December 30, 2011

Campbell wrestlers to compete at Southern Scuffle

Campbell University's wrestling squad will travel to Chattanooga, Tenn. to take part in the Southern Scuffle beginning on Jan. 1. The open tournament will be the Camels' first step outside of dual match competition this season. CU finished the pre-Christmas slate 5-6 overall in dual matches and 2-0 against Southern Conference foes.

The Southern Scuffle is a premier national tournament, with this year's version featuring 22 teams, eight of which are ranked in the latest NWCA top-25 national rankings. Among the competitors Campbell will face are wrestlers from No. 3 Minnesota, No. 4 Cornell, No. 5 Penn State, as well as SoCon rivals Appalachian State, UT-Chattanooga, Gardner-Webb and The Citadel. Local ACC squads N.C. State, UNC, Virginia and Virginia Tech will also be represented at the event.

The action will get underway on Sunday morning with the opening session at 10 a.m. Quarterfinals will begin that night at 6:30 p.m. The semifinals will resume Monday morning at 11 a.m. with the finals concluding Monday night at 6 p.m.

Josh Fisher will represent CU in the 125-pound bracket and he opens against Steve Bonanno of Hofstra. In the 133-pound bracket, Tanner Bidelspach will open against Duke's Brandon Gambucci and Joey Rizzolino will square off against unattached wrestler Nick Arujau.

Three Camels will compete in the 141-pound bracket. Jordan Tolbert is on the top half of the bracket and will face Penn State's Seth Beitz in the opening round. Jorge Gavillan will also face a Penn State wrestler, Bryan Pearsall for his first match. Gabe Gardner will take on Raymond Borja of Navy in the bottom half of the bracket.

Mark Hartenstine is Campbell's lone representative in the 149-pound bracket. He will face Cornell's Christop Villalonga in the opening round. Ryan Krecker and Paul Duggan will both compete at 157 pounds. Krecker will open against the winner of Indiana's Connor Graves and Old Dominion's John Nicholson. Duggan will face Colton Palmer of North Carolina.

In the 165-pound bracket, Nick Rex will face Indiana's Anthony Fretwell in his first match. James Cook will also face a Hoosier wrestler in the 174-pound bracket, squaring off against Cheney Dale.

TeShaun Johnson and John Merickel will both compete at 184 pounds for the Camels. Johnson will open against North Carolina's Frank Abbondanza, while Merickel will square off against Virginia Tech's Angelo Malvestuto.

In the 197-pound bracket, John Weakley will open against Hofstra's Tim Murphy. Joe Nolan faces off against Andy Hartshorn of Ohio in the 285-pound bracket to round out the Camel entries.

After the Southern Scuffle concludes on Jan. 2, Campbell returns to action on Jan. 7 at the N.C. State Duals. A complete bracket can be found here.