March 21, 2014
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OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — Navy sophomore standout Mathew Miller (Edgewood, Md.) dealt Wisconsin’s Scott Liegel a 12-3 major decision to advance in the 2014 NCAA Wrestling Championship held at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla. Meanwhile, the season came to an end for juniors Colton Rasche (Plano, Ill.), Peyton Walsh (Glen Allen, Va.) and Paul Rands (Cary, Ill.).
Miller, seeded 16th in the tournament, opened the day with a disappointing loss to Illinois’ Tony Dallago, a redshirt senior who came into the tournament with a 5-6 all-time record in NCAA competition. Dallago scored a 12-8 decision over Miller, who will have to fight his way through the consolation bracket to gain All-America honors.
The 2014 EIWA Champion took his first step towards that journey on Friday evening, dominating Wisconsin’s Scott Liegel and earning a 12-3 major decision. Miller, who is now 25-5 on the year, will battle Old Dominion’s Billy Curling, who received the No. 15 seed and owns a 19-10 record, on Friday morning. Curling won his opening-round match against Columbia’s Shane Hughes, 8-3, but suffered an 18-7 loss to Oklahoma’s Andrew Howe in the second round.
Rasche closed out his season with a 24-13 record and his first trip to the NCAA Championship. He was pinned (4:55) by second-seeded A.J. Schopp of Edinboro in the opening round and then bowed out of the tournament following a 10-2 loss to EIWA foe Mark Grey of Cornell, who he had previously lost to at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational.
Meanwhile, Walsh gave a valiant effort in his second appearance at the National Championship. Walsh suffered a knee injury in his win over Army’s Cole Gracey in the annual dual on Feb. 21 and underwent surgery that following week. He received a wild card from the NCAA and battled his way back onto the mat. Sixth-seeded Corey Mock of Chattanooga scored a 9-1 victory over Walsh in the opening round at 165 pounds, but Walsh came back to earn a 3-1 decision over Boston U.’s Mitchell Wightman. Walsh, however, lost to Wyoming’s Dakota Friesth, 8-4, in his final match of the year. Walsh ended the season with a 26-13 record and was the only Navy wrestler who won all six of his dual bouts this season.
Navy’s Rands met top-ranked 197-pounder Nick Heflin of Ohio State in his first bout, but it would come to an end at the 5:36 mark when the first-time NCAA qualifier suffered an injury that forced him out of the tournament. Rands had to medically forfeit his consolation match against Northwestern’s Alex Polizzi, as well.
Friday’s quarterfinals and wrestlebacks are due to begin at 10:00 am Central / 11:00 am Eastern. Action can be seen on ESPNU or via trackwrestling.com(.)
NAVY WRESTLERS AT THE 84th NCAA WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIP
133 — (2) A.J. Schopp, Edinboro pinned Colton Rasche, Navy, 4:55
133 — (15) Mark Grey, Cornell major dec Colton Rasche, Navy, 10-2
165 — (6) Corey Mock, Chattanooga major dec. Peyton Walsh, Navy, 9-1
165 — Peyton Walsh, Navy dec. Mitchell Wightman, Boston U., 3-1
165 — Dakota Friesth, Wyoming dec. Peyton Walsh, Navy, 8-4
174 — Tony Dallago, Illinois dec (16) Mathew Miller, Navy, 12-8
174 — (16) Mathew Miller, Navy major dec. Scott Liegel, Wisconsin, 12-3
197 — (1) Nick Heflin, Ohio State injury Paul Rands, Navy, 5:36
197 — (16) Alex Polizzi, Northwestern med forfeit Paul Rands
Second-Round Consolation Match on Friday
174 — (16) Mathew Miller, Navy vs. (15) Billy Curling, Old Dominion
### Go Navy ###