Duhawks dam Beavers on senior night

The Loras wrestlers closed out their home schedule last week with a dual meet victory over Buena Vista in the AWC. The Beavers jumped out to an early advantage, claiming three of the evening’s first four bouts, but the Duhawks stormed back to take the next six and win the dual, 26-13, on senior night.

Fittingly, it was senior Malcolm Watson who locked up the win for Loras in his 197-pound match. Watson took control early and didn’t look back, scoring a pair of four-point near-falls on his way to a 21-2 tech fall over BV’s Austin Hayes. Watson’s victory put the Duhawks in front by 10 with one match to go, sealing the team win.

“Malcolm’s a senior, and it seems like he’s been here forever,” head coach Randy Steward said. “For his last match here he wrestled very tough. That’s what you want, is a good memory for him. He’s living a championship lifestyle, and I think we’re seeing it out here more. I hope his season is far from over.”

Along with Watson’s tech fall, Michael Triplett (133), Jimmy Davis (157), Sam Schuler (165), Chris Malone (174) and Quinn Gilliam (285) all earned decisions against the Beavers, and Awais Arain (184) won by forfeit.

“It’s nice to get a dual meet win,” Steward said of his team’s victory over BV. “We haven’t had many (this season). All in all, it was a good night and very positive.”

Things got a little tougher for the Duhawks this past weekend, as they traveled to Waverly to finish their Iowa Conference season against the top-ranked, undefeated Wartburg Knights. Wartburg, who had already locked up its 24th-consecutive Iowa Conference title, came into the season finale against Loras with a perfect 18-0 record in dual meets, including eight shutout victories. Unfortunately for the Duhawks, the Knights were as good as advertised on Friday evening, and they took nine out of 10 matches on their way to a 45-6 rout.

“I thought in the majority of the matches we wrestled pretty hard,” Steward said. “Obviously you want to compete hard, and I thought we competed hard in most cases.”

Triplett earned the lone Duhawk victory of the dual against Wartburg, scoring a second-period pin against senior Dusten Reed. Reed, who was making his varsity debut for the Knights, gained an early advantage against Triplett, going up 6-0 to begin the bout. Triplett fought back hard in the second, scoring a reversal before turning Reed and finishing the fall at 4:46. Triplett’s fall gave the Duhawks their only points of the night and denied Wartburg its ninth shutout of the season.

“At this point, you try to look for any positives you can,” Steward said. “That was a positive.”

The Duhawk matmen will see their next action on Feb. 28, when they will compete in the NCAA Division III Central Region Qualifier at the Five Flags Center in Dubuque.

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