Jan. 10, 2009
HAMPTON, Va. — The Navy wrestling team (5-3) closed out the Virginia Duals Saturday evening by upsetting 22nd-ranked Penn, 21-13, to take seventh place in the 16-team tournament held at the Hampton Coliseum. The Mids opened the day by defeating EIWA foe Bucknell, 18-12, but were handed a 22-12 setback by No. 23 Old Dominion in the afternoon session, sending Navy to the seventh-place match.
“Our performance was about sheer heart,” said Navy ninth-year head coach Bruce Burnett. “We accomplished a great deal with a team full of the walking wounded. I told the team that we could be successful this weekend, but we needed to put everything we had to give into it, including our heart. I can’t explain how proud I am of our effort over the last two days. We may not have always been the best wrestlers out there, but we competed with fire and pride and that’s what I ask of our wrestlers each time they step out onto the mat.
“We had some tremendous individual performances and a few who came up with big wins when we needed them. Bryce Saddoris was fantastic throughout the tournament, Tyler Moyer sealed two of our three team wins, Prescott Garner pinned the Penn kid who is ranked in the top 10, and the list goes on. I’m just really pleased with how we fought.”
Following a hard-fought win over Bucknell in the morning session, the Mids were paired up against No. 23 Old Dominion. The Monarchs built a 13-0 lead just three bouts into the match, a lead Navy would not be able to overcome. Four of ODU’s wrestlers were ranked and claimed wins, including the first three matches in which they earned extra-point wins.
Navy claimed four victories among the middle weights, including a 4-3 win by freshman 174-pounder Luke Rebertus (Elkton, Md.), who earned his first win at the Duals. Additionally, the Mids earned wins at 149, 157 and 184 pounds.
In its final bout of the tournament, Navy was matched up against Penn, who is ranked 22nd in the national polls and boasts four wrestlers ranked in the top 20. That stat would not be enough to hold back the Midshipmen, as Navy earned a 21-13 victory over the Quakers who are ranked No. 2 in the EIWA behind Cornell who is ranked No. 3 nationally.
Navy received an inspirational boost in the opening match when rookie125-pounder Prescott Garner (West Linn, Ore.) pinned (3:35) seventh-ranked Rollie Peterkin for just his third loss of the year. For Garner, it was his 11th win by fall this season, just one shy of joining Navy’s top 10 list for single-season pins.
The Quakers battled their way back into the match and in fact knotted the score at six apiece with wins at 133 and 141 pounds.
Navy looked no further than sophomore sensation Bryce Saddoris (Spring Creek, Nev.) to give it the edge it needed. Saddoris would not let his team down as he earned a double-overtime victory over 10th-ranked Cesar Grajales in one of the most exciting matches of the tournament. It was just the second loss by Grajales this season. Meanwhile, the match victory gave the Midshipmen the lead for good with six bouts remaining.
Saddoris finished the Virginia Duals with a 5-0 record and boosted his record this season to 30-2. For the second consecutive year, he has reached the 30-win milestone and he is well on his way to surpassing his win total from a year ago when he claimed 35 victories. The 30 wins tie as the third-most wins by a sophomore, trailing record holder Steve Kovach (2000-01) by eight.
Senior Joel Ahern (Herkimer, N.Y.) didn’t miss a beat in the following match at 157 pounds, as he dominated 13th-ranked Matt Dragon in an 8-1 win. Dragon, who did not compete a year ago, was the 2007 EIWA champion at 157 pounds and 2006 EIWA Champion at 149 pounds. He entered the weekend with an 18-3 record, however, he competed in just two of the five matches, as he dropped to 19-4 this season. Navy, meanwhile, extended its lead to 15-6 when sophomore Matt DeMichiel (Whitesboro, N.Y.) followed suit and upset 15th-ranked Zack Shanaman in a 3-2 decision.
Though Penn was able to stop Navy’s winning streak at 174 pounds, it was only momentarily as seniors Casey Caldwell (Liberty, Ind.) and Philip Neese (Lexington, S.C.) picked up wins at 184 and 197 pounds, respectively. Caldwell posted a 5-2 win over Colin Hitschler, while Neese put together a 9-3 decision against Thomas Shovlin.
Navy closed out the tournament by winning three of its five matches, facing three nationally-ranked programs (Oklahoma State, Old Dominion, Penn), as well as a Virginia squad who just fell out of the top 25 this past week, but is receiving votes.
Navy will be back in action next weekend when it plays host to American and Lehigh in back-to-back home duals. The Mids and Eagles will battle one another Friday night at Halsey Field House, while Navy will face No. 8 Lehigh on Saturday at Halsey Field House. Both matches are slated to begin at 7:00 pm.
No. 23 Old Dominion 22, Navy 12
125 - No. 6 James Nicholson (ODU) tech fall Allan Stein (Navy), 20-5; ODU 5-0
133 - No. 19 Kyle Hutter (ODU) major Aaron Kalil (Navy), 11-1; ODU 9-0
141 - No. 7 Ryan Williams (ODU) major Matt Pagan (Navy), 16-8; ODU 13-0
149 - No. 5 Bryce Saddoris (Navy) dec. Joey Metzler (ODU), 9-3; ODU 13-3
157 - Glenn Shober (Navy) dec. Kaylen Baxter (ODU), 3-2; ODU 13-6
165 - Chris Brown (ODU) dec. Matt DeMichiel (Navy), 3-1; ODU 16-6
174 - No. 16 Luke Rebertus (Navy) dec. Eric Decker (ODU), 4-3; ODU 16-9
184 - Casey Caldwell (Navy) dec. Joe Budi (ODU), 11-5; ODU 16-12
197 - No. 15 Jesse Strawn (ODU) dec. Philip Neese (Navy), 3-2; ODU 19-12
HWT - Roy Dragon III (ODU) dec. Mike Landis (Navy), 6-2; ODU 22-12
Seventh-Place Match - Navy 21, No. 22 Penn 13
125 - Prescott Garner (Navy) over No. 7 Rollie Peterkin (Penn) Pin 3:35; Navy 6-0
133 - Bryan Ortenzio (Penn) over Aaron Kalil (Navy) Dec 4-0; Navy 6-3
141 - Zack Kemmerer (Penn) over John Majka (Navy) Dec 7-5; Even 6-6
149 - No. 5 Bryce Saddoris (Navy) over No. 10 Cesar Grajales (Penn) Dec 2-1; Navy 9-6
157 - Joel Ahern (Navy) over No. 13 Matt Dragon (Penn) Dec 8-1; Navy 12-6
165 - Matt DeMichiel (Navy) over No. 15 Zack Shanaman (Penn) Dec 3-2; Navy 15-6
174 - Scott Giffin (Penn) over No. 16 Luke Rebertus (Navy) Maj 12-3; Navy 15-10
184 - Casey Caldwell (Navy) over Colin Hitschler (Penn) Dec 5-2; Navy 18-10
197 - Philip Neese (Navy) over Thomas Shovlin (Penn) Dec 9-3; Navy 21-10
HWT - Trey McLean (Penn) over Tyler Moyer (Navy) Dec 4-0; Navy 21-13
### Go Navy ###