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#20 Monarchs Suffer Close Loss to #9 Central Michigan, 19-14

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: February 01, 2009
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Feb. 1, 2009

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. -- The 20th ranked ODU Monarchs (13-6) just missed a huge victory on Sunday, over #9 Central Michigan as the dual was not decided until the final match of the day. The Chippewas escaped with a 19-14 victory. Redshirt sophomore James Nicholson, ranked 9th, won the fourth matchup of the season against top ten rookie Scotti Sentes to improve to 28-2 overall and Chris Brown, ranked 14th, posted his third straight upset victory over a nationally ranked opponent with a win over #12 Trevor Stewart.

"We wrestled pretty well overall as a team," said head coach Steve Martin. "It came down to the heavyweight match and that's pretty good against a top ten team. We had a chance to win it."

Nicholson and Sentes had matched up three times prior to the dual on Sunday, with the Chippewa rookie taking a 2-1 edge in the series. Nicholson would even up the series with a 5-4 decision on a late escape in the third period.

CMU's 13th ranked 133-pounder, Conor Beebe, then defeated Kyle Hutter to even the team score at three apiece, but ODU would answer behind senior Ryan Williams' major decision over Tony D'Alie, nationally ranked in several polls. Williams posted his 28th victory and pulled within single digits of the all-time ODU wins mark.

"Nicholson had a good day, and Williams wrestled strong," said Martin. "They both are making a strong case for national seeding for the NCAA Tournament."

Central Michigan would re-take the lead, though, with a pair of victories at 149 and 157, before ODU could get another win to teeter the lead back in favor of the Monarchs. Junior Chris Brown, ranked 14th by the USA Today/NWCA/InterMat poll, was facing his third straight nationally ranked opponent, #12 Trevor Stewart. Brown scored takedowns in the second and third period, controlling the match from the start. Each wrestler would add an escape point and Stewart grabbed a stall point for the final score, 5-2, in favor of the ODU grappler.

The upset win for Brown would be the last lead ODU saw at 10-9 as, again, Central Michigan posted back-to-back wins at 174 and 184 to take a 16-10 lead. Junior Eric Decker battled with #8 Mike Miller at 174 and nearly gave ODU a big lead headed into the upper weights, but was unable to topple the top ten wrestler, losing 2-1.

At 197, Jesse Strawn gave ODU hope with the teams second bonus point victory of the day, a major decision that pulled the Monarchs back within two headed into the heavyweight match. Jarod Trice, though, for the Chippewas would win a 10-4 decision at heavyweight to seal the win for Central Michigan.

It was the sixth loss of the season for ODU, all coming to nationally ranked teams. The Monarchs fall to 13-6 overall with just four duals remaining before the conference tournament.

ODU returns home to host Virginia at the Ted Constant Convocation Center on Sunday, February 8 at 5:30 pm. Admission is free for all those who attend the women's basketball game at 2:00 pm.

Final Results: #9 Central Michigan 19, #20 Old Dominion 14
125: #8 James Nicholson (ODU) dec. #7 Scotti Sentes, 5-4; ODU leads 3-0
133: #19 Conor Beebe (CMU) dec. Kyle Hutter, 4-1; Tied 3-3
141: #7 Ryan Williams (ODU) maj. dec. Tony D'Alie, 14-4; ODU leads 7-3
149: #10 Steve Brown (CMU) dec. Joey Metzler, 8-3; ODU leads 7-6
157: Tyler Grayson (CMU) dec. Kaylen Baxter, 10-5; CMU leads 9-7
165: #14 Chris Brown (ODU) dec. #12 Trevor Stewart, 5-2; ODU leads 10-9
174: #8 Mike Miller (CMU) dec. Eric Decker, 2-1; CMU leads 12-10
184: Vince DiDona (CMU) maj. dec. Joe Budi, 15-5; CMU leads 16-10
197: #15 Jesse Strawn (ODU) maj. dec. Eric Simaz, 10-1; CMU leads 16-14
285: Jarod Trice (CMU) dec. Roy Dragon III, 10-4; CMU wins 19-14

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