Wrestling Monarchs Head to Fairfax for CAA Duals
By ODU Athletics
Jan. 18, 2007
NORFOLK, VA -- The Old Dominion wrestling team is headed to George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia this weekend as its set to face off against the best the Colonial Athletic Association has to offer. The Monarchs are slated to go up against the number six team in the nation in Hofstra as well as the other top ranked teams in the conference.
The Monarchs will have a tough weekend as they kick off with three straight duals against teams ranked higher in the conference. They start at 6:00 pm Friday against the number three team in the nation, Hofstra.
To cap Friday night off, ODU is scheduled to wrestle the CAA's number three in Drexel while on Saturday the Monarchs don't get much of a breather as they are slated against the CAA's number two, Rider University. At 1:00 and 3:00 Saturday ODU will face the only conference teams that are ranked lower in Boston University and Sacred Heart, respectively.
The CAA Duals will force every weight class, excepting for 133 lbs., to face at least one nationally ranked competitor in the five matchups.
This Saturday morning Assistant Coach Lee Pritts will be on Takedown Radio at 10:00 am. Be sure to tune in at www.takedownradio.com
This week, Monarchs Nick Pullano and Chris Brown were named wrestlers of the week by the conference. Pullano was Co-Wrestler of the week with Sacred Heart's Kevin Fox.
Pullano went 6-0 at the Virginia Duals including two major decisions and another of his team-leading five technical falls. He was the only wrestler at the Duals to win six bouts as he gathered the most match points and the third most team points at the duals. Pullano is undefeated in dual competition this season at 9-0.
Brown won his second Rookie of the Week award going 5-1 at the Duals with two major decisions and a fall. He is 26-8 on the season and 8-1 in dual competition.
The Monarchs continue to impress the conference every week. This was the third of four releases that the Monarchs were honored. Last week, David Mendoza and Kaylen Baxter were named wrestlers of the week for their performances and on the first release Brown was named as Rookie of the Week.
Pullin' for Pullano
Nick Pullano has been on fire in dual competition this season, going a perfect 9-0 in the Monarch duals. This Friday, Pullano will have the toughest test of his 2006-07 season as he matches up against the 6th ranked 165-pounder in the nation, Mike Patrovich (Hofstra).
If Pullano can beat Patrovich in the first dual of the weekend, it could help him pick up steam for the remainder of the duals. After matching up with the number one CAA 165-pounder, he will face CAA number two, Sherwood Fendryk (Sacred Heart), number five, Rob Morrison (Rider), and number six, Billy Haydt (Drexel).
Mind of Mendoza
After pinning nationally ranked Harry Zander the first time to seal victory for the Monarchs in dual action, the 197-pounder responded with the poise of a champion.
"Ranks are just numbers," he said. "You still have to go out there and get it done. It doesn't matter who's across the mat."
The Monarch respected his opponent that night and again when he came from behind to pin Zander at the Virginia States. The sophomore has only lost six bouts all season and hasn't lost by more than four points in any one bout yet this season.
The sophomore leads the team in pins with nine and was named CAA Wrestler of the Week for all competition from December 19th - January 9th.
Winning With Williams
The Monarchs don't usually worry when the 141-lb. match-up comes around. Williams notched his 50th career win at the Virginia Duals and has a career 71.4% winning percentage. Williams finished his rookie campaign with a 29-15 record and is well on his way to an even better finish this season with his season record at 21-5. Never overmatched, the sophomore has only lost by ten points in all five losses combined.
Kaylen Baxter (Fairbanks, Alaska) has made it a habit this season of knocking off nationally ranked opponents. Baxter has stormed off to a 20-11 record his rookie year including three wins over Top 20 wrestlers.
He knocked out 7th ranked John Cox (Navy), 10th ranked Trevor Chinn (Lehigh), and 18th ranked Sam Alvarenga (VMI). The bout against Alvarenga was the title bout of the Virginia State Tournament.