When you think of the great college wrestling states, most usually think of Iowa and Oklahoma. So when Rutgers was scheduled to wrestle Oklahoma at the Journeyman Duals in upstate New York, you knew there would be a healthy respect for the opposition.
Which didn’t mean the Knights would be awed. Not. At. All.
On Saturday, Rutgers took its 1-0 record on the road to face the Sooners and Virginia. And the Scarlet walked away with two wins.
In three matches, Rutgers has lost only nine bouts out of 30 wrestled. That includes the 22-9 victory over No. 19 OU (1-2) and the 21-9 win over the Cavaliers (0-2). Oklahoma topped Sacred Heart (53-0) while losing to NC State, 27-13. Virginia also lost to Kent State, 20-18.
In a very positive sign, three RU wrestlers picked up wins over ranked opponents. Eleazar DeLuca, Nick Suriano and Michael Van Brill won those bouts. In addition, six Knights – DeLuca, Suriano, Van Brill, Scott DelVecchio, Nicholas Gravina and Razohnn Gross scored two wins on Saturday.
"We beat two good programs today," said head coach Scott Goodale. "It was a step in the right direction for us. We're still trying to get better. We left a lot of points out there, so I think we need to build on leads and secure more major decisions. But it's still early in the year. I'm happy with our conditioning and our overall fight was really good, so when you can beat Oklahoma and Virginia, it's a good day."
Two wins are always welcome, but Goodale’s concern about bonus points was legitimate. Only one wrestler - 133 pounder Scott DelVecchio - earned bonus points with his major decision against the Sooners. That is something that needs to be flipped as the Knights take on the rugged Big Ten schedule. On the other side of that coin, in Rutgers’ six losing bouts, all were by regular decision - no bonus points allowed.
The Knights are in action again next weekend at the Army Invitational. The field includes Binghamton, Bloomsburg, UT-Chattanooga, Lock Haven, Maryland and Rutgers.
Dual No. 1: No. 12 Rutgers 22, No. 19 Oklahoma 9
125: No. 2/2/3 Nick Suriano (RU) dec. over Christian Moody (OU), 4-1
133: No. 12/11/11 Scott DelVecchio (RU) major dec. over Jake Rubio (OU), 16-6
141: Michael Van Brill (RU) dec. over No. 16/15/16 Mike Longo (OU), 3-2
149: Eleazar Deluca (RU) dec. over No.14/13/17 Davion Jefferies (OU), 8-2
157: Justin Thomas (OU) dec. over Brett Donner (RU), 5-0
165: John Van Brill (RU) dec. over Dawaylon Barnes (OU), 6-5
174: No. 13/13/7 Yoanse Mejias (OU) dec. over No. 18/NR/NR Jordan Pagano (RU), 7-3
184: No. 10/10/7 Nicholas Gravina (RU) dec. over Matthew Waddell (OU), 4-2
197: Andrew Dixon (OU) dec. over Kevin Mulligan (RU), 3-0
HWT: Razohnn Gross (RU) dec. over Connor Webb (OU), 2-1
Dual No. 2: No. 12 Rutgers 21, Virginia 9
125: No. 2/2/3 Nick Suriano (RU) dec. over No. 18/15/12 Louie Hayes (UVA), 8-1
133: No. 12/11/11 Scott DelVecchio (RU) dec. over Scott Kiyono (UVA), 11-4
141: Michael Van Brill (RU) dec. over Sam Martino (UVA), 4-0
149: Eleazar Deluca (RU) dec. over Sam Krivus (UVA), 9-3; Rutgers leads, 12-0
157: Jake Keating (UVA) dec. over Brett Donner (RU), 4-0
165: George Atkinson (UVA) dec. over John Van Brill (RU), 9-2
174: Will Schany (UVA) dec. over No. 18/NR/NR Jordan Pagano (RU), 6-5
184: No. 10/10/7 Nicholas Gravina (RU) dec. over Chance McClure (UVA), 3-0
197: Kevin Mulligan (RU) dec. over Jay Aiello (UVA), 5-0
HWT: Razohnn Gross (RU) dec. over Tyler Love (UVA), 5-2
Rankings (-/-/-): InterMat / FloWrestling/The Open Mat NR denotes not ranked