Rutgers wrestling held their 2019-20 wrestle-offs on Saturday to determine their varsity lineup for their opening quad meet on November 2nd. Below are the results, final lineup, and takeaways:
Nico Aguilar dec. Malcolm Robinson (5-1) - Match 1
Nico Aguilar p. Malcolm Robinson (2nd period) - Match 2
Zach Firestone dec. Devon Britton (6-0)
Sammy Alvarez dec. Shane Metzler (3-1 OT)
Devon Britton dec. Shane Metzler (5-2) - 3rd Place bout
Sammy Alvarez dec. Zach Firestone (5-3) - 1st place bout
JoJo Aragona dec. Andrew Gapas (6-1)
Peter Lipari p. Andrew Gapas (1st period)
JoJo Aragona dec. Peter Lipari (7-5 2OT)
Gerard Angelo dec. Jake Benner (3-1 OT)
Nick Santos dec. Gerard Angelo (1-0)
Nick Santos dec. Jake Benner (3-1)
Robert Kanniard dec. Cody Harrison (7-2)
Mike Van Brill MD. Cody Harrison (10-2)
Mike Van Brill dec. Robert Kanniard (10-7)
Joe Grello MD. Anthony Olivieri (8-0)
Billy Janzer dec. Willie Scott (4-2) - Match 1
Matt Correnti dec. Kyle Lightner (6-2)
Christian Colucci dec. Alex Esposito (5-3) - Match 1
Christian Colucci dec. Alex Esposito (5-1) - Match 2
Starting Lineup (Based on Wrestle-Off Results)
125 - Nico Aguilar (RS Fr.)
133 - Sammy Alvarez (Fr.)
141 - JoJo Aragona (Fr.)
149 - Nick Santos (RS So.)
157 - Mike Van Brill (RS Jr.)
165 - TBD
174 - Joe Grello (RS Jr.)
184 - Billy Janzer (RS Fr.)
197 - Matt Correnti (RS Jr.)
HWT - Christian Colucci (RS Sr.)
How about Alvarez? The true freshman, who originally committed to NC State, defeated Metzler and Firestone en route to the starting spot. Now, head coach Scott Goodale redshirted Aguilar last season after he won a wrestle-off over Metzler, so he could do the same with Alvarez. But, with this being a transitional year with a younger lineup, Goodale might keep him in there, particularly if he believes the young bucks give the team the best chances in dual meets in the regular season.
The drama at 141! Lipari, a returning NCAA qualifier, entered his final season as the favorite to win the spot. But it was the true freshman Aragona stealing the show with a 7-5 OT win after a 6-1 win earlier in the day over Gapas. If Aragona is as good as advertised, we could be witnessing the start of something special next weekend.
Good for Santos and Van Brill. Santos was hurt all last season and Van Brill struggled to make 141. They are in line to be the starters at 149 and 157, respectively. I’m excited to see what they can do next week.
Media day will provide a better explanation of 165 on Thursday.
I guess the coaching staff saw enough with 174-197? Grello, Janzer, and Correnti all won their wrestle-offs but were originally scheduled to wrestle twice. Also, Jordan Pagano did not wrestle at all today after he was slated to be apart of the round robin at 197.
Rutgers opens its season next Saturday (Nov.2), when it hosts LIU (10 a.m.), Pitt-Johnstown (11:30 a.m.) and Centenary (1 p.m.) at the RAC. You can watch the action on BTN Plus. I’ll be on the broadcast with Lou Brogno.