Rutgers vs North Carolina
Friday, January 12, 7:00 pm at the RAC
Two teams will be hungrily looking for wins this Friday night when No. 17 Rutgers (3-3) hosts No. 24 North Carolina (6-7) at the RAC. Start time is 7:00 pm.
Rutgers is on a rare three match losing streak, having been upset by then-unranked Lock Haven and then losing to Iowa and Ohio State at home. The Iowa match was very close, and so the Knights know they are in the thick of any match. Ohio State, at No. 2, was closer than some would have thought, with Eleazer DeLuca and Richie Lewis both taking down ranked wrestlers.
North Carolina may be in a more desperate position. The Heels have lost three of four and dropped five spots in this week’s rankings. They have wrestled four Big Ten teams thus far and are 3-1 against those squads, having only lost to No. 22 Purdue (6-31) at the Journeyman Duals in early November. Since then, they have defeated Nebraska (22-14), then-No. 8 Minnesota (26-15), and Michigan State (30-6).
Using rankings from The Open Mat, every weight class except heavyweight has at least one ranked wrestler in it. But there are only two head-to-head match ups of ranked wrestlers. The first is at 133 where No. 13 Scott DelVecchio faces No. 16 Zach Sherman (12-7) and the second is at 149 where Eleazer DeLuca, now at No. 11, faces South Plainfield’s redshirt senior, No. 5 Troy Heilman (18-2).
125 - 2 Nick Suriano
133 - 13 Scott Delvecchio vs 16 Zach Sherman
141 - 15 AC Headlee (UNC)
149 - 11 Eleazar DeLuca vs 5 Troy Heilmann
157 - 10 John Van Brill
165 - 11 Richie Lewis
174 - 9 Ethan Ramos (UNC)
184 - 12 Nicholas Gravina
197 - 19 Daniel Chaid (UNC)
NCAA Wrestler of the Week
Beat a top wrestler from a top program and look what happens!!
Honoring John Sacchi
For 17 years, John Sacchi - the “silver fox” - was on the sidelines guiding Rutgers wrestling. Sacchi upgraded the Knights’ schedule and the product on the mat as he built a 167-102-5 record and had 23 NCAA qualifiers. He was only the 16th college coach to reach 400 victories in his career. In 2007, Sacchi was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
On Friday, during intermission of the UNC match, Rutgers Athletics will honor Sacchi for his work and success “on the banks”.
It is a well-deserved honor for an outstanding coach, the man who led the way for Rutgers to be in the position it is in today.