Four freestyle matches set for Tussle for the Troops in Naples, Italy, on Jan. 5

By Taylor Miller, USA Wrestling | Jan. 03, 2018, 12:56 p.m. (ET)

NAPLES, Italy – A pair of college programs are set to do battle overseas for the first time in NCAA history as No. 3 Oklahoma State and No. 5 North Carolina State will headline Tussle for the Troops on the Naples Naval Base in Naples, Italy, on Friday at 1 p.m. ET.

Prior to the dual, there will be four freestyle matches, including one women’s freestyle bout and three men’s freestyle matchups. Each match will feature an American.  

At 48 kg/106 lbs., two-time Junior World champion Victoria Anthony, who has also finished fifth in the world at the Senior level twice, will face Emanuela Liuzzi of Italy. Anthony is currently ranked No. 6 in world by United World Wrestling.

Liuzzi competed at both the Cadet and Junior World Championships this summer in Athens, Greece, and Tampere, Finland, respectively. She also owns a silver medal from the 2015 Cadet European Championships.

Two members of the Wolfpack Regional Training Center at NC State will take part in the freestyle action, including Tommy Gantt at 74 kg/163 lbs. and Timmy McCall at 97 kg/213 lbs.

Gantt, a two-time NCAA qualifier and 2016 All-American, will go up against the 2017 Henri Deglane champion Johnny Bur of France. Bur also competed at the 2016 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, and has recorded a bronze-medal finish at the 2016 Grand Prix of Paris.

Gantt’s freestyle experience includes two third-place finishes at the University Nationals and two top-eight finishes at the Senior U.S. Open.

Taking the mat against McCall is Abraham Conyedo of Cuba, who has collected five international silver medals, reaching the finals in every international tournament he has competed in. Among those is a silver from the 2015 Pan American Championships. He also produced a runner-up finish at the Youth Olympic Games in 2010.

McCall has some international success as well, picking up two medals in November with a gold from the Henri Deglane Challenge and a silver at the 20th Annual Dave Schultz Memorial International. He also tallied a bronze medal at the Bill Farrell International in 2016.

Italy’s Angelo Costa, who owns three international medals, including silver from the 2014 Grand Prix of Spain, bronze from the 2017 Henri Deglane Challenge and bronze from the 2013 Golden Grand Prix, will challenge at 70 kg/154 lbs.

His opponent is not yet determined but will come from Oklahoma State’s tour lineup.

The event is set to start at 7 p.m. local time (1 p.m. ET) and will be broadcast live on

at Naples Naval Base (Naples, Italy)

Freestyle matches
48 kg/106 lbs. – Victoria Anthony (USA) vs. Emanuela Liuzzi (Italy)
70 kg/154 lbs. – TBD (USA) vs. Angelo Costa (Italy)
74 kg/163 lbs. – Tommy Gantt (USA) vs. Johnny Bur (France)
97 kg/213 lbs. – Timmy McCall (USA) vs. Abraham Conyedo (Cuba)

No. 3 Oklahoma State vs. No. 5 NC State probable lineup
125: No. 4 Nick Piccininni (10-1) vs. No. 8 Sean Fausz (9-1)
133: No. 6 Kaid Brock (13-2) vs. Tariq Wilson (17-3)
141: No. 2 Dean Heil (14-1) vs. No. 4 Kevin Jack (12-1)
149: No. 10 Geo Martinez (13-4) OR Boo Lewallen (17-1) vs. No. 16 Beau Donahue (13-2)
157: Jonce Blaylock (10-4) vs. No. 3 Hayden Hidlay (13-0)
165: No. 8 Chandler Rogers (10-2) vs. Brian Hamann (13-3)
174: No. 11 Jacobe Smith (11-3) vs. Daniel Bullard (11-3)
184: Keegan Moore (10-3) vs. No. 3 Pete Renda (14-0)
197: No. 4 Preston Weigel (2-0) vs. No. 7 Michael Macchiavello (12-0)
HWT: No. 9 Derek White (11-1) vs. Malik McDonald (14-2)

NOTE: College rankings from Flowrestling