Monarchs Win First Ever Over Top 15 Team; Drop #14 Virginia Tech, 19-15
By ODU Athletics
Feb. 19, 2009
NORFOLK, Va. -- The 20th ranked ODU Monarchs (16-6) won its first ever dual over a top fifteen team tonight, as it upended the 14th ranked Virginia Tech (20-2), 19-15. The Monarchs won six matches in the dual, handing the Hokies just their second loss of the season in front of the largest wrestling crowd ever at the Ted Constant Convocation Center.
Drama surrounded the match, but the swing came at 174 lbs. With a modest 13-6 lead, the Monarchs looked to junior Eric Decker to face former teammate Anthony Trongone. The two battled in regulation and managed just escape points, tied at 1-1. In the sudden victory period, Decker took several shots early before finally landing one and scoring the huge win to give ODU a 10 point lead with three matches to go.
Then, after a loss at 184 lbs, junior Jesse Strawn had the opportunity to seal the match. He seemed primed to do so, too, with a 6-0 lead in the third period, but Virginia Tech's D.J. Bruce managed to counter a shot late as Strawn was looking for a major decision. Bruce got Strawn on his back with plenty of time, over a minute, to work. Strawn kept his second shoulder up and finally managed to roll through and nearly reversed Bruce and scored the escape with 14 seconds remaining. He literally escaped with a 7-5 decision and sealed the big win for ODU.
Old Dominion started the night with the 31st season win for redshirt sophomore James Nicholson at 125 lbs. He was charged with his eighth match against a nationally ranked opponent this season, facing #14 Jarrod Garnett. The 6th ranked Monarch led by as many as three early before Garnett scored a takedown late in the second period. After another escape point in the third for Garnett, Nicholson was able to avoid any more scoring and put ODU up 3-0.
Kyle Hutter then gave ODU a bonus point victory at 133 lbs in dramatic fashion. Ahead of Tech's Brock LiVorio for most of the match, Hutter looked like he would have to settle for just a decision, but with less than five seconds remaining Hutter scored a takedown on the edge and got LiVorio on his back for points. Hutter actually would pin LiVorio, but it came after the buzzer sounded and would have to settle for a major decision and the seven point lead.
Senior Ryan Williams, in the final home match of his career, also had to face a nationally ranked opponent, #17 Chris Diaz. Like the match at 125, it was a battle, but Williams was able to win his last home match at ODU, 3-2, and improved to 129-40 in his career, just six wins shy of the all-time lead.
ODU junior Chris Brown got the momentum back in favor of the Monarchs with an 11-5 decision over familiar foe Matt Epperly (VT). The two have wrestled against eachother for over seven years as foes in high school and college. This time, Brown teetered toward a major decision, but was unable to score one more takedown late in the third and settled for the decision.
ODU won its third over a nationally ranked team this season will wrap up the 2008-09 regular season this Saturday on the road against NC State (4-14-1) at 7:30 pm.
Date: February 19, 2009
Place: Norfolk, Va.
Venue: Ted Constant Convocation Center
NOTE: Rankings from InterMat
Final Results: #20 Old Dominion defeats #14 Virginia Tech, 19-15
125: #6 James Nicholson (ODU) dec. #14 Jarrod Garnett (VT), 5-4; ODU leads 3-0
133: Kyle Hutter (ODU) maj. dec. Brock LiVorio (VT), 13-5; ODU leads 7-0
141: #6 Ryan Williams (ODU) dec. #17 Chris Diaz (VT), 3-2; ODU leads 10-0
149: Pete Yates (VT) dec. Joey Metzler (ODU), 8-4; ODU leads 10-3
157: Jesse Dong (VT) dec. Kaylen Baxter (ODU), 6-2; ODU leads 10-6
165: #10 Chris Brown (ODU) dec. Matt Epperly (VT), 11-5; ODU leads 13-6
174: Eric Decker (ODU) dec. Anthony Trongone (VT), 3-1 SV; ODU leads 16-6
184: Tommy Spellman (VT) dec. Joe Budi (ODU), 8-3; ODU leads 16-9
197: #16 Jesse Strawn (ODU) dec. D.J. Bruce (VT), 7-5; ODU leads 19-9
285: David Marone (VT) pins Roy Dragon III (ODU), 4:17; ODU wins 19-15