DAVIDSON, N.C. – Looking to snap a five-match losing skid, the VMI wrestling team earned its first Southern Conference win of the year with a dominating 32-10 performance on the road at Davidson College Friday night at Belk Arena in Davidson, North Carolina.
The match started at the 165-pound weight class as VMI’s Cade Kiely struck first with a 6-2 decision over Noah Satterfield for a 3-0 Keydet lead. At 174, Shabaka Johns extended the VMI (2-11, 1-5) advantage to 7-0 following a commanding 10-1 major decision over Davidson’s Conor Fenn, a second consecutive dual win for Johns.
Davidson (4-12, 0-5 SoCon) got on the board at 184 with a Konner Pritchard 8-1 decision over VMI’s Chris Beck to put the score at 7-3 for the Keydets. At 197 pounds, VMI junior Taylor Thomas picked up an 8-0 major decision over Michael Moore before Davidson heavyweight Will Cooley responded with a major decision of his own over VMI’s Thomas Shea-Roop, making the score 11-7 for VMI at the midpoint.
The Keydets kicked into gear in the second half of the match, starting with six free points as Dalton Henderson won by forfeit for a 17-7 VMI lead. After Davidson’s Dustin Runzo earned a hard-fought 5-3 sudden victory two decision over Michael Hulcher at 133 pounds, the Keydets broke away with two straight pins by John Reed and Stevan Smith at 141 and 149, respectively, for a 29-10 advantage. The win for Reed was his third of the year and first victory by fall of the season.
157-pounder Neal Richards logged the final points for the Keydets with a grinding 3-1 sudden victory decision over Tony Palumbo for the 32-10 tally.
The Keydets return home for Senior Night next Friday, February 17 with a dual against Sacred Heart at 7 p.m. at Cormack Hall.
VMI 32, Davidson 10
165: Cade Kiely (VMI) dec. over Noah Satterfield (DC), 6-2 ... 3-0
174: Shabaka Johns (VMI) maj. dec. over Conor Fenn (DC), 10-1 ... 7-0
184: Konner Pritchard (DC) dec. over Chris Beck (VMI), 8-1 ... 7-3
197: Taylor Thomas (VMI) maj. dec. over Michael Moore (DC), 8-0 ... 11-3
HWT: Will Cooley (DC) maj. dec. over Thomas Shea-Roop (VMI), 12-1 ... 11-7
125: Dalton Henderson (VMI) winner by forfeit ... 17-7
133: Dustin Runzo (DC) dec. over Michael Hulcher (VMI), 5-3 (SV2) ... 17-10
141: John Reed (VMI) fall over Hunter Costa (DC), 0:18 ... 23-10
149: Stevan Smith (VMI) fall over Aidan Conroy (DC), 1:58 ... 29-10
157: Neal Richards (VMI) dec. over Tony Palumbo (DC), 3-1 (SV1) ... 32-10