LEXINGTON, Va. -- Red-shirt junior Dom Gallo won by a technical fall late in Saturday's dual match with The Citadel to power the VMI wrestling team to 23-22 Southern Conference victory.
The score was tied at 18 all with only the 141 and 149-pound bouts remaining. Gallo scored a 17-2 technical fall victory at 141 to put VMI ahead 23-18. The Citadel needed a pin at 149 to win the dual, but Keydet freshman Zach Schmitt held on despite finding himself in a tough position late in the match, and Bulldog Selwyn Porter scored a 16-5 major decision win worth four points.
The contest started with the 157 pounders and VMI took an early 3-0 lead as Darren Ostrander won 12-8. Red-shirt junior Neal Richards needed just 26 seconds to pin his opponent's shoulders to the mat at 174, his 19th-straight victory on the season. Max Gallahan won 8-2 at 184 to put the Keydets ahead 12-5, but The Citadel won the next two contests to tie the score at 12 all. Following a forfeit win at 125 for VMI, the Bulldogs won the 133-pound match by pin to tie the score at 18 and set up the final two matches.
The win is the Keydets' second-straight over the Bulldogs after an 11-match losing streak to their long-time rival. VMI finishes the 2018-19 regular season in fourth place in the Southern Conference standings with a 3-3 record, the program's best league mark since the 2006-07 campaign.
The Southern Conference championships are slated for Sunday, March 10 in Boone, N.C.
157: Darren Ostrander (VMI) over Rian Burris (THCI) (Dec 12-8) (3-0)
165: Dazjon Casto (THCI) over Luke Nicksic (VMI) (TF 16-1 2:51) (3-5)
174: Neal Richards (VMI) over Cooper Youngblood (THCI) (Fall 0:26) (9-5)
184: Max Gallahan (VMI) over Martin Duane (THCI) (Dec 8-2) (12-5)
197: Sawyer Root (THCI) over Chris Beck (VMI) (Dec 1-0) (12-8)
285: Michael McAleavey (THCI) over Trey Momon (VMI) (MD 14-4) (12-12)
125: Derek Shockey (VMI) over (THCI) (For.) (18-12)
133: Charles Kearney (THCI) over Cliff Conway (VMI) (Fall 2:50) (18-18)
141: Dom Gallo (VMI) over Keegan Connolly (THCI) (TF 17-2 6:35) (23-18)
149: Selwyn Porter (THCI) over Zach Schmitt (VMI) (MD 16-5) (23-22)