Keydets Close out Dual Season With 31-6 Setback Against Chattanooga
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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.- The VMI wrestling team, taking part in its final dual-match of the season, was defeated 31-6 by the SoCon regular-season champion Tennessee-Chattanooga Mocs Sun., Feb. 20 in Chattanooga. With the win, Chattanooga wraps up a perfect SoCon dual season, as the as the squad captures the conference championship for the 27th time with a 5-0 SoCon record. Senior Josh Wine and John Pope earned victories for VMI in their final SoCon dual.

The afternoon began as VMI (4-10, 1-4 SoCon) was defeated in the first five matches of in the match that began at 157 lbs. Sophomore Mike Burnett was involved in the closest bout of the five, as he trailed 6-3 after the first period against Josh Condon. After a 2-1 second period made the score 8-4 heading into the third, Burnett added an escape point 26 seconds into the final period, but was unable to further cut into the lead in the 8-5 defeat.

Chattanooga (11-9, 5-0 SoCon) then won every match from 165 lbs. to 197 lbs., before VMI’s heavyweight Wine took on Chattanooga’s Matt Letner. The bout was tied for the first two periods at 0-0, but Wine shut out Letner 4-0 in the final period to take the final SoCon dual.

Wine’s win at 285 was followed immediately by VMI’s second win of the day, as redshirt-senior John Pope won a tight match against Moc wrestler Prescott Garner. Pope led 5-4 after one period of the 125 lbs. bout, but Garner knotted up the contest at 7-7 with an escape point and reversal points in the second. Garner earned an escape point early in the third, however, Pope earned a takedown at the 1:24 mark of the third to take the lead for good, adding a riding time point at the conclusion of the match to beat Garner 10-8 and cut the score to 17-6 in favor of the Mocs.

However, Chattanooga went on the sweep the rest of the afternoon, using a pair of technical falls at 133 lbs. and 141 lbs. and a major 149 lbs. to take the match 31-6.

VMI will next hit the mat in the annual SoCon Championship on Sat., March 5. The all-day event will be hosted by the Appalachian State University Mountaineers in Boone, N.C.


Individual Matches
Wt    Winning Wrestler (School)        WinType    Losing Wrestler (School)        Score
125    Johnathan Pope (VMI)        DEC    Prescott Garner (Chattanooga)    10 - 8
133    Demetrius Johnson (Chattanooga)    TF5    Luke Todd (VMI)            19 - 3 (5:45))
141    Cody Cleveland (Chattanooga)    TF5    David Yost (VMI)            21 - 4 (6:55))
149    Dean Pavlou (Chattanooga)    MD    Ryan Goodsell (VMI)        18 - 6
157    Josh Condon (Chattanooga)    DEC    Michael Burnett (VMI)        8 - 5
165    Daniel Waddell (Chattanooga)    TF5    Edward Gottwald (VMI)        19 - 3 (6:55))
174    Brandon Wright (Chattanooga)    DEC    Matthew Brock (VMI)        3 - 1
184    Jason McCroskey (Chattanooga)    DEC    John Dommert (VMI)        7 - 1
197    Nikolas Brown (Chattanooga)    DEC    Ronald Ellsworth (VMI)        7 - 2
285    Joshua Wine (VMI)        DEC    Matt Lettner (Chattanooga)    4 - 0