By Zac Bowers
BUENA VISTA, Va. – In the closest match in the program's Division III history, the Southern Virginia University wrestling team recorded a clutch finish to defeat Averett University 24-22 with four straight victories to close out the match.
Visiting Averett won the first four rounds of the evening, amounting a 15-0 lead. The Knights scored their first points of the round in the 157-pound weight class as Zachary Davidson came out very aggressively to secure a 10-3 decision over William Merritt and three team points.
In the 165-pound weight class Averett scored its last points of the night as Deangelo Evans defeated Matthew Rohrdanz by major decision 13-3. Rohrdanz was unable to gain the upper hand against his opponent who was on the offensive the majority of the bout.
Keaton Gomez won his fourth straight bout and scored five points for the Knights after climbing to a 17-point lead to win by technical fall over Jake Phelps in four minutes.
At 184, Gordon Whitaker defeated Triston Kechter by major decision (13-3) helping to keep the Knights in the duel with four more team points.
Wasting no time, Matt Speelman pinned his opponent in 50 seconds to give the Knights six points. With Speelman's win, the Knights trailed by four heading into the heavyweight match.
Junior Alex Brunner was very aggressive in his matchup, racking up a match-high 24 points very quickly. Late in the third period of the round, with a two-point advantage (24-22), Brunner's opponent, Thaddeus Wilkerson, was disqualified from the event because of stalling. The decision earned the Knights six team points and a 24-22 duel victory.
The wrestling team will hit the road for a duel against West Virginia Tech on Saturday at 1 p.m. in Montgomery, West Virginia.