NORFOLK, Va. – A pin in the final bout by 285 pound Ali Wahab secured the Old Dominion (2-3, 1-1 MAC) victory over Northern Illinois (0-4, 0-2 MAC) 21-12. The Monarchs won six out of 10 bouts in the dual at the Ted Constant Center in front of over 270 fans.
“It meant a lot, especially for the team. Last dual, we lost in the final bout, which was my match. It basically cost our dual meet. I was never going to let that happen again,” explained Wahab.
The Huskies won the first three bouts of the night over the Monarchs. No. 21 Michael McGee dropped a match to No. 20 Brock Hudkins, 4-3 in the first bout of the night.
Following three straight losses, Kenan Carter won his match over Zack Velasquez, 10-4.
“We were down three in a hole so we really needed a win. I’ve been working on it a lot so today was a big jump for that. I think that (win) really helped get the momentum going for our team and it worked out well,” said Kenan Carter.
“I thought Carter wrestled well, he missed out on his bonus there at the end but overall he had a lot of good attacks, he got off on the bottom, and rode well on top,” said head coach Steve Martin.
At 157, Larry Early topped Caden McWhirter, 4-1 to extend the Monarch winning streak.
“Larry had a lot of attacks that he probably could’ve finished on but he rode out the guy. That was good for him to ride it out until the end and get his riding time point,” Martin said.
Luke Drugac followed Early with a 4-1 decision over Andrew Scott to tie the match for the Monarchs.
At 174, Seldon Wright was one point short of securing bonus points, yet defeated his opponent, 15-8 to give the Monarchs the lead going into the 184 bout.
In ODU’s fifth win of the night, Antonio Agee defeated Michael Aldrich by decision, 6-2.
In a match that went into two tie breakers, NIU’s Max Ihry defeated John D’Agostino, 4-1. Entering the final bout, the Monarchs still led the Huskies, 15-12.
Highlighting the night, Ali Wahab pinned Caleb Gossett to lock a Monarch victory, including bonus points for the Monarchs. A photo of Wahab's family propped on the media table by Coach Mike Dixon motivated the wrestler to win the bout for himself and his team.
“It came down to the heavyweight match and I think it came down to the other guy being more tired than us. It allowed us to put him on his back and secure the victory. We did not want it to come down to criteria,” explained Martin.
Final Box Score Old Dominion (2-3, 1-1 MAC) 21 | NIU (0-4, 0-2 MAC) 12
125: No. 20 Brock Hudkins (NIU) dec. over No. 21 Michael McGee (ODU), 4-3 133: Alijah Jeffery (NIU) dec. over Caleb Richardson (ODU), 4-1 141: Anthony Rubino (NIU) dec. over Mason Wohltman (ODU), 5-2 149: Kenan Carter (ODU) dec. over Zack Velasquez (NIU), 10-4 157: Larry Early (ODU) dec. over Caden McWhirter (NIU), 4-1 165: Luke Drugac (ODU) dec. over Andrew Scott (NIU), 4-1 174: Seldon Wright (ODU) dec. over Quinton Rosser (NIU), 15-8 184: Antonio Agee (ODU) dec. over Michael Aldrich (NIU), 6-2 197: Max Ihry (NIU) dec. over John D’Agostino (ODU), TB-2 4-1 285: Ali Wahab (ODU) pin Caleb Gossett (NIU) (6:14)
The Monarchs travel to the Midlands Tournament and the Lock Haven Classic on Dec. 29-30. The lower weights will travel to Midlands and the upper weights to Lock Haven.