ANNAPOLIS, MD – The Navy wrestling team defeated Liberty in impressive fashion by a score of 34-6 on Friday night at Halsey Field House in Annapolis. With the score tied at six after three matches, 174-pounder Matt DeMichiel pinned Libertyâ€™s Royal Brettrager at the 1:21 mark to give Navy a 12-6 lead and the Midshipmen never looked back. The Mids went on to win the next six bouts as they improved to 3-1 on the season. The loss dropped Liberty to 6-6.
The dual began at 149 pounds where Libertyâ€™s Peter Crawford defeated Zach Basich, 9-4. Basich got an escape early in the second period to tie the score, but Crawford registered a takedown later in the frame to grab a 5-3 lead that he would not relinquish.
Navyâ€™s sixth-ranked Bryce Saddoris responded in the next bout at 157 pounds where he made quick work of Libertyâ€™s Eric Reger. Saddoris jumped on Reger immediately, taking a 7-1 lead at the 1:30 mark. With Reger on his back, Saddoris got the pin just seconds later, at 1:37, to give Navy the lead, 6-3.
Libertyâ€™s Chad Porter then shutout Robby Neill in the 165-pound bout. Porter got a takedown with 1:00 left in the first period and didnâ€™t score again until he got an escape in the third. Another takedown and a point for riding time secured his 6-0 win.
With the score knotted at six, the Mids then took over, beginning with DeMichiel pinning Brettrager at 174 pounds.
â€œI think we started slowly,â€ said Navy head coach Bruce Burnett. â€œThe nucleus of guys we have that are wrestling tough are continuing to wrestle tough. Bryce got us started and our mainstays – Matt DeMichiel and Luke Rebertus – kept us going.â€
DeMichielâ€™s win opened the floodgates for Navy, as No. 8 Luke Rebertus followed at 184 pounds with a 12-4 major decision over Aaron Kelley. Rebertus led 7-2 after the second period, but with two takedowns in the third and significant edge in riding time, he picked up his second major decision of the year to improve his record to 22-5.
â€œItâ€™s huge when you get bonus points, it just makes so much difference in a match,â€ said Burnett, who secured his 99th career victory on Friday night. â€œThe bonus points built momentum and our guys continued from there.â€
Leading 16-6, Greg Prioleau snapped his three-match losing skid as he defeated Aaron Thompson, 4-2, at 197 pounds. After trailing 2-0, Prioleau worked his way back into the match with two escapes and then got a takedown with less than: 30 remaining in the second period to take the lead for good.
In the heavyweight bout, Dan Miller recorded the third fall of the evening for Navy as he pinned Jake Wright at 6:19. Miller controlled the entire bout, leading 9-0, just before registering his third fall of the year.
Aaron Kalil boosted Navyâ€™s lead to 28-6 when he blanked Robert Jillard at 125 pounds, 5-0. Kalil scored a takedown in the first, then a reversal in the second period and picked up an extra point with 2:08 of riding time.
Navyâ€™s Tyler Sackett got a 6-3 decision over T.J. Mitchell at 133 pounds, swelling the lead to 31-6.
Dustin Haislip closed out the night with a 6-3 win over Seth Hicks at 141 pounds. With the score tied at two in the second period, Haislip got an escape and later a takedown to secure the lead for good.
Navy will be back in action on Saturday when it travels to University Park to meet Maryland (9-3) at 4 p.m.
â€œThatâ€™s the nature of the business in wrestling, the turnaround is pretty quick and weâ€™ll have to be up and ready to go tomorrow,â€ said Burnett.
Navy 34, Liberty 6
149 â€“ Peter Crawford (L) won by dec. Zach Basich (N), 9-4; Liberty led, 3-0
157 â€“ No. 6 Bryce Saddoris (N) won by fall Eric Reger (L), 1:37; Navy led, 6-3
165 â€“ Chad Porter (L) won by dec. Robby Neill (N), 6-0; Tied at 6
174 â€“ Matt DeMichiel (N) won by fall Royal Brettrager (L), 1:21; Navy led, 12-6
184 â€“ No. 8 Luke Rebertus (N) won by maj. dec. Aaron Kelley (L), 12-4; Navy led, 16-6
197 â€“ Greg Prioleau (N) won by dec. Aaron Thompson (L), 4-2; Navy led, 19-6
285 â€“ Dan Miller (N) won by fall Jake Wright (L), 6:19; Navy led, 25-6
125 â€“ Aaron Kalil (N) won by dec. Robert Jillard (L), 5-0; Navy led, 28-6
133 â€“ Tyler Sackett (N) won by dec. T.J. Mitchell (L), 6-3; Navy led, 31-6
141 â€“ Dustin Haislip (N) won by dec Seth Hicks (L), 6-3; Navy wins, 34-6
Courtesy of Navy Sports Information