It’s a big weekend for the Scarlet Knights and it starts with No. 9 Nebraska coming to the RAC.
MATCH NIGHT: No. 18 Rutgers opens weekend action tonight with No. 9 Nebraska at the RAC.— Rutgers Wrestling (@RUWrestling) February 1, 2019
Live Stream : https://t.co/NBhBim3ZD9
Probables ♂️: https://t.co/hf2ybly5z0
Preview : https://t.co/qmB7tXpTGU#RelentlessPursuit | #GoRU pic.twitter.com/DYooo8NSCi
Unfortunately, Rutgers is banged up at the heavier weights and will have scratch and claw their way if they’re even thinking about an upset. Let’s get right down to it!
Preview and Predictions:
125: Shane Metzler vs. No. 14 Zeke Moisey
-Metzler will get another crack at a ranked opponent in Moisey. Moisey was a National Finalist at 125 pounds for West Virginia when he was unseeded back in the 2015 NCAA Finals against Ohio State’s Nathan Tomasello. He has been solidified in the rankings since transferring to Nebraska.
Prediction: Moisey by MAJOR DECISION
133: No. 4 Nick Suriano vs. Jevon Parrish
-Suriano was not a sure thing to wrestle against Michigan State but when he was called upon, he earned a tech fall. I’d expect the same thing with a week of preparation for Nebraska. Parrish will be up against it.
Prediction: Suriano by TECH FALL
141: Peter Lipari vs. Chad Red
-Lipari finally broke through and earned a nice victory against Michigan State. Red has been in and out of the rankings and went into Tiebreaker one vs. No. 4 Mike Carr of Illinois last Sunday. Red is the favorite, but with a home crowd and Lipari gaining some confidence, he could pull this one off and get his record back to .500.
Prediction: Red by DECISION
149: No. 2 Anthony Ashnault vs. Jordan Shearer
-Ashnault was a mad man last week. Expect more of the same and for him to take an 18-0 record into Sunday against Matt Kolodzik of Princeton. That one could very well be an NCAA Finals preview.
Prediction: Ashnault by TECH FALL
157: No. 17 John Van Brill vs. No. 2 Tyler Berger
-Van Brill is 0-3 lifetime vs. Berger. In last year’s dual, Van Brill lost in Sudden Victory but has lost 6-0 and 5-1 in the other matchups. Berger seems to be on a new level this season, with his two losses coming to Penn State’s Jason Nolf and Purdue’s Griffin Patriot in sudden victory. Berger also pinned Illinois’ Eric Barone last week, who came into that dual ranked No. 12.
Prediction: Berger by DECISION
165: Stephan Glasgow vs. No. 6 Isaiah White
-White is a straight beast. He was an NCAA qualifier last season, held Penn State’s Vincenzo Joseph to a 2-0 decision, and is an All-American candidate this year. This will be a real test for Glasgow, who seems to be getting healthier each day. It’ll be a interesting clash of styles: Glasgow’s finesse and White’s power.
Prediction: White by DECISION
174: Joe Grello vs. No. 9 Michael Labriola
-Grello seemed to be gaining a lot of confidence after knocking off Iowa’s Mitch Bowman but lost a tough 4-3 decision to Michigan State’s Drew Hughes last week. It seems the season will continue the up and down trend for Grello, who’s going to need his best stuff to knock off Labriola.
Health could be an issue as this is the banged up part of Rutgers’ lineup. Anthony Olivieri could be the option here if Grello can’t go or is saved for Sunday vs. Princeton.
Prediction: Labriola by DECISION
184: Anthony Olivieri vs. No. 3 Taylor Venz
-Venz is coming off a huge pin over previously No. 2 Emery Parker of Illinois. Safe to say, Venz is showing off the best wrestling of his career. Nick Gravina previously defeated Venz just last season 9-3 on the road, but Venz has taken steps up.
With Gravina still on the mend, Willie Scott and Jordan Pagano unavailable, enter Olivieri who has bumped up after seeing some action at 165 earlier in the season. Rutgers would just hope to save some kind bonus points. Goodale mentioned last week that Olivieri is the likely option here seeing how they don’t want to burn Billy Janzer’s redshirt.
Prediction: Venz by TECH FALL
197: Matt Correnti vs. No. 11 Eric Shultz
-Correnti is 1-6 vs. common opponents while Shultz is 4-4. A shocking loss by pin last week might still linger for Correnti but this match is a toss up. Rutgers could use a late win in this dual, as could Correnti to get back on track.
Prediction: Shultz by DECISION
HWT: Christian Colucci vs. David Jensen
-Colucci grinded out a nice win last week in the tiebreakers and head coach Scott Goodale has said he wants him to open up more offensively. It seems Colucci has been hesitant to shoot but has a wider arsenal at his disposal than what’s been shown lately. He might be able to pick off Jensen in front of the home crowd.
Prediction: Colucci by DECISION
Final Score: Nebraska over Rutgers 24-13