FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Jan. 8, 2016) – The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy wrestling team competed in the highly-selective NWCA National Duals on Friday along with 23 nationally-ranked programs. The Mariners' first match in the championship draw was against #13 Alma College early this morning, which the Scots won by the final of 27-17. Then in their first consolation bracket match in the afternoon against #12 Coe College, USMMA bowed out of the very competitive tournament with a 30-11 defeat to the Kohawks. Overall on the season, the Mariners' dual meet record drops to an even 4-4.
Against Alma, USMMA took a 14-6 lead after the first four weight classes were fought thanks to three-straight wins after a forfeit. At 133, freshman Kimo Dial (Poway, Calif.) earned six points with a pin over the Scots' freshman Anthony Pizzo in 2:01. At 141, classmate Daniel May (Stafford, Va.) gave Merchant Marine a three-point lead with a 6-5 decision over freshman Travis DeRossett and sophomore Nathan Twito (Ames, Iowa) recorded a technical fall (15-0) at 149 over freshman Evyn Bryant.
Alma responded with five straight wins, however, and clinched the match on a 5-2 decision at 197. At the 285 weight class, freshman Brandon Joest (Kendallville, Ind.) ended the match on a positive note with a 4-1 decision over sophomore Cameron Lee.
Against the Kohawks of Coe College, the Mariners fell behind 13-0 early after the first three bouts before Twito won his matchup at 149 over sophomore Levi Azinger with a 10-3 decision to earn three points. Coe then responded with eight points over the next two bouts.
Freshman Blake Bunce (Trophy Club, Texas) grabbed six points for Merchant Marine with a pin in 4:27 over junior Peyton Wagner at 174 which brought the match to 21-9. However, the Kohawks clinched the victory with a decision at 184. Senior Ricky Fisher (Nashville, Tenn.) went on to win his matchup at 197 with an 11-4 decision over Garrett Kelson.
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