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Raiders flatten Fullerton

SOU downs Pac-10 foe, eyes winning season

ASHLAND-- Southern Oregon University's wrestling team is tracking the program's 30th straight dual-match winning season.

After a 3-3 start, coach Mike Ritchey's Raiders needed a win over Pacific-10 Conference opponent Cal State-Fullerton Wednesday night at McNeal Pavilion to have a chance of keeping its string of winning seasons alive.

The Raiders achieved that goal emphatically when they won the final four matches of the dual, including a fall by Chris Huntley in the final match at 157 pounds, to capture a 30-11 triumph over the Titans.

It was SOU's first win over an NCAA Division I team, other than Portland State, since 1996.

If we can beat our remaining NAIA opponents in our dual matches, we're on track for another winning season, said Ritchey. I thought we wrestled pretty well overall against an opponent with some very good wrestlers. And it was nice to close it out with a fall.

Huntley needed just 57 seconds of the opening round at 157 to pin Ben Nakamura of Fullerton. It was SOU's only fall of the match, although Devin Cole scored a technical fall and received a match termination and five points with a 16-0 domination of Chad Troxler in the third period at 285 pounds.

I wanted to go right after him because I knew I was bigger and stronger, said Huntley. I took him down, and I was able to catch his arm. Then, I spun him around in position (for the pin).

SOU needs four wins in its remaining seven dual matches to clinch its 30th straight winning season.

The Raiders have duals remaining against UC-Davis, Portland State, Pacific Lutheran, Simon Fraser, Pacific, and Simon Fraser and Pacific Lutheran again in the Oregon Classic on Jan 22.

Cole nearly secured a fall in the first round, but raised his arms when it appeared he was primed to pin Troxler.

He (Cole) was hot-dogging there and I let him know about it, said Ritchey. If he hadn't raised his arms, he probably would have pinned the guy right there.

He wrestled well, but I don't like it when my kids don't show respect for our opponents, said Ritchey.

Abe Haddon of the Raiders decisioned Yzidro Lago of Cal State-Fullerton 10-4 at 184 pounds.

With Haddon at 184, it meant SOU's Dan Sturgell had to move up to 197, where he fell to active Babak Nejamaghaddam, 7-5.

Dan wanted to move up and wrestle there tonight, said Ritchey. He wrestled pretty well. It was the first time he's gone against an opponent who was bigger and stronger than he is, and that worked to the other kid's advantage.

Justin Thurman of Southern Oregon decisioned David Rodriguez 7-1 at 133; Ryan Green of the Raiders won by injury default (ankle) at 149 over Joey Calvitta with the match even at 3-3 at the time; and Jeremy Wynia of Southern Oregon downed Nico Saldana, 15-7, at 141.

We got fired up tonight after losing a match to San Francisco two weeks ago, said Wynia. We should never have lost to them. I think that loss turned our team around.

I got all my points on takedowns, but I should have done a better job of riding him out at the end, said Wynia.

T.J. Hill of Fullerton dominated SOU's Nolan Harris, 22-7 at 125 pounds.

Hill is a very tough wrestler with an impressive background, said Ritchey. He is going to do very well in the Pac- 10.

Morton, a senior All-American, gave the Raiders a 3-0 lead in the opening match with his decision over at 165 over Murray.

The teams battled on even terms until Thurman started a run of four straight wins by the Raiders at 133 to close out the match.

165 -- Josh Morton, SOU, dec. Kennth Murray, 6-4; Jason Webster, CSF, dec. Ryan Schumann, 6-3; 184 -- Abe Haddon, SOU, dec. Yzidro Lago, 10-4; 197 -- Babak Nejamghaddam, CSF, dec. Dan Sturgell, 7-5; 285 -- Devin Cole SOU, dec. Chad Troxler by technical fall (16-0); 125 -- T.J. Hill, CSF, def. Nolan Harris, 22-7; 133 -- Justin Thurman, SOU, dec. David Rodrizuez, 7-1; 141 -- Jeremy

Wynia, SOU, dec. Nico Saldana, 15-7; 149 -- Ryan Green, SOU, won by injury default over Joey Calvitta; 157 -- Chris Huntley, SOU, pinned Ben Nakamura, 2:03.