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Liberty Beats Apprentice to Win 2015 NCWA National Duals

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Liberty Beats Apprentice to Win 2015 NCWA National Duals

Postby Allen Brown » Mon Jan 26, 2015 10:55 am

^^Posted on TOM on Jan 26, 2015-

By Scott Farrell

DALTON, Ga. – Liberty withstood a fast-charging rally by Central Florida in the semifinals, then pulled away from The Apprentice School early in the title match to earn its second NCWA National Duals title Saturday. The Flames’ 37-9 win in the championship made them the first two-time Duals champion in the seven-year history of the event.
It is questionable if the Flames would have performed so well in the finals had they not been pushed to the brink of an upset by UCF in the semifinals. Liberty, which wrestled in the Duals finals match for the third time in the past four seasons, rolled out to a 17-0 lead after four matches.

But UCF won the next five matches by decisions of three points or less from 157 to 197, including knocking off three of Liberty’s All-Americans. Christian Grillo started it with a gutty decision over two-time All-American Chase Boontjer at 157. Michael Seymour then scored a takedown in extra time for a 7-5 sudden-victory over David Abbadusky. UCF’s Davin Morris secured a takedown with 40 seconds left to edge Josh Sturgill, 3-1. Giovanni Jiovenetta gave the Knights another emotional life with a sudden-victory 5-3 win over two-time All-American Keyshaun Ward.

Suddenly it appeared UCF might be able to come all the way back doing it the hard way, scoring decisions instead of falls, especially after Vincent Jiovenetta extended the string by taking out another highly-ranked foe. His 6-3 win over Matthew Reynolds at 197 got the Knights within 17-15 with two matches remaining.

Liberty cut off the UCF win streak with an upset of its own. Evan Canaday edged Tyrell Walker, the top-ranked wrestler at 235, 1-0, and then Josh Pelletier won the heavyweight bout 6-5 in sudden victory to seal the title.

“Evan’s win was pivotal. They took out a few of our top guys, but there we just showed we could do it too,” Castro said.

“We lost a bunch of matches by one point in that string. It’s not really acceptable for us to have two or three All-Americans lose like we did. UCF out-wrestled us there and they deserve credit. But those guys have to come through. They know that.”

With only a 15-minute break between rounds, there was little time for Liberty to dwell on the near-upset. Getting right back out on the mat was just what the team needed.

“Coming back quickly probably helped us by making us re-focus immediately on Apprentice,” Castro said. “That (UCF) match really could have gone either way they wrestled so well. It wasn’t going to help thinking about it too much.”

In the final, Apprentice got a pin from Michael Holcomb at 133 pounds to take a 6-3 lead, but would only win one more bout the rest of the way. And the Liberty All-Americans all came through, as

Boontjer won his match by fall, Ward controlled Apprentice’s Kenny Lowry the entire way in an 11-7 decision, and Reynolds edged Joshua Rodriguez 7-5.

Liberty also beat Apprentice 40-12 at the Virginia Duals two weekends ago.

It was a dominant run by the Flames. Only UCF and Apprentice stayed within 40 points of Liberty in the tournament. The Flames are now the favorites to win their first overall team title as the NCWA Championship Series continues in March.

As National Duals champion, Liberty earned 24 points that will carry over to the start of the NCWA Championships, the second leg of the Series. As runner-up, Apprentice earned 23 points, with third-place Middle Tennessee taking 22 and fourth-place UCF 21, and so on. Every team participant at the National Duals earned team points toward the individual championships.

March can wait until March, Castro said. He’s happy to let this title simmer in the memory for a while.

“This feels more gratifying than 2012,” Castro said regarding the Flames’ last Duals championship. “That year was a transition year for us, and we still had a lot of bad stuff going on within us about what had happened (losing its NCAA Division I status). And we still had six guys that had Division I experience on the roster.

“We don’t have any former Division I wrestlers on the roster right now. So for this group to do this, it means a little more. Especially after being challenged the way we were against Central Florida and Apprentice.”

Middle Tennessee earns its program’s best finish in third

The Blue Raiders fulfilled their high expectations coming into the postseason in third place. MTSU already knew it had the highest Duals finish in the program’s history once it cleared Marion Military, 26-18, in the quarterfinals. But getting to third would not be as easy.

After watching its nationally-ranked 125-pound give up a pin in the opening match, 133 All-American and top-ranked Eric Feuerbacher scored a 3-2 decision over Austin Vajen to get MTSU on the board. The Blue Raiders won five of the next six matches to take a 23-9 lead.

Yet as in its semifinal UCF rallied, scoring pins from Luttere Eglaus at 197, and Tyrell Walker avoided another upset with a first-period fall at 235 to get the Knights to within 23-21.
With the match in the balance, Austin Wells of MTSU scored a sudden-victory 2-1 win to secure third place.

It’s an encouraging finish for a program that has arguably supported the National Duals Tournament more than any other NCWA program. The Blue Raiders hosted the tournament twice in 2009 and 2010 to help it get off the ground as an official NCWA event, and were in the field each time it ran as an open bracket as part of the national coaches association duals tournament.
The Blue Raiders hope to build on their Duals success at the NCWA Championships, where they’ll look for another program-best finish. They were seventh last year.

