ODU Will Face Top Competition at Southern Scuffle

December 20, 2006
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Dec. 20, 2006

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NORFOLK, VA -- The Monarchs will face high caliber competition at the Southern Scuffle this year. Seven ranked teams and over 65 nationally ranked individuals will appear in the Greensboro Coliseum on the final weekend of 2006. Coach Martin's grapplers have placed 23 times in four tournaments and will look to add to that success in the Scuffle.

Southern Scuffle Tournament
The Monarchs travel to Greensboro, North Carolina the final weekend of 2006 for more tournament action. The challenging tournament is a two-day affair boasting some of the toughest competition the Monarchs have faced all season. Seven ranked teams will be in attendance including both the number one (Missouri) and number two (Minnesota) teams in the country. The bracket will also include 67 ranked individuals.

Seven of the ten weight classes will boast either the number one or number two best wrestler in that division:
125 - Troy Nickerson (Ranked 2nd - Cornell)
133 - Matt Keller (Ranked 2nd - UT-Chattanooga)
149 - Dustin Schlatter (Ranked 1st - Minnesota)
174 - Ben Askren (Ranked 1st - Minnesota)
184 - Roger Kish (Ranked 2nd - Minnesota)
197 - Max Askren (Ranked 2nd - Missouri)
Hwt - Cole Konrad (Ranked 1st - Minnesota)

Nationally Ranked
There were no changes in the national rankings this week for the Monarchs as four ODU grapplers are among the tops in the nation. Adam Koballa (133) earned his first collegiate national ranking by jumping into the WrestlingReport.com rankings at 29th in the nation. Chris Brown (157) has maintained his position at 17th in the Amateur Wrestling News rankings and Ryan Williams is listed as the 26th best 141-pounder by WrestlingReport.com. David Mendoza bumps up to 22nd for the 197 lb. weight class.

Rockin' Rookies
Coach Steve Martin has called upon his inexperienced grapplers early and many are answering to that call. The Monarchs continue to test themselves early with one of the toughest schedules in collegiate wrestling. The Monarchs continue to throw a very young team on the mat and continue to get significant results.
True freshmen Adam Koballa and Jesse Strawn both placed in three tournaments so far this season. Two other true freshmen have placed in James Nicholson (una.) and Kyle Hutter at 125. ODU also has a bevy of redshirt freshmen wrestling well this season. Chris Brown is making a big name for himself this season. Brown has also placed in all three tournaments this season including a 2nd place finish at the MSU Open. Cam Watkins and Kaylen Baxter are the other redshirts that have placed.
Finally, the sophomores. Ryan Williams continues right where he left off last season as an NCAA Qualifier by winning three places and crushing opponents while at the Mat Town Open, sophomore David Mendoza took first in his weight class. Most recently, Mendoza took down nationally ranked Harry Zander of George Mason.

Tournament Records So Far
Weight ODU Record
125 Kyle Hutter 4-4
133 Adam Koballa (29th - WrestlingReport.com) 12-6
141 Ryan Williams (24th - WrestlingReport.com) 11-3
149 Kaylen Baxter/Joey Metzler 13-7 /3-6
157 Chris Brown (17th - AWN) 11-4
165 Nick Pullano 4-5
174 Derek Coffey/Bryan Koz 3-8 / 5-6
184 Jesse Strawn 9-8
197 David Mendoza (27th - WrestlingReport.com) 7-1
Hwt. Matt Pellar 9-0

Toppling The Top Tier
At the Penn State Open and against George Mason four nationally ranked opponents have fallen at the hands of Monarch grapplers. At the Penn State Open James Nicholson (unattached) toppled Lehigh's nationally ranked Matt Fisk 3-2. Fisk was ranked 15th. At the same tournament Kaylen Baxter tallied 10 points in a decision against the number seven 149 pounder in the nation, John Cox (Navy).
After the Penn State Open came the George Mason Dual with two nationally ranked wrestlers appearing against the Monarchs. Nick Pullano won 7-3 over Tyler Tisdell, the 17th ranked 165-pounder and David Mendoza pinned Harry Zander, the 15th ranked 197-lb. individual.