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No. 18 Rutgers at Maryland: Wrestling Preview

The Scarlet Knights head to College Park for regular season finale

Roy DeBoer

It’s time for the final dual meet of the season.

Rutgers has a road date with Maryland in their Big Ten and regular season finale Friday night at 7 p.m. The Scarlet Knights are heavily favored in this matchup and will look for some last minute tune ups before the Big Ten Tournament, which takes place in two weeks.

Grello finally ranked

Joe Grello made his debut in the rankings this week as Track Wrestling pegged him at No. 21 at 174 lbs. with his 13-7 record. This poll ranks the Top 25 at each weight. Now that Grello has appeared in the coaches poll and now the Track Wrestling poll, it could give him a little extra juice for NCAA qualifying criteria.

Ashnault’s climb in wins

With Anthony Ashnault’s victory against Michigan, he sits at 113 for his career, which makes him tied for second in program history. He only trails Mike McHugh, who accumulated 117 wins from 1986-1989.

Preview and Predictions:

125: Shane Metzler vs. Brandon Cray

-On paper, this match is very close due to the similar common opponents record (Metzler 4-6, Cray 4-7). I’ll give Cray the home mat advantage here, but this could be an opportunity for Metzler to get a boost and improve seeding for the Big Ten Tournament.

Prediction: Cray by DECISION

133: No. 4 Nick Suriano vs. Orion Anderson

-This is a major mismatch. Suriano should make quick work of Anderson.

Prediction: Suriano by TECH FALL

141: Peter Lipari vs. Danny Bertoni

-Both are 2-4 vs. common opponents so it is a bit of a toss up on paper. I’d roll with Lipari here due to his performances as of late, including a near steal against Kanen Storr of Michigan.

Prediction: Lipari by DECISION

149: No. 1 Anthony Ashnault vs. Alfred Bannister

-Like Suriano, Ashnault should roll here. Bannister is no pushover as he’s made noise in the NCAA tournament in the past, but Ashnault is on a different level.

Prediction: Ashnault by MAJOR DECISION

157: No. 17 John Van Brill vs. Ryan Diehl

-Diehl actually edged Mike Van Brill in the outdoor match, 10-9, last season. John will have the advantage however as Diehl has made a step up in weight. Both are 0-3 against common opponents, but Van Brill has come close to knocking off the top guys.

Prediction: Van Brill by MAJOR DECISION

165: Jake Benner vs. Phillip Spadafora

-We’ll go with Benner here again as he’ll have to bump up. It seems like the coaching staff is doing everything they can to make sure Stephan Glasgow is as close to 100% for the Big Ten Tournament. Glasgow won’t have a large resume and will likely need to score an upset at the tournament to get an automatic bid in what is expected to be a deep 165 class in the Big Ten. Benner meanwhile will give up some weight but I think he can keep this close, perhaps even win.

Prediction: Spadafora by DECISION

174: Joe Grello vs. Josh Ugalde

-Ugalde knocked off Jordan Pagano last season but this year, Grello should have his number. Grello has consistently improved but has not broken out yet. He’ll need this to keep a decent seed at the tournament.

Prediction: Grello by DECISION

184: Nick Gravina vs. Kyle Jasenki

-Gravina did not wrestle against Michigan due to the match being out of reach and for rest as he’s be battling a shoulder ailment for awhile. Anthony Olivieri could be an option here if Gravina doesn’t go but I would think Gravina gets one last tune up to add to a thin resume for NCAA’s this season.

Prediction: Gravina by DECISION

197: Matt Correnti vs. Nike Cappello

-Correnti is 5-10 vs. common opponents while Capello is 0-11. The Scarlet Knight has a clear advantage and once again, should handle this match and maintain his seeding in the Big Ten.

Prediction: Correnti by DECISION

HWT: Christian Colucci vs. No. 10 Youssif Hemida

-I expect this one to be close due to Colucci’s style, but Hemida is a podium candidate once again and has been consistently top ten the past two seasons.

Prediction: Hemida by DECISION

Final Score: Rutgers over Maryland 25-9