Three Out of Five ODU Wrestlers Place at the Prestigous Southern Scuffle

January 02, 2013
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Southern Scuffle: Final Brackets

Jan. 2, 2013 

The Old Dominion University wrestling team had three out of their five guys place in the 2013 Southern Scuffle in Chattanooga, Tenn. Five of the country’s top-10 teams were showcased in this year’s Southern Scuffle. "This is as close to the NCAA tournament as you will get," said head coach Steve Martin.

ODU’s Chris Mecate (fourth), Jerome Robinson (fifth) and Rob Deutsch (sixth) all placed for the Monarchs.

No. 29 Chris Mecate won his first three matches of the tournament before falling 3-1 in the 141-pound semifinal match against No. 4 Ugi Khishignyam (The Citadel). In Mecate’s quarterfinal bout, he defeated No. 20 Julian Feikert (Oklahoma State) 3-1. After winning his first wrestle-back match, Mecate went onto lose to No. 9 Nick Dardanes (Minnesota) 10-4 in a battle for third place. "Mecate wrestled well in advancing to the semifinals against a top-five wrestler," said Martin.

Justin LaValle also wrestled at 141-pounds for the Monarchs and won his first two matches. In LaValle’s second match, he defeated No. 22 Joe Spisak (UVA). For a chance to advance to the semifinals, LaValle lost 5-3 to No. 4 Khishignyam (The Citadel). In LaValle’s first wrestle-back match, he went onto lose 5-0 to No. 26 Bryan Pearsall (Penn State). "Justin lost a nailbitter to that same top-five wrestler in a hard fought overtime match," stated Martin.

No. 13 Jerome Robinson wrestled at 125-pounds for ODU and won his first two matches before losing to No. 11 Matt Snyder (UVA). In Robinson’s first wrestle-back match, he defeated No. 9 Nick Soto (Chattanooga) 8-3. Robinson would go onto win his second wrestle-back match 3-0. For a chance to advance to the third place match, Robinson lost to No. 6 Nashon Garrett (Cornell). Robinson would then square off with teammate Rob Deutsch in the fifth place match. Robinson went onto defeat Deutsch 4-2.

Rob Deutsch won his first two matches while also wrestling in the 125-pound tournament for Old Dominion and defeated No. 9 Soto (Chattanooga) 3-1 in his second match. In Deutsch’s quarterfinal match, he lost to No. 6 Garrett (Cornell). Deutsch would go onto win his next two wrestle-back matches; the latter match being a 2-1 decision over No. 26 David Terao (American). For a chance to advance to the third place match, Deutsch lost 7-1 to No. 12 Josh Martinez (Air Force). Deutsch eventually placed sixth in the 125-pound tournament after losing the fifth place match to Robinson.

"Our lightweights had a strong performance at the Southern Scuffle. Robinson and Deutsch both wrestled tough and placed ahead of two top ten opponents," exclaimed Martin. "Our depth at 125 and 141 will allow us to scrap with anyone in the country."

No. 25 Scott Festejo won his first match before losing 5-2 to No. 33 Jordan Conaway (Penn State) in his second match. Festejo cruised to victory in his first two wrestle-back matches. In Festejo’s third wrestle-back match, he lost to James Gulibon (Penn State).

Head coach Steve Martin realizes his program keeps making strides forward, "We also were pleased with our guys performances at the other holiday tournaments. We continue to improve as a team on a daily basis. The national level of competition that we have faced in the first half of the season will help us get our guys ready for the NCAA Championships.

Old Dominion will return to action on Jan. 11-12, when they will be competing in the Virginia Duals at the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, Va.

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