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Panther Wrestlers finish dual meet season at 9-8

PLYMOUTH, N.H. - The Plymouth State College wrestling team finished the dual meet season with a 9-8 record after winning one out of three matches Saturday at Springfield College.

The Panthers dropped a 24-9 decision in the opener to Springfield, which is ranked #1 in New England and #11 in the NCAA Division III. Johnson & Wales defeated the Panthers 27-20 in the second contest of the day, but PSC finished on a winning note with a 29-17 victory over Trinity College.

The first match-up featured two of the nation's top wrestlers going head to head at 174 pounds, with Springfield's John Roden defeating PSC's Ben Baker (Gardiner, Maine), 5-0. Roden is ranked #1 in Division III and improved his record to 30-5. Baker, ranked #2 in New England and #7 in Division III, had his consecutive win streak stopped at 14, and now has a record of 26-4 (with three losses to Roden).

Three Panthers registered wins against the top-ranked Pride, one of two wins each on the day. Senior Nick Volpe (Holmdel, NJ) at 133 pounds, sophomore Eric Runci (Whitman, MA) at 149, and freshman heavyweight Dana Carr (Salem, NH) were all 2-1 for the afternoon. Runci is second on the team in wins with a 21-13 record. Senior Mike DeRoehn (Warren, NH) defeated JWU and Trinity opponents at 157 pounds, but lost a 2-0 decision to a Springfield wrestler.

Led by fifth-year head coach Dave Carlson, the Panthers will now focus themselves on the New England Championships, which are Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 19-20, at Western New England College in Springfield, Mass.

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