It was a rough night in Iowa City.
Rutgers dropped their dual to Iowa 30-6 in front of a packed house at Carver Hawkeye Arena. Known as one of the toughest places to wrestle, Rutgers went against a buzzsaw on Friday night.
The Scarlet Knights split matches against ranked opponents Wisconsin and Oklahoma State and were thought to have some favorable matchups on paper against the Hawkeyes. After a shocking defeat at 133 pounds, Rutgers dug themselves too big of a whole. Here are some of the headlines:
Nick Suriano drops 2nd straight match
Well, Austin DeSanto will be loud for quite awhile. Suriano came in ranked 3rd in the country at 133 lbs. and lost to No. 8 DeSanto 6-4 after giving up a takedown at the buzzer. DeSanto was aided by two stall calls against Suriano which resulted in two points. The two wrestlers were hit for a double stall earlier in the match.
DeSanto was also the first wrestler to take Suriano down all season.
The scene inside Carver-Hawkeye after DeSanto took out Suriano in the final seconds.pic.twitter.com/foS7zTe4K4— FloWrestling (@FloWrestling) January 19, 2019
One thing I’ve noticed with Suriano in the last two matches against Daton Fix and DeSanto, his offensive attacks seem to be nearly non-existent. Suriano is known for his defense and dominance on top. He generally won’t get into a high scoring affair on both sides but will control most of his opponents, including the top guys (see Lehigh’s Darian Cruz in last year’s NCAA semi-finals).
For a guy who did not lose in high school and only lost two total matches coming into his junior season of collegiate competition, Suriano faces a little adversity for the rest of the season.
Anthony Ashnault Survives
It was a scare from Pat Lugo, but Ashnault earned a tough 3-1 victory in sudden victory. Lugo’s defense was extremely tough throughout the entire match and he even wiped away riding time after a good ride from Ashnault in the second period. Ashnault finally opened up near the end of the third period and in overtime with a lot of misdirection and took Lugo down for the win.
Anthony Ashnault's sudden victory takedown to beat Pat Lugo. pic.twitter.com/6UEUM3aO1N— FloWrestling (@FloWrestling) January 19, 2019
149 | BOOM! No. 2 Anthony Ashnault works the takedown in SV1 for the 3-1 decision over No. 12 Pat Lugo!#RelentlessPursuit | #GoRU pic.twitter.com/Yy8w9jyUW4— Rutgers Wrestling (@RUWrestling) January 19, 2019
He is now 16-0 on the season and you have to give him props for this win after a thriller against Oklahoma State’s Kaden Gfeller last Sunday. Having to go on the road to Iowa is always a challenge. There has to be some sort of mystique about the place that can affect the visiting team mentally.
By the way, it was win 107 for Ashnault, now 7th all time in Rutgers history.
Joe Grello quietly having a solid season
With his win over Mitch Bowman, Grello’s record now stands at 10-5, 7-3 in duals, and 2-1 in the Big Ten. He narrowly missed qualifying for NCAA’s last season and will need to make sure he has an above .500 record in conference matches to give him a good seed at the Big Ten Tournament.
Nice win for Joe Grello, who picked up his second B1G win of the season. #RelentlessPursuit pic.twitter.com/1ll2UHaMeZ— Rutgers Wrestling (@RUWrestling) January 19, 2019
While Grello is 0-4 against ranked opponents, every match was close. The losses were as follows: 6-2 to Kimball Bastianof Utah Valley, 5-2 to Mitch Finesilver of Duke, 10-8 to Devin Skatzka of Minnesota, and 9-6 to Joe Smith of Oklahoma State. The last two are notable due to the step up in competition.
We’ve always said Grello seems to be right on the cusp of a breakthrough. Hopefully with wins in two of his last three duals, he’ll earn wins against Michigan State and an upset over stud freshman Mikey Labriola of Nebraska.
125: No. 2 Spencer Lee (IOWA) FALL over Nick DeNora (RU): 0:38
133: No. 8 Austin DeSanto (IOWA) DEC over No. 3 Nick Suriano (RU): 6-4
141: No. 19 Max Murin (IOWA) DEC over Peter Lipari (RU): 8-4
149: No. 2 Anthony Ashnault (RU) DEC over No. 16 Pat Lugo (IOWA): 3-1 SV
157: No. 5 Kaleb Young (IOWA) DEC over No. 15 John Van Brill (RU): 5-2
165: No. 2 Alex Marinelli (IOWA) FALL over Anthony Olivieri (RU): 2:17
174: Joe Grello (RU) DEC over Mitch Bowman (IOWA): 6-3
184: No. 17 Cash Wilcke (IOWA) DEC over Willie Scott (RU): 6-1
197: No. 5 Jacob Warner (IOWA) DEC Matt Correnti (RU): 6-0
HWT: No. 5 Sam Stoll (IOWA) MD over Christian Colucci (RU): 10-0
Final Score: Iowa over Rutgers 30-6
Rutgers will return home on Friday, January 25th against Michigan State. We’ll have a breakdown of that match next week, but early indications should give Rutgers a clear advantage over the Spartans.