Willey, Phillips post top finishes for Panthers
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Plymouth State University wrestling team placed sixth out of 15 schools on Saturday at the Doug Parker Invitational, hosted by Springfield College.
The Panther contingent recorded 63.5 points to place sixth, just ahead of the US Merchant Marine Academy (62.5) and just behind fourth-place Rhode Island College (69) and fifth-place Wesleyan University (67). SUNY Brockport (115) took top honors in the team scoring, with Springfield and Stevens Tech tied for second with 91.5 points.
Senior Mike Willey turned in the top performance for Plymouth State, capturing the 149-pound weight class, a bracket that included 36 wrestlers. Willey went 5-0 in the tournament with five decisions, winning the title bout, 4-3, over Martin Bell of USMMA, who is sixth in the national rankings. Willey, who is 10th in the national rankings, is 7-1 this season and 71-21 in his career.
Senior Rob Phillips also won five straight matches for PSU and wound up in third place in the 184-pound weight class. Phillips was matched up against the top-seed and eventual champion Tom Voorhis of Brockport in the first round, and Phillips gave Voorhis his toughest bout of the day before falling, 2-0. Phillips bounced back with five straight victories in the consolation bracket to capture third place; Voorhis pinned his next two opponents and won 15-1 in the championship bout.
Junior Cody Oliverio had a strong showing at 149 pounds, winning three of his five bouts, all by pin, to finish in the final eight. Three other Panther wrestlers posted two wins apiece before being eliminated -- junior Femi Wheeler at 149 pounds, junior James Matlack at 165, and senior Zac Giovanetti at 184.
The Panthers, ranked fifth in New England, will be back on the mat on Wednesday, Nov. 30, with a dual match at Rhode Island College, which is ranked fourth in the same poll.
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