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Rutgers Has a Top 10 Wrestling Team

Another win over a ranked team and a 9-1 record have propelled the Knights into the Top Ten

Roy DeBoer - used with permission

Just in case you thought the only team knocking it out of the park was women's soccer and Team Hobbs, take a look in the wrestling room.  While the women hit No. 9 in the national polls, the wrestling team was doing its own climbing, breaking the top ten this week in the USA Today/NWCA Coaches Poll.  It is the first time since closing the 2010-11 season ranked tied for ninth after posting a 21-2 dual mark.

The jump in the rankings came off a two win weekend in which the Knights topped then-No. 7 Cornell in the Grapple at the Garden on Sunday.  RU took six of the ten bouts on its way to a solid 21-13 victory.  That win followed the Knights earlier shutout of George Mason, 47-0.  Bonus points paved the way in the win over the Patriots as McCabe (6-3), Ashnault (9-0), and Gravina (7-2) won by fall in their matches, with Giraldo (7-3) and Dippery winning by tech fall. Van Brill (6-4), Perrotti, Bakuckas (5-3), and Smith all secured major decisions.

Against the Big Red, Cornell scored victories from its ranked wrestlers at 133, 174, and 184 pounds but saw its No. 18-ranked wrestler at 125 fall to Sean McCabe, 6-5.  That ranked win propelled McCabe into the national rankings for the first time in his career.

In topping Cornell, head coach Scott Goodale reminded everyone of its significance.  "We want to wrestle the best teams, we want to go to different environments, and we want to wrestle programs like Cornell. It's important to wrestle these big matches. There's a long way to go, we've just got to keep getting better."  So far, so good.

Complete Rutgers results from Grapple at the Garden can be found here.

National Rankings

As noted above, Sean McCabe made it into the rankings marking the first time this season that Rutgers had more than four ranked wrestlers.

R-Jr. Sean McCabe – 125 Pounds (6-3, 6-3 Duals)
Intermat FloWrestling The Open Mat Win Magazine
Dec. 2 16 18 16 19
R-Fr. Anthony Giraldo – 133 Pounds (7-3, 7-3 Duals)
Intermat FloWrestling The Open Mat Win Magazine
Dec. 2 17 NR 16 19
R-So. Anthony Ashnault – 141 Pounds (9-0, 9-0 Duals)
Intermat FloWrestling The Open Mat Win Magazine
Dec. 2 3 4 3 4
R-Sr. Anthony Perrotti – 165 Pounds (8-1, 8-1 Duals)
Intermat FloWrestling The Open Mat Win Magazine
Dec. 2 10 10 7 7
R-Sr. Billy Smith – 285 Pounds (8-2, 8-2 Duals)
Intermat FloWrestling The Open Mat Win Magazine
Dec. 2 7 9 10 7

Around the Big Ten

Don't think the Big Ten is the best wrestling conference in the country?  Try this:

And there are six in the Top Ten, including the Jersey Boys.

Rank Team (First) Conf Previous
1 Penn State (11) Big Ten 1
2 Iowa Big Ten 2
3 Ohio State (1) Big Ten 3
4 Oklahoma State Big 12 4
5 Nebraska Big Ten 5
6 Virginia Tech ACC 6
7 Oklahoma Big 12 8
8 Missouri MAC 9
9 Michigan Big Ten 10
10 Rutgers Big Ten 14
11 Illinois Big Ten 12
15 Wisconsin Big Ten 15
18 Minnesota Big Ten 18

Results and Upcoming Schedule

The Knights take the weekend off from competition and return to the mats next week at No. 2 Iowa.  They then open the home conference schedule at the RAC against No. 5 Nebraska.  It's getting to be fun around here.

"Grapple at the Garden"
11/29/15 vs. George Mason New York, N.Y. W, 47-0
vs. No. 7 Cornell New York, N.Y. W, 21-13
12/10/15 at No. 2 Iowa * Iowa City, Iowa 8:00 p.m. ET
12/12/15 vs. No. 5 Nebraska RAC 1:00 p.m. ET