First-time entries score impressive results

The three first-time entries at the National Duals were the most for the tournament since it went beyond a 16-team bracket. North Texas, Ohio State and Florida certainly held their own in the field, with Florida taking ninth place overall, North Texas securing 13th and Ohio State winning its 17th-place match 31-18 over two-time former Division II champion MIT.

Florida lost to MTSU and Apprentice to fall into the consolations, but then rolled through that bracket to finish ninth. The Gators, under coach Tim Ironman, took out Maryland-Baltimore County 44-12 to open the consolation bracket, then topped Texas-Arlington 30-24 in the semifinals and Toledo 33-27 in the placing match.

Suddenly Florida is in the lead in the Division II standings, as it earned 16 team points toward the NCWA Championships.

North Texas turned heads with its run through consolations also, losing to Texas-Arlington but then running away from UMBC and Connecticut to take 13th. UNT has 12 points that puts it in fourth in the Division II standings in March.

It’s worth noting that with North Texas in tow, the Southwest Conference had three teams competing at the Duals for the first time. Texas-Arlington and Texas A&M also made the trip, which will pay dividends in March. UTA is third in the Division II standings entering the NCWA Championships, only two points behind Florida, with North Texas in fourth and Texas A&M sixth. Texas competed last year but did not enter this season.

Ohio State took some lumps early without a full lineup, but the club team has to be encouraged with its consolation wins over the defending Division II champion Florida Gulf Coast and MIT. The eight points the Buckeyes earned from their 17th-place finish places them seventh in Division II going into the NCWA Championships.


Championship – Liberty 37, Apprentice 9
3rd place – Middle Tennessee 26, Central Florida 21
5th place – GVSU 41, Marion Military (Ala.) 14
7th place – Wayne State 1, North Florida 0 (forfeit)
9th place – Florida 33, Toledo 27
11th place – Texas-Arlington 39, South Florida 18
13th place – North Texas 37, Connecticut 15
15th place – Md.-Baltimore County 30, Texas A&M 12
17th place – Ohio State 31, MIT 18
19th place – Auburn 28, Florida Gulf Coast 5
21st place – Mercer 30, East Tennessee State 18

(based on Duals finish, these are the team points that will carry over into the NCWA Championships in March)

1. Liberty 24
2. Apprentice 23
3. Middle Tennessee 22
4. Central Florida 21
5. Grand Valley State 20
6. Marion Military Inst. 19
7. Wayne State 18
8. North Florida 17
9. South Florida 13
10. Md.-Baltimore County 10
11. MIT 7
12. Florida Gulf Coast 5
13. Mercer 4
14. East Tennessee State 3

1. Florida 16
2. Toledo 15
3. Texas-Arlington 14
4. North Texas 12
5. Connecticut 11
6. Texas A&M 9
7. Ohio State 8
8. Auburn 6


Liberty 37, Apprentice 9
125 lbs. – Tim Nordan, Liberty def. Jacob Michael, Apprentice, 10-8
133 lbs. – Michael Holcomb, Apprentice, def. Tyler Sigler, Liberty, by fall 3:54
141 lbs. – Ryan Diehl, Liberty, wins by forfeit
149 lbs. – Josh Sanders, Liberty, def. Robert Saunders, Apprentice, 3-2
157 lbs. – Chase Boontjer, Liberty, def. Patrick Foxworth, Apprentice, by fall 6:55
165 lbs. – David Abadusky, Liberty, def. Kyle Lowry, Apprentice, major decision 17-4
174 lbs. – Landon Leithauser, Apprentice, def. Josh Sturgill, Liberty, 10-7
184 lbs. – Keyshaun Ward, Liberty, def. Kenny Lowry, Apprentice, 11-7
197 lbs. – Matt Reynolds, Liberty, def. Joshua Rodriquez, Apprentice, 7-5
235 lbs. – Evan Canady, Liberty, def. Shakeem Lassiter, Apprentice, by fall 1:26
285 lbs. – Josh Pelletier, Liberty, def. Ian Jones, Apprentice, 5-2


Middle Tennessee 26, Central Florida 21
125 lbs. – Justus Griffith, UCF, def. Shane Shaffner, MTSU, by fall 4:29
133 lbs. – Eric Feuerbacher, MTSU, def. Austin Vajen, UCF, 3-2
141 lbs. – Carlos Garcia, MTSU, def. Alex Rivera, UCF, 10-5
149 lbs. – Jacob Freeman, MTSU, def. Max Becks, UCF, by fall 4:40
157 lbs. – Christian Grillo, UCF, def. Nick Patton, MTSU, 8-4
165 lbs. – Everett Colbert, MTSU, def. Michael Seymour, UCF, 3-2
174 lbs. – Daniel Devers, MTSU, def. Davin Morris, UCF, SV-1 7-6
184 lbs. – Jonathan Roberts, MTSU, def. Giovanni Jiovenetta, UCF, by tech fall 17-2
197 lbs. – Luttere Eglaus, UCF, def. Tyler McClendon, MTSU, by fall 6:34
235 lbs. – Tyrell Walker, UCF, def. Adam Wells, MTSU, by fall 2:18
285 lbs. – Austin Wells, MTSU, def. Angel Perez, UCF, SV-1 2-1

2015 NCWA National Duals

^^And here is the link to the Apprentice Builders' Release-

http://www.gobuilders.com/sports/wrest/ ... 0124c9wpmi
Allen Brown

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