By EARL WATT
• Leader & Times
Very few duals will ever be won with only two wins on the mat, but Liberal claimed a victory with only two head-to-head wins Thursday against Ulysses.
Ulysses had five open weight classes to Liberal’s one, and the Redskins were able to take the free 24 points, add two victories on the mat, and it was enough to hold off the Tigers, 33-30.
Neither team had a wrestler at 106 pounds, and Liberal’s Adrian Orozco earned six team points in the 113-pound weight class since Ulysses was open.
Liberal’s Payton Yancey faced Ulysses’ Zach Miller in the 120-pound weight class, and a late take-down for Miller led to a 9-7 loss for Yancey.
Liberal’s Kyler Thompson earned an open victory in the 126-pound weight class, and Liberal’s Greg McClurg was able to score a 5-4 win over Mario Rodriguez in the 132-pound division that gave the Redskins a 15-3 lead.
But the Tigers tied the score with back-to-back pins. Kaler Gilbert was able to pin Liberal’s Jason Relles in the 138-pound division, and Bryce Rodriguez pinned Liberal’s Josh Martinez in the 145-pound weight class.
Ulysses took an 18-15 lead when Juan Anguiano scored an 8-4 decision over Liberal’s Jared Carroll in the 152-pound weight class.
Angel Moncayo increased the Tiger lead to 21-15 with a 3-1 win over Edwin Sabalvarro in the 160-pound division.
But Ulysses had no wrestlers to face Chris Bowman (170 pounds) or Victor Monnarez (182 pounds), and the Redskins jumped back out to a 27-21 lead.
Diego Maravilla tied the dual when he pinned Liberal’s George Waiasa in the 195-pound weight class, and the Tigers took a 30-27 lead when Otto Orosco took down Ryan McClurg in the final five seconds of the match to earn a 4-2 win in the 220-pound weight class.
Liberal’s Sergio Borjas faced Ulysses’ Ian Ridzik in the final match of the night in the heavyweight division, and Borjas reversed Ridzik and got the pin for the 33-30 win.
“We knew they were going to be open,” Liberal coach Matt Sleder said. “We knew matches would be tough. We should have won about three of those. A win is a win, and I will take it.”
Liberal came down to the wire against Dodge earlier, and Borjas won that, too.
“We’ve been working on Sergio,” Sleder said. “ He got it and got us the win.”