NORFOLK, VA (GoMocs.com)--The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling team dropped another hard-fought match against No. 22 Old Dominion Saturday. The loss is the third in a row for Chattanooga who is 3-3 overall. The Monarchs improved to 3-2 with the win.
The match was much closer than the final score indicated, with ODU winning six of 10 individual bouts. Chattanooga gave up two pins that allowed Old Dominion to distance itself in the dual.
“We wrestled hard today,” stated head coach Heath Eslinger. “We lost some very close matches, but I was proud of the way the guys competed.”
The contest opened at 165 where ODU jumped out to a 6-0 lead following No. 14 Tristan Warner's first period pin against freshman Garrett Alexander. Senior Levi Clemons came right back with his first win of the season at 174. He scored a 3-1 decision over Austin Coburn.
Junior John Lampe had a strong outing against No. 4 Jack Dechow at 184. He scored a first-period takedown and controlled much of the match. Dechow fought back with a takedown in the third to force overtime. Lampe looked to seal in the win in OT, but Dechow scrambled out of Lampe's grasp and score two points of his own for the 6-4 win.
Sophomore Scottie Boykin continued his hot streak at 197 with an 8-6 win over Kevin Beasley. It was his third win in a row over a quality opponent. Beasley is just outside of the top 20 in most individual rankings.
Sophomore Jared Johnson also had a strong victory against No. 18 Jacob Henderson. He rode out Henderson in the second period and escaped in the third for the 2-0 decision. That tied the team score at 9-9 and gave Chattanooga all of the momentum after five matches.
The 125 bout pitted UTC's 19th-ranked senior Sean Boyle against No. 20 Brandon Jeske. Boyle was leading 3-2 in the third when Jeske caught him on his back and scored a pin.
Trailing 15-9, senior Nick Soto, ranked No. 18 at 133, tried to mount another comeback. He scored an 8-3 decision against Michael Hayes, but that would be the last win for the Mocs.
Sophomore Michael Pongracz gave up four points early to No. 9 Chris Mecate at 141, but battled the rest of the way in his 4-0 loss. UTC lost at 149 and 157 to end the dual.
“There were a lot of positives today,” added Eslinger. “There is a lot to build on based on how we competed and I think you are going to see a lot of improvement from us next semester.”
The Mocs will take a brief break for the Christmas holiday and be right back in the room in preparation for the 2015 Defense Soap & Flips Wrestling Southern Scuffle.
“I am excited about the upcoming Scuffle,” stated Eslinger. “I am excited to host the event, but I am also excited as a coach to see how our guys are going to measure up against the toughest field outside of the NCAAs.”
The Scuffle takes place in Chattanooga's McKenzie Arena on Jan. 1-2. Tickets are on sale now on GoMocs.com or by calling the UTC Ticket Office at (423) 266-MOCS (6627).
No. 22 Old Dominion 25 – Chattanooga 12 165: No. 14 Tristan Warner (ODU) – Fall (1:30) - Garrett Alexander (UTC) – ODU 6-0 174: Levi Clemons (UTC) – Dec. 3-1 - Austin Coburn (ODU) – ODU 6-3 184: No. 4 Jack Dechow (ODU) – Dec. 6-4 (SV1) - John Lampe (UTC) – ODU 9-3 197: Scottie Boykin (UTC) – Dec. 8-6 - Kevin Beazley (ODU) – ODU 9-6 285: Jared Johnson (UTC) – Dec. 2-0 – No. 18 Jacob Henderson (ODU) – Tied 9-9 125: No. 20 Brandon Jeske (ODU) – Fall (5:58) – No. 19 Sean Boyle (UTC) – ODU 15-9 133: No. 18 Nick Soto (UTC) – Dec. 8-3 - Michael Hayes (ODU) – ODU 15-12 141: No. 9 Chris Mecate (ODU) – Dec. 4-0 - Michael Pongracz (UTC) – ODU 18-12 149: No. 12 Lenny Richardson (ODU) – MD 14-1 - Shawn Greevy (UTC) – ODU 22-12 157: TC Warner (ODU) – Dec. 2-1 - Austin Sams (UTC) – ODU 25-12