ODU Wrestling Defeats Big Ten Foe Michigan State, 20-16

November 09, 2007
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Nov. 9, 2007

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- The Monarchs wrestling program opened the 2007-08 campaign with a historical win Friday night. Old Dominion defeated Michigan State 20-16 and never trailed in the match as they improved to 1-0 on the season. ODU toppled a Big Ten opponent for just the third time in program history and for the first time since the 1990-91 season. Redshirt freshman James Nicholson (Des Moines, Iowa) had the biggest win of the night as he earned a technical fall in the 125-lb. weight class. ODU will remain at MSU for the weekend and wrestle in the MSU Open on Sunday.

"It's obviously a big win anytime you beat a Big Ten opponent," said head coach Steve Martin. "However, we could have wrestled better. We had the potential to win every match tonight."

The bout began at the 165-lb weight class, as 2006 wins leader Chris Brown (Chesapeake, Va.) won a 10-6 decision over Rex Kendle from Michigan State. The Monarchs would not look back, winning the first three to take a 9-0 lead. Nick Pullano and Jesse Strawn would follow Brown and win by decision in their matches for the early lead.

Nationally ranked Joe Williams would then topple Old Dominion's nationally ranked grappler at 197-lbs. The 11-3 major decision would be followed by a win in the heavyweight division as Alan O'Dennell defeated Roy Dragon III by a slim 3-2 count.

With the lead cut to two at 9-7 halfway through the match, Old Dominion would look to the redshirt freshman and 2007 Junior World Team alternate James Nicholson. The Iowa native earned his first collegiate technical fall in his first official collegiate bout by a score of 21-5.

Michigan State would take the 133-lb. weight, as nationally ranked Franklin Gomez defeated Kyle Hutter 8-3. At 141, former NCAA Qualifier Ryan Williams would drop the Spartans Jeff Wimberley 4-2 to give ODU a 17-10 lead.

Kaylen Baxter (Fairbanks, Alaska) then sealed the victory with an 8-5 decision over Eddie Skowneski at 149 lbs. The Monarchs 157 pounder, Dan Rivera would get pinned in the first period by John Fulger for the final tally of 20-16.

"It's a step in the right direction, to be able to beat a team like Michigan State in hostile territory," said Martin.

The Monarchs now face back-to-back tournaments in the midwest as they head into the MSU Open on Sunday and then into the Missouri Open next weekend.

Final Results:
Old Dominion, 20 def. Michigan State, 16
165: Chris Brown (ODU) def. Rex Kendle (MSU) 10-6
ODU leads 3-0

174: Nick Pullano (ODU) def. Jon Murphy (MSU) 8-6 OT
ODU leads 6-0

184: Jesse Strawn (ODU) def. Nick Palmieri (MSU) 3-1
ODU leads 9-0

197: Joe Williams (MSU) def. #16 David Mendoza (ODU) MD 11-3
ODU leads 9-4

285: Alan O'Dennell (MSU) def. Roy Dragon (ODU) 3-2
ODU leads 9-7

125: James Nicholson (ODU) def. Joel Trombly (MSU) TF 21-5
ODU leads 14-7

133: Franklin Gomez (MSU) def. Kyle Hutter (ODU) 8-3
ODU leads 14-10

141: Ryan Williams (ODU) def. Jeff Wimberley (MSU) 4-2
ODU leads 17-10

149: Kaylen Baxter (ODU) def. Eddie Skowneski (MSU) 8-5
ODU leads 20-10

157: John Fulger (MSU) def. Dan Rivera (ODU) Fall 1:04
ODU leads 20-16