affected by COVID-19.
"There was a lot of uncertainty about whether or not I would be coming back or whether the girls on the team would be coming back and what the season would look like," Morales said. "Getting to have a new room and a new team and being able to be out here doing what we love to do is very, very exciting."
"To have our own facility and have amazing space just re-energizes us to be on the mats," senior Marissa Sanders added. "We're really excited to be here this year and are looking forward to all of the new opportunities, even with COVID, and we just are really thankful for every blessing that we have."
Manley is working to schedule a dual-match against Ferrum in January. In the meantime, she is helping to get the newcomers on this year's roster up to speed with the help of their veteran teammates.
"We have four new girls on the team this year, which is super exciting," Morales said. "Some of them have wrestled before and some of them haven't, but they all have grown into our team spirit really well. The girls that have experience are helping those who don't and the girls who have no experience are so enthusiastic and excited to be here that it's really making the transition very smooth and very fun for everyone involved."