The Bethel Braves put a damper on the Puyallup Vikings’ senior night on Thursday.
Bethel captured 10 victories and cruised to a 44-24 South Puget Sound League South Division wrestling dual victory at the Puyallup High School gymnasium.
Bethel held a four-point margin after 10 bouts but won the last four matches to put the match away.
Puyallup head coach Aaron Lee said his team has no choice but to rebound.
“We hit a wall, and we have two choices: We can let this defeat us, or we can climb back out of this to the top,” he said. “We have been working hard all season, and some of these guys are just physically beat right now. It’s a long season and guys get tired. We’ve got to rebound from that and regroup. We have to get healthy again and get ready for postseason.”
Puyallup’s Matt Voss (220 pounds), Trent Nivala (285), Joey Meyer (195) and Tucker Hanson (160) all won by pin.
Nivala, who beat Bethel’s Tyreese Tate with 41 seconds left in the third round, executed a double-leg takedown that resulted in the pin.
“I knew we needed the team points,” Nivala said. “I knew I couldn’t just beat the guy 2-0. I knew he was tired, and I needed to pin him right away. I knew if I got this takedown, he would land right on his back, and I would go for the pin there.”
Nivala’s result trimmed Bethel’s lead to 28-24 with four matches left. But it was the Vikings’ final victory of the night.
“This is the last home meet I am every going to wrestle in my life,” Nivala said. “That’s tough to lose on that, but all you can do is come back from it. It’s just a dual meet. What really matters is sub-regionals and state.”
“It’s just another lesson for us to learn as a team,” he said. “Everybody knows that we have to pick it up right now. Right now there’s not too much stress. We still have time to learn and get where we want to be.”