ODU Grapplers Travel to Michigan State For 2007-08 Season Opener

November 08, 2007
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Nov. 8, 2007

NORFOLK, Va. -- The Old Dominion wrestling team travels to Michigan State University to open the 2007-08 season this weekend, with a dual against the Spartans on Friday and the Michigan State Open tournament on Sunday. ODU will be facing a Big Ten opponent for just the third time in the last 15 seasons. The last win against a Big Ten foe came against Indiana in 1990. The dual is scheduled to begin at 7:00 pm ET. Last season, at the MSU Open, five Monarchs placed, including a second-place effort by Chris Brown (Chesapeake, Va.).

The Spartans have already opened the season, with a tournament appearance earlier this week. Nationally ranked Joe Williams (ranked 11th at 184 lbs.) finished second in the 197-lb. weight class at the Eastern Michigan Open. He dropped an 8-3 decision to No. 3 Mike Tamillow (Northwestern) in the title bout.

Facing off against Williams at 197 will be ODU's nationally ranked junior David Mendoza. Mendoza is in all of college wrestling's preseason polls, ranked as high as 16th. He qualified for the NCAA Tournament last season with a second place effort at the CAA Tournament.

Veteran returners to the ODU probable starting lineup include redshirt senior Nick Pullano, bumping up a weight class to 174-lbs., and junior Ryan Williams, at 141 lbs.

The rest of the lineup will be sophomores or younger. Michigan State will have to deal with returning starters Chris Brown (165), Jesse Strawn (184), Kaylen Baxter (149), and Kyle Hutter (133) this weekend.

Four of the probable starters placed in last years Michigan State Open.

Probable Matchups:
125: James Nicholson/Billy Chamberlain (ODU) vs. Joel Trombly (MSU)
133: Kyle Hutter (ODU) vs. (11) Franklin Gomez (MSU)
141: Ryan Williams (ODU) vs. Jeff Wimberley (MSU)
149: Kaylen Baxter (ODU) vs. Eddie Skowneski (MSU)
157: Dan Rivera/Tel Todd (ODU) vs. John Fulger (MSU)
165: (18) Chris Brown (ODU) vs. Rex Kendle (MSU)
174: Nick Pullano (ODU) vs. John Murphy (MSU)
184: Jesse Strawn (ODU) vs. Nick Palmieri (MSU)
197: (16) David Mendoza (ODU) vs. (11 @ 184) Joe Williams (MSU)
HWT: Roy Dragon III/Andy Totusek (ODU) vs. Alan O'Donnell (MSU)