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PSU Wrestler eliminated from NCAA Tournament

Willey’s 21-match winning streak snapped

            LA CROSSE, Wisc. – Junior Mike Willey (Tewksbury, Mass.) represented Plymouth State University at the 2011 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III National Wrestling Championships on Friday, but was eliminated with losses in his first two bouts against top-seeded wrestlers.

  
  Mike Willey

            Willey, who qualified for the NCAA Championships by winning the New England title at 157 pounds two weeks ago, was matched up in his first bout against senior Justin Berns of Concordia College (Minn.), the No. 5 seed at 157.  Berns was too much for Willey, posting a 15-0 technical fall (6:03), ending Willey’s 21-match winning streak this season and sending him into the consolation draw.

            Willey’s first opponent in the back draw was senior Jesse Harrington of Delaware Valley, the fourth seed in the bracket who was upset in his first-round bout. Willey gave Harrington a tough battle before Harrington prevailed, 4-1.  It was a 2-1 match in the third period before Harrington got a clinching takedown in the final stanza, ending Willey’s run in the tournament.

            Willey completes the season with a 23-3 overall record, and his career mark is now 64-20.  Willey was the first PSU wrestler to compete at the NCAA Championships since 2007. 

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