There was an “undercard” on Saturday, and the football team did okay there. But the action started at noon and Rutgers didn’t disappoint.
Nick Suriano made his Rutgers debut a memorable one. A tech fall opened the scoring for Rutgers and the Knights never looked back as they took down Maryland, 27-9 at High Point Solutions Stadium.
"It felt really good," Suriano said. "I'm happy and lucky I'm here. I'm just happy I'm here standing in New Jersey performing the way I do."
Rutgers won seven of the ten bouts, not giving up any bonus points, while scoring two tech falls and two major decisions. Rutgers saw three wrestlers in their first competition for their careers on the banks.
The Terps had two ranked wrestlers in their lineup and both won. But the strength of the Knights was evident as they built an early lead and then added to it.
Senor Scott DelVecchio extended the early lead with a decision, and transfer Eleazar DeLuca, replacing graduated All American Scott Theobold, did the same. Richie Lewis, in his first Rutgers match since last year’s Battle at the Birthplace against Princeton, scored an easy major decision. Following Lewis, John Van Brill added five points to the team total with his tech fall at 165.
The performance of the day may have been from athletic trainer John Taggart. At 184, Nick Gravina fell behind 2-0 as his shoulder popped out. Taggart was able to get it back in allowing Gravina to continue. Gravina’s toughness and grit did the rest as the redshirt senior won, 10-4.
Kevin Mulligan appeared in his first RU match and scored an impressive major decision at 197.
"Obviously, I felt we wrestled really well in some spots and struggled in others, but it's early and we have time to get there," said head coach Scott Goodale. "It's a good win and a good start to the Big Ten season. We just need to keep getting better moving forward and that's what we're going to do."
The Knights return to action next Saturday when they compete in the Journymen Duals in Clifton Park, New York, against No. 19 Oklahoma and Virginia.
125: No. 3/3/4 Nick Suriano (RU) tech fall over Brandon Cray (UMD), 24-7; Rutgers leads, 5-0 133: No. 12/11/11 Scott DelVecchio (RU) dec. over Michael Doetsch (UMD), 11-5; Rutgers leads, 8-0 141: No. 14/10/14 Ryan Diehl (UMD) dec. over Michael Van Brill (RU), 10-9; Rutgers leads, 8-3 149: Eleazar DeLuca (RU) dec. over Adam Whitesell (UMD), 10-4: Rutgers leads, 11-3 157: No. 8/7/14/ Richie Lewis (RU) major dec. over Kyle Cochran (UMD), 13-4; Rutgers leads, 15-3 165: John Van Brill (RU) tech fall over Brendan Burnham (UMD), 15-0; Rutgers leads, 20-3 174: Josh Ugalde (UMD) dec. over No. 16/16/17 Jordan Pagano (RU), 8-3: Rutgers leads, 20-6 184: No. 10/10/7 Nicholas Gravina (RU) dec. over Jaron Smith (UMD), 10-4; Rutgers leads, 23-6 197: Kevin Mulligan (RU) major dec. over Nick Capello (UMD), 11-2; Rutgers leads, 27-6 HWT: No. 13/17/11Yousiff Hemida (UMD) dec. over Razohnn Gross (RU), 7-1; Rankings (-/-/-): InterMat / FloWrestling/The Open Mat NR denotes not ranked
Around the Big Ten
Only Iowa and Penn State are not in action this weekend.
MSU Open: Today Michigan State hosts No. 14 Illinois, Indiana, No. 3 Michigan, Northwestern, No. 2 Ohio State, Purdue and Wisconsin.
Daktronics Open: Today South Dakota State hosts No. 6 Minnesota and No. 15 Nebraska.
52nd NWCA All-Star Classic at Jadwin Gym, Princeton University 133: Seth Gross, Jr. (South Dakota State) vs. Stevan Micic, So. (Michigan) 157: Alec Pantaleo, Jr. (Michigan) vs. B.J. Clagon, Sr. (Rider) 174: Mark Hall, So. (Penn State) vs. Zahid Valencia, So. (Arizona State) 285: Tanner Hall, Jr. (Arizona State) vs. Nick Nevills, Jr. (Penn State)