NORFOLK, Va. - ODU redshirt senior wrestler Billy Curling (174) was named an additional nominee to the MAC Wrestler of the Week.
The Monarchs 174-pounder defeated CMU's No. 8-ranked Mike Ottinger by a 5-4 decision last Friday. Curling took advantage of every second and scored a takedown before the time ran out to increase his record to 12-7 and 4-1 in the MAC. Curling also defeated Northern Illinois wrestler Billy Chauncey by a 15-4 major decision last Friday.
Missouri's Drake Houdashelt was named MAC Wrestler of the Week, while Vincent Pizzuto (EMU), J'den Cox (Missouri), Nick Smith (N. Illinois), Dylan Peters (N. Iowa) and Cody Walters (Ohio) joined Curling on the additional nominee list.
Billy Curling, Old Dominion—Senior, Chesapeake, Va.
Old Dominion senior Billy Curling went undefeated for the second straight week after defeating Central Michigan's No. 8-ranked Mike Ottinger by a 5-4 decision. Curling scored a takedown with one second left to earn his fourth consecutive match win and delivered Ottinger's first conference loss this season. Curling defeated Northern Illinois 174-pounder Billy Chauncey by a 15-4 major decision on Friday night to help Old Dominion pick up two conference wins on the week. Curling is 12-7 on the year, 4-1 in the MAC and leads the Monarchs with 101 points put up this season.
MAC Wrestler of the Week
Drake Houdashelt, Missouri—Junior, O’Fallon, Mo.
Missouri junior Drake Houdashelt maintained his top-spot at 149 pounds with wins over No. 2 Kendric Maple (Oklahoma) and No. 7 Josh Kindig (Oklahoma State). Houdashelt topped Maple Thursday night in Norman, Okla., to help power the Tigers to an 18-15 upset over the No. 6-Sooners. Houdashelt picked up his third win of the season over Kindig the following night by way of a 4-0 decision. His 27 wins are tied for the lead among Tiger grapplers this year, with a team-leading 17 coming in bonus point territory.
Vincent Pizzuto, Eastern Michigan—Sophomore, North Jackson, Ohio
Eastern Michigan sophomore Vincent Pizzuto picked up the biggest victory of the day for Eastern as he took down No. 18 Mack McGuire of Kent State in the Eagles dual against the Golden Flashes, Friday, Jan. 31. The first period went back and forth between Pizzuto and McGuire. Each time McGuire grabbed a takedown, Pizzuto answered right back with an escape just seconds later. Pizzuto knotted the period at 4-4 with a takedown with just 12 second remaining and chose to start down in the second. A last second escape from Pizzuto was the only point of the second period as the North Jackson, Ohio native held the narrow 5-4 lead heading into the final two minutes. McGuire knotted the score with just a minute left with an escape as he had accumulated 1:52 of riding time. Pizzuto was able to erase the riding time point as he notched a huge takedown on the edge of the circle to take the 7-6 decision and put the Green and White up 6-0 over the Golden Flashes. Pizzuto improves to a perfect 4-0 in the conference and is 14-6 overall on the season.
J’den Cox, Missouri—Freshman, Columbia, Mo.
Missouri freshman J’den Cox continues to insert himself in the 197-pound title contender conversations, collecting his fifth win over a ranked opponent on the season with a 6-1 decision over the previously No. 3-ranked Travis Rutt of Oklahoma. In his five wins over ranked counterparts, Cox has yet to allow a takedown against, outscoring his opponents 27-6. He leads all Tigers in dual takedowns (16), two-point nearfalls (3) and three-point nearfalls (2), and his 26-2 record ranks second on the team in winning percentage (behind Houdashelt).
Nick Smith, Northern Illinois—Senior, Ida, Mich. (Ida High School)
Northern Illinois senior Nick Smith got a big win in conference play Friday in NIU's dual at Old Dominion. The senior pinned ODU's Michael Hayes with less than a minute to go in the match, giving the Huskies a 6-3 lead at the time over the host Monarchs. The victory pushes Smith's record on the year to 6-8 and gave him his team-high 54th career win in a Huskie singlet.
Dylan Peters, Northern Iowa—Redshirt Freshman, Denver, Iowa (Denver High School)
Northern Iowa redshirt freshman Dylan Peters notched two falls this weekend, pushing him into the Northern Iowa record books for most pins in a single season. His 15 pins this season makes him 10th on the all-time list for Panthers. He earned his 14th fall against Ohio's KeVon Powell in one minute, 20 seconds. His 15th fall was against Ben Gillette of South Dakota State in 2:24. This was the first week Peters slipped off the top 10 list for most falls by a Division I wrestler. The NCAA has recognized him among the freshman to watch this season.
He was fourth at the Midlands Championships and fifth at the Cliff Keen Invitational in the 125-pound weight class. As a prep athlete, Peters was a three-time state champion and finished with a 195-1 record. Many of those victories came by fall. Peters is ranked sixth in the nation leads the conference in the rankings at 125 pounds. He is 24-4 this season (and career) and is 5-0 in the MAC. He is undefeated in duals (9-0).
Cody Walters, Ohio—Sophomore, Macedonia, Ohio (St. Peter Chanel High School)
Ohio sophomore Cody Walters posted a perfect 2-0 record this past week. Walters opened the week with win over South Dakota State's John Nething to help the Bobcats to a convincing 32-6 team victory. He then followed that performance with a 6-1 victory No. 17 Cody Caldwell from Northern Iowa. With his 2-0 record, Walters improved to 7-1 on the year.
ODU travels to Athens to face the Ohio Bobcats Sunday, February 9 at 5:30 p.m.
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