ODU Wrestling Receiving Votes in Top 25 As They Head to Missouri Open
Nov. 16, 2007
NORFOLK, Va. -- The Old Dominion Monarchs wrestling team heads into the second weekend of the year just outside of the Top 25, according to the USA Today/InterMat/NWCA national team rankings. The travel to Columbia, Mo. for the Missouri Open on Sunday, their second open tournament of the season. The Missouri Open will boast another tough field for ODU to face, including nationally ranked teams from Missouri, Illinois, and Oklahoma.
Last weekend, at the Michigan State Open, Kaylen Baxter won the 149-lb. weight class and is still unbeaten on the year at 5-0. Baxter leads the team in wins, along with Jesse Strawn and Chris Brown, with five, and also leads the team in decisions.
In the InterMat National Rankings, ODU is receiving more votes than any team not in the Top 25. They could potentially break into the Top 25 as soon as this week, with a good showing at the Missouri Open.
ODU redshirt sophomore Chris Brown (165) and junior David Mendoza (197) were ranked in several preseason polls. After the first week, Mendoza remains #19 in the Intermat national rankings and is listed as high as 16th overall (Amateur Wrestling News). Teammate Ryan Williams appeared for the first time this season in the InterMat rankings, jumping in at #19 in the 141-lb. weight class.
Overall, five Monarchs are nationally ranked by at least one major poll.
Winning With Williams
Ryan Williams has started his junior campaign with a 4-1 start and a second place effort at the MSU Open. He is one of the most consistent grapplers in head coach Steve Martin's starting lineup and boasts the top career winning percentage at .716 (63-25). The 2006 NCAA Qualifier is ranked #19 in the nation and will be a mainstay at the 141-lb. weight class this season.
Champions Developing the Future
Head Coach Steve Martin has led the Monarchs to a 36-19-2 mark through his third year at the helm. In the CAA the Monarchs have dominated with a 16-4-1 mark. Martin comes from a powerhouse of high school wrestling in Great Bridge High School in Chesapeake. In 14 years as head coach, the Great Bridge Wildcats won 13 state championships.
Martin is assisted by Mike Dixon, Jon Sioredas and Matt Storniolo. Dixon brings great recruiting skills and knowledge of the CAA coming from James Madison. He has experience coaching championship contenders while at the University of Indianapolis.
Sioredas is a second-year coach with a wealth of knowledge about the sport. Named an All-American and ranked as high as 2nd nationally at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, Sioredas is now using his skills to teach.
Storniolo is mirroring Sioredas' career, jumping right into coaching after graduation. He was a two-time All-American at the University of Oklahoma, as well as the Big East Rookie of the Year at Penn State.
All four coaches are wrestling champions in their own right and are building a championship future.