MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – Plymouth State University moved up a spot on the final day and finished in eighth place out of 15 schools Sunday night at the New England College Conference Wrestling Association (NECCWA) Annual Championships, hosted by Wesleyan University.
Springfield College won its fifth straight championship and ninth in the last 10 years, scoring 145 points. Johnson & Wales finished second with 132, and Roger Williams was third with 107. PSU placed eighth with 40.5 points, behind seventh-place Bridgewater State (54 points) and ahead of ninth-place Western New England (37).
Plymouth State had three wrestlers earn All-New England honors by placing in the top six in their weight class. Sophomore Shaun Wilbert (Toms River, N.J.) placed third in the 285-pound bracket, and juniors Brandon Black (Keene, N.H.) and Matt Friend (Jefferson, N.H.) placed fifth at 165 and 133 pounds, respectively.
Wilbert (right), the #7 seed at 285, won two more matches Sunday to claim the consolation bracket, but then lost for the second time in his final bout to the eventual runner-up, third-seeded Diego Crespo of Johnson & Wales. Wilbert had recorded an upset decision in the second round over #2-seeded Tim Ferreira of Bridgewater State. Wilbert finished the tournament with a 3-2 record, and completed the season with a 21-12 mark. He was also All-New England last season when he placed sixth.
Black (far left), the #6 seed at 165 pounds, won three consolation round bouts, including the fifth-place match, finishing the tournament with a 4-2 record. He is a three-time All-New England wrestler, having placed fourth at 157 as a freshman and second at 165 last year.
Friend(left), the #6 seed at 133, dropped his second match of the tournament Sunday, but came back with a victory in the fifth-place bout to finish on a strong note for his first All-New England honor. He had upset the third seed on Saturday in a key match. Friend finishes the season with a 14-9 record, tied for fourth on the team in victories.
Freshman Shawn Moseley (Hooksett, N.H./Concord HS/Tilton Prep), senior Nick Gurney (Dixfield, Maine) and Shaun Wilbert shared the team lead in victories this season, Moseley finishing 21-10, Gurney 21-11 and Wilbert 21-12.
PSU also finished 6-13 in dual meets under first-year head coach Jason Holder, and placed 11th at the New England Dual Meet Championships last month.
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