Runnin Bulldogs Open SoCon Wrestling Action Friday Night At Home vs. VMI (7:00 PM)

Runnin Bulldogs Open SoCon Wrestling Action Friday Night At Home vs. VMI (7:00 PM)

BOILING SPRINGS – Gardner-Webb opens its Southern Conference wrestling season on Friday night, hosting VMI at 7:00 pm in Paul Porter Arena.

The Runnin' Bulldogs (2-2) posted a 5-1 mark in the SoCon last season, earning a share of the regular season title.

Gardner-Webb will send the same lineup to the mats as it did last week in a 22-18 loss to Virginia. The Cavaliers moved into the top-25 this week after wins over GWU and Chattanooga.

Three GWU wrestlers – No. 12 165-pounder Tyler Marinelli (5-1), No. 19 184-pounder Hunter Gamble (7-1) and No. 21 heavyweight Boyce Cornwell (7-2) – will look to build on their recent success, as will previous NCAA qualifiers Chris Vassar (149), Ryan Mosley (157) and Austin Trott (174).

Trott (10-1) won the Southern Conference title at 165 pounds last season to join Vassar and Cornwell in Madison Square Garden for the NCAA Championships.

VMI (0-3, 0-1 SoCon) is led by 157-pound standout Neal Richards (9-2) and 125-pounder Dalton Henderson (10-5). Veteran Shabaka Johns (4-6) will wrestle at 174 pounds on Friday night, and has enjoyed success in previous seasons.

The Keydets have wrestled a tough dual schedule, with its first two losses coming at No. 6 Virginia Tech and No. 23 Chattanooga. VMI lost a 30-19 dual at Franklin & Marshall last week and won't wrestle on its home mat until January 7 against George Mason.

Friday night's match will stream live on The Big South Network (bigsouthsports.com), with the dynamic duo of Alex and Andy Bennett calling the action.

Friday's Probable Starters
GARDNER-WEBB (2-2, 0-0 SoCon)
125: Landon LoAlbo (1-3)
133: Philip Anderson (2-4)
141: Ryan Hull (4-3)
149: Chris Vassar (6-3)
157: Ryan Mosley (6-3)
165: #12 Tyler Marinelli (5-1)
174: Austin Trott (10-1)
184: #19 Hunter Gamble (7-1)
197: Payton Mills (3-4)
285: #21 Boyce Cornwell (7-2)

VMI (0-3, 0-1 SoCon)
125: Dalton Henderson (10-5)
133: Kevin Keaveney (0-5) or Hunter Starner (1-4)
141: Darren Ostrander (2-6)
149: Stevan Smith (4-7)
157: Neal Richards (9-2)
165: Blake Hohman (0-1) or Cade Kiely (2-6)
174: Shabaka Johns (4-6)
184: Christopher Beck (3-7)
197: Taylor Thomas (1-6)
285: Sam Bouis (4-6)

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