Monarchs In Fourth After Day One of Southern Scuffle

December 29, 2007
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Dec. 29, 2007

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The Old Dominion Monarchs tallied 38.5 team points and are sitting in fourth after the first day, just four points out of second place. With seven Monarchs still alive in the championship bracket and five wrestling in the consolation brackets, ODU has a significant opportunity to make a move up the tournament leaderboard. Six-seeded Ryan Williams (141) made the biggest move on day one with three wins and will have a huge match to start day two against #7 in the nation Joe Caramanica. Jesse Strawn (184) and David Mendoza (197) also had big wins and will face top competition on day two.

The defending national champion Golden Gophers of Minnesota lead the tournament in team points with 53.5, followed by Edinboro with 42.5, Boise State with 39.5 and ODU with 38.5. Cornell and Maryland are tied for fifth just one point behind the Monarchs with 37.5 points.

ODU has seven grapplers in contention for a title as they head into day two. It has been nearly a month since ODU has wrestled competitively and the rust appears to have been wiped away.

James Nicholson (125) went 2-0 and will face the number four seed to start day two. Williams (141) notched a technical fall, major decision and a third win to lead ODU in wins on day one. Kaylen Baxter (149) is still alive with two wins, as is Chris Brown (165). Strawn (184) and Mendoza (197) both grabbed 10-1 major decisions, while Strawn added a technical fall and Mendoza pinned his second opponent.

ODU also has five wrestlers still alive in the consolation brackets seeking a place at the tournament. Redshirt senior Nick Pullano (174), redshirt freshman Dan Rivera (157), and redshirt freshman Billy Chamberlain (125) all went 2-1 while sophomore Kyle Hutter (133) went 1-1 on the day as they seek a spot on the podium on day two.

Wrestling is set to begin at 9:00 am on Sunday with the finals scheduled tentatively for 5:00 pm. Live stats are available at or through

Team Scores:
Team              Points  (Champ/Cons)
1.  Minnesota      52.5         8/4
2.  Edinboro       42.5         6/6
3.  Boise State    39.5         5/8
4.  Old Dominion   38.5         7/5
T5. Cornell        37.5         6/9
T5. Maryland       37.5         4/8
7.  Bloomsburg     36.0         4/7
T8. Kent State     34.0         5/5
T8. Navy           34.0         6/9
10. Hofstra        33.0         6/5
11. Virginia       32.0         3/11
T12.Cal St. Bake   30.5         1/8
T12.Virginia Tech  30.5         3/6
14. NC State       28.5         3/6
15. UNC Greensboro 25.5         4/6
T16.App. State     24.5         0/9
T16.UNC            24.5         4/8
18. Lock Haven     23.5         1/7
19. Duke           15.5         0/4
20. Ohio Univ.     14.5         0/9
21. George Mason   13.5         0/5
22. Liberty        11.5         0/1
T23.Boston Univ.   10.5         1/2
T23.The Citadel    10.5         0/3
T25.Binghamton      9.0         1/2
T25.VMI             9.0         1/4
27. Gardner-Webb    6.0         0/2
28. Davidson        3.5         0/1
T29.Independent     0.0         1/0
T29.Princeton       0.0         0/0

Weight Class Results:
125: James Nicholson won his first round bout over Boise State's Alan Bartelli by a 6-1 decision. In his second round bout he dropped Zack Bigboy (Cal St. Bakersfield) in a 10-5 decision. He will face the number four seed in the tournament in his first bout tomorrow morning, Nicholas Bedeloyn (Kent State). Billy Chamberlain suffered a first round loss to nationally ranked Bloomsburg grappler Mike Sees, pinned in the second period. He then notched back-to-back wins in the wrestlebacks. He grabbed a major decision win over Appalachian State's Corey Hulsey and a third period pin of Ohio University's Heath Allen. His first bout on day two will pit him against Maryland's Pat Strizki.

133: Kyle Hutter earned the first fall of the day for the Monarchs when he pinned Justin Durham (Cal St. Bakersfield) in the first period. The 2:11 fall put Hutter across the mat from Greensboro's #7 seeded Jeff Hedges who narrowly defeated the Monarch 9-7. His first match in the wrestlebacks will come tomorrow against Edinboro's Kyle Fluke.

141: Six-seeded Ryan Williams jumped out to a quick start with a 19-4 technical fall over Appalachian State's Ryan Scott. He then faced George Mason's Brandon Bucher and disposed of the CAA foe in a 5-1 decision. Boise's State Cam Jones was his next victim, falling to Williams by major decision, 12-3. The Monarchs top ranked wrestler (#11 in the nation) will start day two with a match against 7th ranked Wolfpack grappler Joe Caramanica.

149: Kaylen Baxter, ranked 20th in the nation, earned a 9-1 major decision over Darryl Cocozzo (Edinboro) in his first bout of the tournament and then narrowly defeated Navy's Spencer Manley, 4-3. The 20th ranked 149-pounder in the nation for the Monarchs will wrestle Cornell's unattached 149, Corey Manson to start the day tomorrow.

157: Dan Rivera lost his first match of the day to Lock Haven's Luke Lanno by a count of 4-1, but won his next two and is still alive in the consolation bracket. He earned decisions over Kent State's Patrick Lanham and Ohio University's Clay Tucker.

165: Chris Brown defeated Virginia Tech's Matt Epperly 8-2 in his first bout and then disposed of Navy's Matt Dimechiel in a 5-2 decision. The 17th ranked 165-pounder in the nation for the Monarchs will face the five seed and 18th ranked grappler in the nation at 165, Jarrod King (Edinboro) to start the day tomorrow. The match will have serious team ranking implications as the Monarchs are just four points behind Edinboro in team score after day one.

174: Nick Pullano dropped his first match to Justin Kerber (Cornell) by a 7-3 decision. He then advanced with a medical default victory over Binghamton's Josh Patterson and then earned a 6-2 decision over Duke's Ben Wales. Old Dominion's only senior will face Kent State's Chris Estep to start the second day.

184: Jesse Strawn had another big start for the Monarchs, with a 10-1 major decision and an 18-3 technical fall on day one. He dropped to ACC foes as the major decision came against UNC's Daniel Llamas and the technical fall was against Duke's John Barone. Strawn will start tomorrow across the mat from the five seed from Kent State, Eric Chine.

197: David Mendoza returned to form during the Scuffle as he dropped Duke's Robert Holbrook in a 10-1 major decision before facing Minnesota's Justin Bronson. Mendoza, unranked for the first time in 2007, pinned Bronson and will face the 12th ranked grappler in the nation Daren Burns (UNC Greensboro) on his home mat first thing tomorrow morning.

285: Roy Dragon III fell in the first round to UNC Greensboro's unattached heavyweight, Joseph Sheffield, in a 5-2 decision. He pinned his first opponent in the wrestlebacks, Derrick Callaway (App. State), but was the first attached Monarch to be eliminated from the Scuffle when he was pinned by Edinboro's Terry Tate.