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Monarchs Fall to Northern Iowa in Home Opener, 25-15

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: December 20, 2008
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Dec. 20, 2008

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NORFOLK, Va. -- The 21st ranked Monarchs (2-4) suffered a 25-15 loss to the 25th ranked Panthers of Northern Iowa (1-2) today, in ODU's home opener. RS Sophomore James Nicholson (Des Moines, Iowa/Theodore Roosevelt) posted his 10th straight victory to open the season, while senior Ryan Williams (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Cumberland Valley) and RS junior Chris Brown (Chesapeake, Va./Great Bridge) both won in forfeits for the Monarch wins.

The match started at the 184-lb weight class with rookie Joe Budi taking the mat against fourth year junior Scott Hazen. The two battled in a tight match-up, as Hazen scored the first takedown. Budi countered with a reversal, but the Monarch grappler got called for locking hands to give Hazen the 2-3 lead. In the second period, Budi scored another reversal, but again was pegged for locking hands before the period was over, tying the score at four.

At the neutral position to start the third, Hazen scored a takedown to go up 6-4 and Budi was unable to escape. He added the riding time point, cutting it to 6-5, but lost the first match for ODU.

Junior Jesse Strawn stepped in for ODU at 197, against senior Andrew Anderson. Anderson was ranked as high as 11th coming in and Strawn gave him a solid run. Anderson scored three takedowns and Strawn escaped four times for the final, 6-4.

"We started out losing a couple of tough, hard-fought matches, that were decided by just a couple of points," said head coach Steve Martin. "If one, or both of those go the other way, things might have been a little different later on."

ODU was down 9-0 when the sophomore All-American, Nicholson, stepped on the mat for the Monarchs. He faced Eric Flores and was the aggressor the entire time. He scored three takedowns in the first two periods, and then started cutting the Panther grappler to try and get the major decision. He would fall just one takedown shy, but added the riding time point for a 10-3 win. The win improves Nicholson to 10-0 on the season.

The key match of the day came at 133 lbs, as #13 Kyle Hutter looked to get ODU back in it with a high-scoring victory. Hutter was leading 8-2 in the third period and was close to turning his opponent, Josh Baldridge, for a nearfall when Baldridge made a quick move, scored a reversal and pinned Hutter with just 40 seconds remaining. It was the pivotal win that gave UNI a comfortable 15-3 lead headed into the second half of the match.

Senior Ryan Williams won his 10th with a forfeit at 141 lbs, but the Panthers would win at 149 and 157 to seal the win for Northern Iowa. Brown got the forfeit at 165 to finish out the scoring for ODU, and UNI's Jarion Beets won at 174 lbs for the final tally, 25-15.

It was the Panthers first victory of the season, after suffering season-opening losses to #1 Iowa and #10 Wisconsin. ODU falls to 2-4 on the year, with all four setbacks coming to nationally ranked opponents.

ODU will travel to the Southern Scuffle and Midlands Wrestling Championship on December 29-30, and then will host the ODU Quad on January 4. The Quad will begin at 2:00 pm as Purdue, George Mason and UNC Greensboro come to Norfolk.

Final Results:
ODU 15, UNI 25

184: Hazen (UNI) dec. Budi (ODU); 5-6
197: #11 Anderson (UNI) dec. #18 Strawn (ODU); 4-6
285: #18 Brantley (UNI) dec. Dragon (ODU); 3-9
125: #4 Nicholson (ODU) dec. Flores (UNI); 10-3
133: Baldridge (UNI) pinned #13 Hutter (ODU); 6:21
141: #9 Williams (ODU) win by forfeit
149: #19 Ettelson (UNI) major decision Metzler (ODU); 5-13
157: Reiner (UNI) dec. Rivera (ODU); 3-8
165: #10 Brown (ODU) win by forfeit
174: Beets (UNI) dec. Decker (ODU); 1-4

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