LaValle and Nicholson Advance to Day Two of NCAA Championships

March 15, 2012
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

March 15, 2012

2012 NCAA Bracket - Session 2Get Acrobat Reader

Session 2 Results - 2012 NCAAGet Acrobat Reader

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SAINT LOUIS, Mo. - Two members of the Old Dominion University Wrestling team won on Thursday on the opening day of the 2012 NCAA Championships at the Scottrade Center.

Redshirt sophomore Justin LaValle (141) and redshirt sophomore John Nicholson (157) will see action on Friday morning in the consolation bracket. Action for session three is set to begin at 10 a.m. (central time) at the Scottrade Center. A live blog along with Twitter updates, live stream and more will be available at and the 2012 NCAA Wrestling Championships Central page.

Session I
LaValle upset 11th-seeded Matthew Mariacher from American University at 141 pounds to win his opening round match. LaValle came out firing from the beginning, earning a pair of takedowns in the first period. After holding a narrow one point lead over Mariacher after the second period, an escape by LaValle coupled with a late takedown in the third period and a riding time point proved too much to overcome as the Monarch won, 8-4 to upset the No. 11 seed.

The rest of the first round matches for the Monarchs did not go as well as the remaining six ODU grapplers will be competing in the wrestle backs for the remainder of the tournament after falling in the opening round.

The Monarchs dropped some very close battles early on Thursday as four of the six ODU losses came by five points or less. Beginning at 125, redshirt freshman Jerome Robinson was not able to get past No. 4 Jesse Delgado who used a first period and third period takedown to win, 6-1.

Sophomore Scott Festejo was overwhelmed at 133 pounds by Wyoming's Zach Zehner as he fell via tech fall, 21-6, midway through the final period. Nicholson had the toughest draw of any ODU wrestler in the opening round and was not able to hang with top-seeded and undefeated Kyle Drake of Cornell who pinned the Monarch at the 1:13 mark.

ODU then lost some highly contested matches late beginning at 165 where Michigan's Dan Yates downed Tristan Warner, 3-1, where a first period takedown was the difference. At 174 pounds, Indiana's Ryan LeBlanc upset 10th-seeded Te Edwards, 4-1.

At 197 pounds, Joe Budi fought back in the third period to send the match to overtime where Nebraska's James Nakashima won 7-6 in tiebreaker-2 to advance.

Opening Round Results
125: #4 Jesse Delgado (Illinois) dec. Jerome Robinson (Old Dominion), 6-1
133: Zach Zehner (Wyoming) tech. fall Scott Festejo (Old Dominion), 21-6
141: Justin LaValle (Old Dominion) dec. #11 Matthew Mariacher (American), 8-4
157: #1 Kyle Dake (Cornell) fall John Nicholson (Old Dominion), 1:13
165: Daniel Yates (Michigan) dec. Tristan Warner (Old Dominion), 3-1
174: Ryan Leblanc (Indiana) dec. #10 Te Edwards (Old Dominion), 4-1
197: James Nakashima (Nebraska) dec. Joe Budi (Old Dominion), 7-6 TB2

Session II
Similar to his first match, LaValle would take the lead in the first period when he took down #6 Borislav Novachkov from Cal Poly. After a pair of escapes, Novachkov tied up the match before LaValle's escape in third period put the Monarch back in front. The sixth-seeded Novachkov, who finished runner-up in 2011, then earned a takedown and a two-point nearfall to win the match, 6-4.

Facing a two-time All-American at the Division II level before transferring to Boise State, Nicholson had no problem dispatching Georgi Ivanov in the 157-pound consolation bracket first round. A takedown in the first period and in the second period by Nicholson gave way to three more in the final period en route to an 11-4 win.

Robinson and Festejo each faced familiar opponents in their consolation brackets but both fell short in advancing as Central Michigan's Joe Roth took out Robinson with a 12-3 major decision at 125 pounds and Chattanooga's Nick Soto downed Festejo at 133 pounds, 9-4.

Two more Monarchs were eliminated in the middleweights as Warner dropped a tough decision to Wisconsin's Ben Jordan, 3-1. A takedown in the third period by the Badger proved to be the difference there while #10 Edwards was ousted in the 174-pound consolations when The Citadel's Turtogtokh Luvsandorj earned a 3-1 decision in the second sudden victory overtime.

In the 197-pound consolations, Budi made things interesting in the third period but #4 Christian Boley of Maryland proved to be too much as he won, 9-6, to eliminate the senior Monarch.

Championship Second Round Results
141: #6 Borislav Novachkov (Cal Poly) dec. Justin LaValle (Old Dominion), 6-4

Consolation First Round Results
125: Joe Roth (Central Michigan) major dec. Jerome Robinson (Old Dominion), 12-3
133: Nick Soto (Chattanooga) dec. Scott Festejo (Old Dominion), 9-4
157: John Nicholson (Old Dominion) dec. Georgi Ivanov (Boise State), 11-4
165: Benjamin Jordan (Wisconsin) dec. Tristan Warner (Old Dominion), 3-1
174: Turtogtokh Luvsandorj (The Citadel) dec. #10 Te Edwards (Old Dominion), 3-1 SV2
197: #4 Christian Boley (Maryland) dec. Joe Budi (Old Dominion), 9-6

Consolation Second Round Schedule (Session III - Friday Morning)
141: Justin LaValle (Old Dominion) vs. Nicholas Hucke (Missouri)
157: John Nicholson (Old Dominion) vs. #6 James Fleming (Clarion)