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PSU Wrestlers in ninth place after Day One at New England Championships


- Plymouth State University is in ninth place out of 15 schools and has three wrestlers still alive after Saturday's competition at the New England College Conference Wrestling Association (NECCWA) Annual Championships, hosted by Wesleyan University.

            Four-time defending champion Springfield leads the team standings with 107.5 points, and Johnson & Wales is second with 103.  PSU is ninth with 28 points, just behind Western New England (29.5) and just ahead of Coast Guard (27.5), Southern Maine (26.5) and Trinity (26).

            Juniors Brandon Black (Keene, N.H.), Matt Friend (Jefferson, N.H.) and sophomore Shaun Wilbert (Toms River, N.J.) are the Panthers still wrestling on Sunday.

            Black, the #6 seed at 165 pounds, won his first bout on a major decision but lost his next match to Coast Guard's David Pomranky, the third seed, 4-0.  Black won two straight consolation matches Saturday to stay alive, and faces fourth-seeded Bill Koch of Springfield in his next bout on Sunday.

            Friend, the #6 seed at 133, received a first-round bye and upset third-seeded Andrew Hawley of Roger Williams in the next round, 11-4.  Friend was then defeated by second-seeded Brian Zane of Norwich, 8-4, and will face fifth-seeded Josh Wildes of Wesleyan Sunday in the backdraw.

            Wilbert, the #7 seed at 285, received a first-round bye and earned a 3-0 upset decision in the second round over #2-seeded Tim Ferreira of Bridgewater State. Wilbert then suffered a 4-2 defeat to third-seeded Diego Crespo of Johnson & Wales in his next bout.  Wilbert faces Norwich's Cody Lightfoot, the eighth-seed, in his first backdraw match on Sunday.

            Sophomore 157-pounder Ryan Schieding (Manchester, N.H./Memorial) and senior 197-pounder Billy Wilbert (Toms River, N.J.) each won two matches for Plymouth State, but were eliminated from their weight classes with two losses.  Freshman Shawn Moseley (Hooksett, N.H./Concord HS/Tilton Prep) at 141 and senior Nick Gurney (Dixfield, Maine) at 184 each won one match before being knocked out, and freshman 149-pounder Zeth Nolda (East Lyme, Conn./Waterford) and sophomore 174-pounder Landon Nelson (Salem, N.Y.) were eliminated after two straight setbacks.

            Moseley and Gurney share the team lead in victories, Moseley finishing 21-10 and Gurney 21-11.

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