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  • 2021 NCAA D2 Preview

    By Y2CJ41
    Published in 

    By Drew Hughes

     

    The NCAA D2 national tournament has always been a tough tournament to qualify for but this year it was even harder. Due to Covid, the NCAA decided to reduce the number of participants by 27% meaning that while in a normal year there would be 180 qualifiers, this year there are only 132. To put that into perspective, the D1 tournament will still have 330 competitors this year giving them almost 200 more spots then the D2 tournament. Even with this reduced field there will be 4 Indiana natives competing in St. Louis this weekend.

     

    Christian Mejia of McKendree University will be competing in the 125-pound bracket. Mejia comes into the tournament with an 8-1 record and will face 8 seed Cole Jones of MSU Moorhead in the first round. In High School Christian wrestled for Elkhart Memorial where he was a 3-time state placer and a 1-time state runner-up.

     

    Logan Bailey of the University of Indianapolis will be competing in the 149-pound bracket. The true freshman holds a record of 11-2 and will face 8 seed Jacob Ealy of Pitt-Johnstown in the first round. Bailey wrestled for Indianapolis Cathedral in High School where he was a 2-time state placer and a 1-time state runner-up. In addition, Bailey was also an IndianaMat Hoosier Preseason Open champion in 2019.

     

    Dawson Combest of the University of Indianapolis will be competing in the 157-pound bracket. Combest comes into the tournament with a 10-2 record as well as being the 2 seed of the tournament. Combest has a bye first round but will face Caden Moore of Northern St. in the quarterfinals. Combest qualified for the cancelled 2020 tournament last year and was named an NWCA All-American as the 7th seed that year. In High School, Dawson wrestled for Columbus East where he was a 3-time state placer. Like Bailey, Combest was also an IndianaMat Hoosier Preseason Open champion in 2016.

     

    Gleason Mappes of the University of Indianapolis will be competing in the 184-pound bracket. Mappes comes to the tournament with a 6-6 record and will face the 4 seed Dan Fillipek of McKendree first round. Mappes also qualified for the cancelled 2020 national tournament. In High School Mappes wrestled for Center Grove and was a 3-time state placer and a 1-time state runner-up.

     

    The tournament will be on March 12-13 and the brackets can be found on track wrestling. Also, for those that are interested, all of the matched will be streamed live on the NCAA website.

    Click here for brackets



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    Wow! Mejia with a hard-earned overtime takedown to win 3-1 over the #1 seed! He's into the semifinals and guaranteed All-American status coming in unseeded.

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    Combest and UIndy's Sams also win to advance to the semifinals. So that's two Indiana natives overall and two UIndy guys in the semi's. 

     

    In the wrestle backs, Logan Bailey gets a bye and Mappes is eliminated. Bailey needs one win for AA status.

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    Bailey was also eliminated yesterday. Semifinals for Mejia, Combest, and Sams about to get underway at 1pm EST

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    Mejia drops a semifinal heartbreaker, 6-5. He enters the third period down 3-1 and hits a Peterson to go up 5-3. His opponent reverses at 1:20 left with Mejia holding 18 seconds of riding time and gets ridden the rest of the way to lose the final point on 1:02 of riding time advantage. He nearly came free numerous times but couldn't quite come up with what he needed.

    Mejia's a super squirmy, funky wrestler. Really fun to watch. His stance is kind of upright almost inviting shots, but he's nearly impossible to take down and he hits really dynamic stuff from top and bottom. Sad to see him come up so short but this is only his redshirt sophomore season.

     

    Combest is scheduled for his semifinal at 157 on Session 2-Mat 4 here: https://www.ncaa.com/event/3999

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    Combest also falls in a tight one, 4-3. His opponent from Lindenwood was originally at Rutgers and looked the part. Two really powerful takedowns, zero openings allowed from his head and hands defense, and 3 releases for Combest's three points.

     

    Sams of UIndy also drops a heart stopper, 9-7. 

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    Mejia loses at the last second in the consi semis. He'll wrestle for 5th along with Sams. 

     

    Combest gets a well-earned takedown in the last 15 seconds to win 4-2 and advance to the 3rd place match.

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    Combest ends up 4th and Sams 5th for UIndy. They're going to end up top 15 as a team.

     

    Combest finishes with 4 losses on the year--all to the top three finishers at nationals. 

    Edited by maligned

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