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Port, Habat plunge to finals

Avery falls in semis

Video first posted on on March 21, 2015.

Story is a exclusive.

ST. LOUIS – After going over Friday afternoon how the rest of the sessions play out as far as who wrestles when, Edinboro’s Dave Habat said that he is not wrestling Saturday morning.

It turns out, the redshirt-senior was right.

Habat and teammate Mitchell Port will not be competing Saturday morning as the two will be preparing for their finals matches on Saturday night in the final session of the 2015 Division I Wrestling National Championships at the Scottrade Center. Vic Avery and A.J. Schopp will be battling for third in the consolation bracket Saturday morning.

The fun for Edinboro began at 141 lbs. as Port faced #11 Chris Mecate of Old Dominion in the semi-finals. Port defeated Mecate 14-2 to advance to the championship match Saturday night. Port will get a rematch with undefeated, and three-time defending champion Logan Stieber in the finals. Stieber defeated Port by decision back on Feb. 15 during a dual at McComb Fieldhouse.

Stieber, a four-time All-American, is searching to become only the fourth wrestler in history to be a four-time NCAA wrestling national champion.

Port talked about his campaign for a national championship and being a roadblock for history.

“I knew he was at my weight, but I have a goal of being a national champion,” he said. “That’s my first thought. Second thought, he’s won three. I mean, I don’t think anyone else has the opportunity to stop him or stop someone like that, so I think I’m in a great position. [I’m] really blessed to be in the position that I am and have the opportunity to be there.”

The excitement didn’t stop there as Habat stepped onto the mat for his semi-final match against #2 Jason Tsirtsis at 149 lbs. Tsirtsis defeated Habat in the Midlands Championships earlier this season, but Habat got his revenge Friday night. After a scoreless first period, the St. Ignatius product and the Northwestern Wildcat got down to business.

Habat took a 3-2 advantage on Tsirtsis and hung on for the 4-2 win to advance to the national championship match Saturday night against top-seeded Drake Houdashelt of Missouri.

“I felt like going into this match compared to earlier this year, the reason I won is I felt I had taken care of everything I could on and off the mat,” Habat said about his win of Tsirtsis.

Avery looked to make it three Scots in the championships, but top-seeded Gabe Dean of Cornell had other ideas. Much like their early matchup this season, the two took it all the way to double-overtime where Dean won on a riding time tiebreaker with the score knotted at three. Dean had 12 seconds of riding time to his name that allowed him to be the victor.

Avery continues on in the consolation bracket. He will battle #6 Hayden Zilmer of North Dakota State on Saturday morning with the winner advancing to the third-place match.

After being upset in his first match of the championships, Schopp has been wrestling with a vengeance. The redshirt-senior has won his last three matches by fall. Schopp was trailing #12 George DiCamillo 3-2 early in the second period when Schopp pinned DiCamillo in 3:33.

The Tyrone, Pennsylvania native snapped his pin streak with a 7-2 decision against #14 Rossi Bruno in his last match on Friday. Schopp is set to wrestle #7 James Gulibon of Penn State.

Fellow redshirt-senior Kory Mines saw his career as a Fighting Scot come to a close Friday evening as he lost an 11-0 decision to #2 Nahshon Garrett of Cornell. He ends his tenure at Edinboro with an 88-56 career victory.

After two days of action, Edinboro sits fourth in the team competition with 64.5 points. Ohio State leads with 86.5 points. Iowa with 73 points and Cornell with 66.5 points sit second and third, respectively. The Scots peaked as high as second during the session.

Despite the triumphs of the day, head coach Tim Flynn thinks it all evens out.

“You know, I think we’ve been wrestling pretty well, and obviously we have two finalists. It’s just a roller coaster day though. It’s so hard. You have so many ups and downs…we lost a really tough match at [184] and that’s kind of on my mind. So it’s hard to be really excited yet. I’ll have to go back to the room and think about it. It’s a grind out there.”

The fifth session commences Saturday morning at 10 a.m. central time, 11 a.m. eastern time on ESPNU and ESPN 3. The sixth session gets underway at 7 p.m. central, 8 p.m. eastern time on ESPN and ESPN 3 with the Parade of All-Americans preceding it.


KORY MINES  — 125 lbs. (#12 seed) (33-9)
First Round – won by dec. over Ares Carpio, Arizona State 10-5
Second Round – won by dec. over Sean Boyle, Chattanooga (#5 seed) 12-7
Quarterfinals – lost by tech. fall to Nathan Tomasello, Ohio State (#4 seed) 17-1 (5:25)
Consolation Fourth Round – lost by maj. dec. to Nahshon Garrett, Cornell (#2 seed) 11-0

A.J. SCHOPP – 133 lbs. (#9 seed) (24-3)
First Round – lost by dec. to Caleb Richardson, Penn 4-2
Consolation First Round – won by dec. over Geoff Alexander, Maryland 2-1
Consolation Second Round – won by fall over Jade Rauser, Utah Valley 3:17
Consolation Third Round – won by fall over Gary Wayne Harding, Oklahoma State 1:23
Consolation Fourth Round – won by fall over George DiCamillo, Virginia (#12 seed) 3:33
Consolation Fifth Round – won by dec. over Rossi Bruno, Michigan (#14 seed) 7-0

MITCHELL PORT – 141 lbs. (#2 seed) (35-1)
First Round – won by maj. dec. over Mitchell Bengston, North Dakota State 17-4
Second Round – won by inj. def. over Jamel Hudson, Hofstra (#15 seed)
Quarterfinals – won by dec. over Anthony Ashnault, Rutgers (#7 seed) 9-4
Semifinals – won by maj. dec. over Chris Mecate, Old Dominion (#11 seed) 14-2

DAVE HABAT – 149 lbs. (#3 seed) (35-2)
First Round – won by dec. over Josh Kindig, Oklahoma State 7-0
Second Round – won by maj. dec. over Cody Ruggirello, Hofstra (#14 seed) 12-2
Quarterfinals – won by maj. dec. over Tywan Claxton, Ohio (#11 seed) 10-0
Semifinals – won by dec. over Jason Tsirtsis, Northwestern (#2 seed) 3-2

VIC AVERY – 184 lbs. (#13 seed) (32-6)
First Round – won by dec. over Nikko Reyes, Illinois 3-0
Second Round – won by dec. over Jack Dechow, Old Dominion (#4 seed) 3-3 tb2 (RT adv.)
Quarterfinals – won by maj. dec. over Taylor Meeks, Oregon State (#5 seed) 14-5
Semifinals – lost by dec. to Gabe Dean, Cornell (#1 seed) 3-3 tb2 (RT adv.)

VINCE PICKETT – 197 lbs. (17-18)
First Round – lost by maj. dec. to Nathan Burak, Iowa (#6 seed) 18-4
Consolation First Round — lost dec. to Alex Polizzi, Northwestern (#11 seed) 7-0


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