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Rutgers Wrestling: one tough loss as Knights split in Michigan

Michigan took down No. 11 Knights but RU bounces back in EL

Roy DeBoer with permission//

On Friday night, it was No. 11 vs. No. 15 and higher-seeded Rutgers came out on the short end, losing 19-13 at Cliff Keen Arena at Michigan (6-4, 3-4 B1G) .

All five ranked Michigan wrestlers did their jobs coming out with wins. Rutgers led only once in the match, that after No. 14 Ken Theobold scored a major decision at 149 pounds. It was also the only time the Knights won back-to-back bouts with Theobold winning after Anthony Ashnault topped New Jersey freshman Sal Profaci. Theobold’s win was RU’s only bonus point win on the night.

At 165, Willie Scott did not make the trip west and he was replaced in the lineup by Dylan Painton. Similarly, Phil Bakuckas did not go out at 174, as Head Coach Scott Goodale decided to go with Jordan Pagano. Both wrestlers lost.

Besides Theobold and Ashnault, No. 13 Nick Gravina came a point short of a major decision while Razohnn Gross won his third dual of the season.

Michigan downed No. 10 Lehigh at home on Sunday afternoon, 24-13. There should be some movement in the rankings come Tuesday with the Wolverines benefitting.

Continuing the road trip at Michigan State, the Knights went to East Lansing and got off to a rough start.

Rutgers lost the first two bouts against the Spartans, going down 9-0. “After those first two I was worried, but we battled,” said head coach Scott Goodale. “It was a long road trip, but we battled hard and guys did what they had to do. It’s good to finish up with a win on the road otherwise it makes for a long trip back. Good for us, now let’s get ready for Indiana.”

At Michigan State, beginning with Ashnault, RU won three in a row, including John Van Brill’s major, one of three for the Knights. Going into intermission, RU led 10-9, its first lead.

At 165, Anthony Pafumi took neutral in the second after a scoreless first period. But he could not score and could not escape, losing 1-0 on riding time. MSU retook the lead 12-10. It would be the last Spartan lead of the match.

Beginning at 174 and Jordan Pagano’s major, Rutgers won the last four weight classes. There was some maneuvering by Goodale in this weekend trip, as Phil Bakuckas again did not wrestle. Following a strong first period, up 6-0 plus 1:49 of riding time, Pagano scored the 8-0 victory.

Two first year wrestlers - freshman Matt Correnti and new-to-the-team Razohnn Gross - both came through with wins to close out the scoring for the Knights. “I feel great about those guys right now. They’re wrestling really well,” Goodale said of the pair. “A true freshman and a guy who hasn’t wrestled in four years and they’re starting to come on. They’re really getting their legs under them and starting to understand this whole Big Ten schedule, the grind, the travel, all that. I feel good about what we’re doing at our upper weights.”

Rutgers is now 10-3 (4-2 B1G) as it gets a week to prepare for its next match, at home, vs. Indiana on Sunday.

One more thing....

The nationwide shutdown by Delta Airlines impacted Rutgers Wrestling’s return to New Jersey. Home now, though, safe and sound. This from the team’s athletic communications person.

Match Results

No. 15 Michigan 19, No. 11 Rutgers 13

125: No. 10/7/20 Conor Youtsey (UM) dec. over Brandon Paetzell (RU), 5-1

133: No. 7/7/7 Stevan Micic (UM) dec. over Scott DelVecchio (RU), 10-3

141: No. 6/6/6 Anthony Ashnault (RU) dec. over Sal Profaci (UM), 7-3

149: No. 14/16/14 Ken Theobold (RU) major dec. over Malik Amine (UM), 11-0

157: No. 12/12/13 Brian Murphy (UM) dec. over No. 17/13/14 John Van Brill (RU), 6-1

165: No. 2/2/2 Logan Massa (UM) major dec. over Dylan Painton (RU), 19-6

174: No. 9/9/11 Myles Amine (UM) dec. over Jordan Pagano (RU), 5-2

184: No. 13/12/14 Nicholas Gravina (RU) dec. over Aaron Calderon (UM), 10-3

197: Jackson Striggow (UM) dec. over Matthew Correnti (RU), 5-1

HWT: Razohnn Gross (RU) dec. over Dan Perry (UM), 7-4

No. 11 Rutgers 24, Michigan State 12

125: Logan Griffin (MSU) wins by fall against Brandon Paetzell (RU), 6:31;

133: No. NR/20/NR Austin Eicher (MSU) dec. over Scott DelVecchio (RU), 3-1

141: No. 6/6/6 Anthony Ashnault (RU) dec. over Javier Gasca (MSU), 7-2

149: No. 14/16/14 Ken Theobold (RU) dec. over Nick Trimble (MSU), 6-0

157: No. 17/13/14 John Van Brill (RU) major dec. over Austin Thompson (MSU), 10-2

165: No. NR/NR/16 Drew Hughes (MSU) dec. over Anthony Pafumi (RU), 1-0

174: Jordan Pagano (RU) major dec. over Drew Barnes (MSU), 8-0

184: No. 13/12/14 Nicholas Gravina (RU) dec. over Shwan Shadaia (MSU), 5-0

197: Matthew Correnti (RU) major dec. over Jimmy Russell (MSU), 11-3

HWT: Razohnn Gross (RU) dec. over Jacob Cooper (MSU), 3-0;

Rankings (-/-/-): InterMat / FloWrestling/The Open MatNR denotes not ranked