ROANOKE, Virginia -- Three Ferrum College wrestlers opened 2019-20 season at the Southeast Open (aka Hokie Open) hosted by Virginia Tech Sunday, November 3. The tournament was held at The Berglund Center, the site where Ferrum hosted the NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships last March.
Seniors Austin Smith and Mario Vasquez, and sophomore Levi Englman competed in the rugged early-season tournament and came away with a combined 7-4 record.The event hosted two divisions, the Open Division and the Freshman/Sophomore Division. Ferrum was the only Div. III school represented.
Englman posted a 4-0 mark en route to winning the 133-pound title, winning his title match 7-0 over Davidson University's Kyle Gorant. In his semi-final match with Virginia Tech's Cole Rhone, Englman posted a 10-8 come-from-behind win. In four matches, Englman posted three shutouts and outscored his opponents 41-8. Englman earned All-America honors as a true freshman last season when he placed seventh at the NCAA Div. III Tournament.
Vasquez posted a 2-2 mark at 141 pounds, including a pin over University of Maryland's Decklin Fischer and an 11-0 major decision over King University's Jacob Wynn. Vasquez placed eighth at the NCAA Div. III Tournament last March to earn his first All-America honor.
Smith competed at 149 pounds and finished 1-2 on the day. His win was a 12-2 major decision over University of North Carolina's Gino Esposito. Smith had a tough draw to open the tournament, falling 21-5 to NCAA Div. I All-American Brock Mauller in the opening round. Mauler placed sixth at the NCAA Div. I Tournament last March and is currently ranked #2 in the nation.
Southeast Open - Freshman/Sophomore Division
Englman vs T. Chapman (Gardner-Webb University), 16-0 Technical Fall 3:12
Englman vs H. Olson (Buies Creek RTC), 8-0 Major Decision
Englman vs C. Rhone (Virginia Tech), 10-8 Decision (2X PA High School State Finalist)
Englman vs K. Gorant (Davidson College), 7-0 Decision
Southeast Open – Open Division
Vasquez vs J. Wynn (King College), 11-0 Major Decision
Vasquez vs J. Heil (Campbell University), 0-6 Loss (D1 NCAA qualifier)
Vasquez vs D. Fischer (University of Maryland), Fall 3:15
Vasquez vs K. McKenna (Notre Dame College), 2-10 Loss (DII All-American)
Smith vs B. Mauller (University of Missouri), 5-21 Loss (D1 All-American, currently ranked #2)
Smith vs G. Esposito (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), 12-2 Major Decision
Smith vs M. Murphy (University of Virginia), 2-16 Loss
BEHIND THE WHISTLE
"Everyone was excited to open the season at the Berglund Center, where we hosted the NCAA Tournament last year. I loved seeing so many people from the Ferrum community volunteering and supporting our athletes. The Southeast Open hosted by Virginia Tech was a great test for Levi, Mario and Austin. The opportunity to compete against the top guys in the country allows us to make key adjustments moving forward. Levi did an outstanding job executing his game plan every match, making necessary adjustments to become the champion. He showed a lot of heart in his semifinals match, earning a great win against Cole Rhone from Virginia Tech. I'm proud of the fight Mario and Austin displayed even though they didn't get the results they set for themselves." --Associate Head Coach Ryan Riggs
BACK ON THE MAT
The Panthers will be back in action Wednesday, November 6, at Greensboro College. The dual meet is scheduled for a 7:00 p.m. start in Greensboro, North Carolina.