NORFOLK, Va. – Three Old Dominion seniors collected victories to lead the No. 25 Monarchs past American, 20-15, Monday evening at the Ted Constant Center. Eric Decker and Jesse Strawn won via decision in their last home matches, while Chris Brown posted a technical fall win.
Old Dominion (10-4-1) has lost only one match in its last eight outings and improves to 6-1 at home this year.
In the only match of the evening that pitted ranked wrestlers against each other, No. 7 James Nicholson topped No. 16 Jasen Borshoff, 4-3, at 125-pounds. Nicholson got a takedown in the first round and collected valuable riding time in the third to lead 3-1 before Borshoff posted a reversal with only 15 seconds remaining. With nearly two minutes of riding time, Nicholson picked up the decision, 4-3.
At 133-pounds, freshman Justin LaValle dominated American’s Thomas Williams. The Apple Valley, Minn. native recorded three takedowns and a reversal en route to a 10-2 major decision win.
Trailing 7-0, American would win the next two matches as Jordan Lipp won a decision over ODU’s Craig Wilson and No. 11 Kyle Borshoff pinned Monarch senior Cam Watkins. The pin would give the Eagles a 9-7 advantage after four matches.
Old Dominion bounced back, showing off its youth and experience as a freshman and two seniors won the next three matches.
At 157-pounds freshman Joey Sheridan won an 8-2 decision over Sean McCarty and at 165-pounds No. 13 Brown picked up a technical fall victory without back points over Tanner Shaffer. Brown recorded a remarkable nine takedowns and held a 2:56 riding time advantage in the 21-6 win.
Decker gave ODU a commanding 17-7 lead in the team scoring after topping American’s Phillip Barreiro 4-2 in one of the hardest fought matches of the evening. Barreiro came at Decker with a flurry of moves over the final two minutes, but Decker was able to hold him off to pick up his 22nd win of the season.
Sophomore Joe Budi struck first for ODU with an early takedown against No. 4 Mike Cannon at 184-pounds, but the nationally-ranked foe proved to be too much as he grabbed a 9-3 decision to bring American within striking distance.
With two matches remaining and the Monarchs up 17-10, Strawn could seal the match with a senior day win against Kenneth Clessas. With the bout tied, 6-6, midway through the final period, the senior tallied a takedown and held the advantage to record the win and clinch the ODU victory.
After winning five straight matches, American has now dropped three straight to fall to 7-9 overall.
Old Dominion will close out the regular season on Feb. 18 at No. 14 Virginia Tech. The Monarchs topped the Hokies last season at the Constant Center.