Rob Deutsch Earns At-large Bid; ODU Sends Four to NCAA's

March 13, 2013
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

March 13, 2013

2013 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championship BRACKETS

NORFOLK, Va. – The NCAA announced the 330 student-athletes will be participating in the 2013 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships. The NCAA also announced the 170 first-round match-ups, as well as the 12 seeded wrestlers within each of the 10 weight classes. The NCAA wrestling tournament will be held on March 21-23 in Des Moines, Iowa.

Head Coach - Steve Martin

"We are very proud of all four of our guys for qualifying for the NCAA Championships. Three out of our four qualifiers are freshman, so we know that the future is very bright here at Old Dominion. As a program, we have now qualified 11 student-athletes for the national tournament  over the last 2 years. Our guys are really looking forward to the opportunity to stand on the podium and compete in (what will be) a sold-out and extremely hostile Wells Fargo Arena next week."

No. 17 Rob Deutsch (26-9) earned one of just four at-large bids to the NCAA Championships within the 125 pound weight class. Deutsch will first wrestle eighth-seeded Matt Snyder from the University of Virginia. Snyder, a redshirt senior, is now a three-time NCAA qualifier and 20-7 on the season. Deutsch and Snyder had a great match on Feb. 10, won 1-0 by Snyder based ona riding time point.

Last weekend Deutsch, a redshirt freshman from Cherry Hill, N.J., just missed out on the CAA’s sole automatic qualifying bid to the NCAA’s. Deutsch won via major decision and tech fall in his quarterfinal and semifinal matches, respectively. In the championship match, Deutsch faced Hofstra’s All-American and three-time NCAA qualifier, No. 16 Steve Bonnano. In a highly competitive match, Deutsch came up a mere one point shy (3-2 decision).

Head coach Steve Martin said, "Rob has had a tremendous freshman year. He grinds hard everyday in practice and has wrestled a lot of matches for us this season. He has competed against the best kids in the country this year. Rob is ready to turn some heads next week. At this point, we feel like Rob can beat anyone in the country".

No. 12 Chris Mecate (34-7) earned the twelve-seed for this year’s NCAA tournament and will take on Purdue’s Brandon Nelsen. Nelsen is a redshirt sophomore who went 25-12 this season.

Mecate, a redshirt freshman from Highland, Calif., punched his ticket to Des Moines, Iowa, after winning the CAA Championships last Saturday. In Mecate’s championship match, he defeated Drexel’s No. 17 Frank Cimato, 7-1. Mecate is now on an 11-match win streak; his last lass (7-3 decision) came on Jan. 11 against the No. 5 ranked wrestler in the nation, Mitchell Port (Edinboro).

Coach Martin exclaimed, "A large part of why Chris has already beaten six national qualifiers this season is because he has one of the best work ethics on the team. Chris has won 11 matches in a row since Jan 11 and is on a mission. He is going to make a statement next week in Des Moines".

No. 31 Alexander Richardson (27-12) drew the four-seed, Cole VonOhlen (25-2) from Air Force. VonOhlen is a senior and has now qualified for the NCAA Championships all four years of his college career.

Richardson, a true freshman from Jersey City, N.J., qualified for his first NCAA tournament after earning one of the two CAA automatic qualifying bids within the 149 pound weight class. Richardson made it all the way to the conference’s championship match, before being defeated by All-American (placed third) and three-time NCAA qualifier from Binghamton, No. 3 Donnie Vinson.

Coach Martin expressed, "Alexander has really turned it on towards the end of the season. Not many guys qualify for nationals as a true freshman. All wrestlers go through their ups and downs throughout a season; especially freshmen. But, Alexander's toughness and athleticism has allowed him to control his own destiny now".

No. 30 Billy Curling (20-10) will have a showdown with Pittsburgh’s Nick Bonaccorsi. Bonaccorsi is a redshirt-freshman, who went 17-7 this season.

Curling, a redshirt junior and native of nearby Chesapeake, Va., automatically qualified for the NCAA tournament after becoming the CAA champion at 174 pounds last weekend. In the conference final, Curling defeated Hofstra’s Jermaine John, 6-3.

A proud Coach Martin said, "Billy is a great hometown story. His blue collar work ethic makes him a special story. Let's not forget that he suffered an injury in the middle of this season. Billy not only didn't allow the injury to end his season, but he also won the  CAA championship and  qualified for the national tournament after returning to the mat. He has made the South Hampton Roads area very proud".

ESPN will provide full coverage of the First Rounds, Second Rounds, Quarterfinals, Semifinals, Medal Rounds and Final matches. The 2013 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships will begin with ESPN3’s exclusive live coverage of the First and Second Rounds on Thursday, March 21 at noon and 7:30 p.m. ET. Two of the four Quarterfinals, as well as the Semifinals, will be televised on ESPNU in a side-by-side format. The Finals will air on ESPN on Saturday, March 23 at 8 p.m.

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