Three Freshmen and One Sophomore Place at Cornell Body Bar
By ODU Athletics
Nov. 19, 2006
ITHACA, NY -- The Old Dominion Monarch wrestling team faced a dominant field on Saturday at the Cornell Body Bar. Four Monarchs placed in Ithaca, New York including a third place day for Adam Koballa and two fourth place bids for Chris Brown and Ryan Williams.
Freshman Adam Koballa had the best day for the Monarchs in the 133-pound weight class. After being eliminated from the championship bracket in just the second round, Koballa raced through the consolation bracket for a third place finish.
The freshman earned his first victory of the day with a fall just 55 seconds into his first match against Mike Abell of Sacred Heart University. The next bout however, was against seeded opponent William Simpson from Army. The two battled and Simpson came away with the 3-2 victory sending Koballa to the consolation bracket. However, Koballa would see his chance at redemption.
Koballa earned a 5-3 win over Michigan's Chris Diehl and then pinned his next opponent, Jon Kohler of Maryland, in 5:53 seconds. The rookie was then slated to wrestle three-seeded hometown wrestler Nick Bridge. The Cornell wrestler lost to second-seeded Matt Kyler from Army. Koballa defeated Bridge with a 10-5 sudden victory in the first overtime period putting him in the third place match.
The third place bout found Koballa squaring off against none other than the grappler who eliminated him from championship contention in the second round, William Simpson. This time Koballa did not fade away in a 3-2 loss but instead won convincingly with a major decision 16-5.
"Adam needs to become more consistent," said assistant coach Lee Pritts. "He did a great job coming back through the wrestlebacks. Adam is going to be great. He's a winner. Now he needs to focus on consistency and improving his technique."
Other Monarchs with impressive outings at the Cornell Body Bar include sophomore Ryan Williams and red-shirt freshman Chris Brown. Both earned national rankings earlier last week and looked to defend the right to keep them.
Surprise championship contender from Maryland Alex Krom eliminated Williams from the championship bracket. After wrestling his way into the third place bout against second-seeded Cornell wrestler Keith Dickey, Williams fell 4-2.
Brown, who has come out firing in the 2006-07 season, continues his great start with a fourth place showing. Brown nearly ran the table in the championship bracket until he faced CAA foe and nationally ranked Drexel wrestler Ryan Hluschak. Hlushack squeaked a 4-3 victory from Brown and would then go on to win the championship bout. Brown pinned his next opponent to put himself into the third place fight, but was unable to defeat Pittsburgh's prize wrestler at 157, Matt Kocher. Kocher is ranked 4th in the nation and defeated Brown 4-2.
"Chris is coming on strong. I believe by March he will be ready to compete for a national title," said Pritts. "He has all the tools it takes to be great, he just needs to get some more matches under his belt."
Freshman Jesse Strawn was the fourth Monarch to place as he took sixth place in the 184-pound weight class.
ODU took eighth at the tournament and will wrestle again this Saturday at the Mat Town USA Tournament held in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania.