It was a glorious day at the RAC.
For the first time in six seasons, Rutgers took on in-state rival Rider University and claimed victory 28-6. It was also win number 167 for head coach Scott Goodale, which is now the new program record.
The Scarlet Knights won eight of the ten bouts and earned some confidence heading into the holiday break. Here are some observations:
Anthony Ashnualt and Nick Suriano Continue to Dominate
Seriously, do you expect anything else from Ashnault? He has been flat out dominant and looks like a man a mission this season. He’s ranked No. 2 according to Flo Wrestling and Intermat, only trailing Princeton’s Matt Kolodzik, but this sure looks National Champion-esque. Ashnault and Suriano are now 12-0 on the season and they continue to roll through anybody thrown their way.
Van Brills, Correnti, Colucci Bounce Back
Okay, this is a lot, but all of these guys needed a win heading into the holiday break. Mike Van Brill earned a 6-2 decision over Travis Layton and earned over three minutes of riding time in the process. He’s only 3-2 on the season, but he should be the guy moving forward at 141. Goodale experimented with Peter Lipari at the weight, but after an 0-2 day at the Cliff Keen Tournament, he decided to go with the younger Van Brill and he did not disappoint.
John Van Brill also grinded with a 2-1 decision where he dominated on top. It was not a flashy performance, but a much needed win for the older Van Brill after an inconsistent first ten matches.
Matt Correnti and Christian Colucci entered the day 4-6 and 4-4 respectively and both needed a win in the worst way to give the staff some confidence in their upper weights.
Correnti scored a late takedown to win 6-3 and Colucci earned a hard fought 2-0 decision. As we approach the holidays, Goodale and company can feel better about their heavier part of the lineup.
HWT | BOOM! Christian Colucci earns the 2-0 decision over Ryan Cloud!— Rutgers Wrestling (@RUWrestling) December 16, 2018
More Cowbell, please! pic.twitter.com/xctGcbfEmt
Willie Scott shocks the crowd, Gravina Returns
Willie Scott filled in for Joe Grello who was said to be “banged up” by Goodale after the match. 174 was a toss up in the first place and not many people were giving Scott a chance against his former high school teammate Dean Sherry. However, after trailing 6-2 late in the third period, Scott was able to tilt Sherry for a four-point near fall and earned the riding time point at the buzzer. He won 7-6 just like that. A shock to me and everyone in the crowd, but Scott came out of nowhere to swing the match in Rutgers’ favor going into the final three bouts. Absolutely impressive.
Nick Gravina also returned for his season debut after some offseason shoulder surgery. Gravina told me back on media day that he finally felt no pain in his shoulder and despite the rust, earned a 3-2 decision to start 1-0 on the season.
125: Jonathon Tropea (RID) over Shane Metzler (RU) (Dec 5-3)133: No. 3/2/4 Nick Suriano (RU) over Anthony Cefelo (RID) (MD 15-3) 141: Mike Van Brill (RU) over Travis Layton (RID) (Dec 6-2)149: No. 2/2/2 Anthony Ashnault (RU) over Evan Fidelibus (RID) (Fall 3:33)157: No. 18/17/15 John Van Brill (RU) over Gino Fluri (RID) (Dec 2-1)165: No. 20/NR/NR Jesse Dellavecchia (RID) over Stephan Glasgow (RUTG) (Dec 5-4) 174: Willie Scott (RU) over Dean Sherry (RID) (Dec 7-6)184: No. 11/NR/NR Nicholas Gravina (RU) over Michale Fagg-Daves (RID) (Dec 3-2) 197: Matt Correntti (RU) over Ethan Laird (RID) (Dec 6-3) 285: Christian Colucci (RU) over Ryan Cloud (RID) (Dec 2-0)