Toal and Eblen return as Mizzou wrestling defeats Old Dominion 21-9

Photos and story by Ryan Shiner

Missouri’s John Eblen (top) attempts to take down Old Dominion’s Jack Dechow during the 184-pound match at the Hearnes Center on Feb. 16, 2014. Eblen would go on to win his match, 7-5.

Missouri’s John Eblen (top) attempts to take down Old Dominion’s Jack Dechow during the 184-pound match at the Hearnes Center on Feb. 16, 2014. Eblen would go on to win his match, 7-5.

COLUMBIA — The No. 10 Missouri wrestling team looked to continue its winning ways on Sunday against Old Dominion after winning back-to-back home meets last weekend. Missouri did just that by defeating the visiting Monarchs, 21-9.

The Missouri crowd made noise early on in the match at the Hearnes Center, calling for what they thought were stalling penalties on ODU.

Two stalling penalties were called in the 149-pound match. No. 14 Alex Richardson, of ODU (22-7), was called for both stalling penalties in the match against Missouri’s No.1 Drake Houdashelt (30-1).

“The crowd helped,” coach Brian Smith said. “I’ve been on the other side where we’ve been in other buildings where (you tell your players) ‘you gotta move or the crowd is going to call a stalling (penalty).”

Missouri lost two of its first three matches prior to Houdashelt’s bout. Barlow McGhee (19-8) lost the 125-pound match to ODU’s Brandon Jeske (16-11), 7-1.  Missouri’s Matt Manley (22-10) won the 133-pound match against ODU’s Michael Hayes (11-11), 2-1; and in the 141-pound match, Missouri’s No. 20 Lavion Mayes (24-10) lost to No. 4 Chris Mecate (24-6) of ODU, 2-1.

“I wasn’t as aggressive,” Mayes said. “I got to the leg when I shot and I just didn’t take enough opportunities. I closed myself out of the match.”

The crowd settled as the meet went on and Missouri won five out of the next six matches, including the return of No. 12 Zach Toal (21-4) in the 165-pound weight class, and No. 14 John Eblen (19-7) in the 184-pound weight class for the Tigers

Toal won his match against ODU’s Devin Geohegan (10-15), 6-3, and Eblen won his match against ODU’s No. 20 Jack Dechow (13-4), 7-5.

“(Toal and Eblen) were a little rusty,” Smith said. “But they found a way to win.”

Prior to Toal’s match, Missouri’s Joey Lavallee (24-7) handled No. 19 Tristan Warner (16-9) of ODU in the 157-pound weight class by a score of 7-2. Billy Curling (14-7) of ODU, dominated Missouri’s Mike England (16-11), 10-3 in the 174-pound weight class match.

Missouri’s No. 2 wrestler in the 184-pound weight class, J’den Cox (29-2) showed that he earned his rise in rank after beating ODU’s Kevin Beazley (15-12), 9-2.

With the victory clinched heading into the heavyweight match, Missouri’s Devin Mellon (21-9) did find himself in tough match. ODU’s Matt Tourdot (12-13) made an escape to tie the match in the third period to send the match into overtime.

Mellon landed a take down early in the sudden death overtime period to win the match, 7-5.

“Devin made a mistake at the end, but he still came up with the win,” Smith said. “There was a little adversity, but it happened now instead of the big mats at the NCAA (wrestling championships).”

Missouri will take on Kent State in a dual meet in Kent, Ohio on Feb. 21.

Match Results

125: Brandon Jeske (ODU) won by decision against Barlow McGhee (Missouri), 7-1. (3-0 ODU)

133: Matt Manley (Missouri) won by decision against Michael Hayes (ODU), 2-1. (3-3)

141: No. 4 Chris Mecate (ODU) won by decision against No. 20 Lavion Mayes (Missouri), 2-1. (6-3 ODU)

149: No. 1 Drake Houdashelt (Missouri) won by decision against No. 14 Alexander Richardson (ODU), 4-1. (6-6)

157: Joseph LaVallee (Missouri) won by decision against No. 19 Tristan Warner (ODU), 7-2. (9-6 Missouri)

165: No. 12 Zach Toal (Missouri) won by decision against Devin Geoghegan (ODU), 6-3. (12-6 Missouri)

174: No. 20 Billy Curling (ODU) won by decision against Mike England (Missouri), 10-3. (12-9 Missouri)

184: No. 14 John Eblen (Missouri) won by decision against No. 20 Jack Dechow (ODU), 7-5. (15-9 Missouri)

197: No. 2 J`Den Cox (Missouri) won by decision against Kevin Beazley (ODU), 9-2. (18-9 Missouri)

285: Devin Mellon (Missouri) won in sudden victory 1 against Matt Tourdot (ODU), 7-5. (21-9 Missouri)

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