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Two PSU Wrestlers advance to finals at NEWA Championships

Phillips, Curley earn All-New England honors for Panthers

            MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – Two Plymouth State University wrestlers have advanced to the finals of their weight class Sunday evening and two others have earned All-New England recognition at the New England Wrestling Association (NEWA) Championships, hosted by Wesleyan University. The finals will be webstreamed at 5:30 p.m. at http://wescast.wesleyan.edu/.

            The Panthers are in eighth place as a team through seven rounds. PSU has scored 56 points, just 4.5 points behind seventh-place US Coast Guard Academy and 12.5 ahead of ninth-place University of Southern Maine.  Wesleyan (120) has a slim lead over Springfield (117.5) for the team lead; there are 14 teams competing at the championships.

  Willey Wheeler
  Phillips Curley

            Senior Mike Willey and junior Femi Wheeler are leading the way for PSU, with each set to compete in the championship final on Sunday evening. Panther seniors Rob Phillips and Dan Curley are done for the day, having earned All-New England honors with fourth and fifth-place finishes, respectively.

            Willey, the 2011 New England champion at 157 pounds, is wrestling at 149 this year and has won all four of his bouts to reach the final.  Willey, who is now 21-3 on the season, will meet junior Howard Tobochnik of Wesleyan University, whom Willey edged 3-2 in round six earlier in the day.  Wheeler, who was All-New England at 141 pounds last season, is wrestling at 157 this year and has won four of his five matches to reach the final.  Wheeler, who is now 21-6 on the season, will have a rematch against Springfield College senior Ryan McGilvray, who outlasted Wheeler in a tiebreaker (3-2) earlier in the day in round six.

            Phillips and Curley both finished the tournament with a 4-2 record to claim All-New England recognition.  Phillips picked up a consolation-round win in the 184-pound bracket Sunday morning before finishing fourth overall with a loss to Nick Camera of Springfield.  Phillips wraps up his season with a 28-10 record, the most wins on the team.  Curley suffered his second loss of the tournament at 174 pounds Sunday morning but bounced back to defeat freshman Ryan Cassidy of Bridgewater State University in the fifth-place match. Curley winds up his season with an 11-14 record. 

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