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Joe Grello gets At-Large Bid, Rutgers sends Six to NCAA’s

Take a look at Rutgers Wrestling’s NCAA qualifiers

Rutgers Wrestling/Sam Wasson


Make it six Scarlet Knights heading to Pittsburgh. Joe Grello, Rutgers redshirt-sophomore 174 pounder, will join Nick Suriano, Anthony Ashnault, Peter Lipari, John Van Brill, and Nick Gravina for the National tournament next week.

Here’s a look at each qualifier for Rutgers:

Nick Suriano (133)

Suriano will likely be no lower than the No. 3 seed at NCAA’s. He’ll go in as the Big Ten Champion, sporting a 24-3 record, and one of the top contenders for a national title with Oklahoma State’s Daton Fix, Michigan’s Steven Micic, Iowa’s Austin DeSanto, and Pittsburgh’s Mickey Phillippi.

Peter Lipari (141)

Lipari may be 12-12 on the season, but he earned an automatic spot with a 9th place finish at the Big Ten Tournament. It was a nice stretch run and now he’ll be tested to his full abilities when he takes the mat against the other 32 best wrestlers in this weight.

Anthony Ashnault (149)

Undefeated, three time Big Ten Champion, and favorite to win it all. That pretty much sums it up for Ashnault who will go in as the No. 1 seed at NCAA’s with a 27-0 record. Oh, he is also now the all-time leader in wins in Rutgers history. No big deal. National Title or bust.

John Van Brill (157)

He’s dangerous. It’s that time of year for Van Brill where his game seemingly steps up a notch. He lives for tournament life. He pinned Ohio State’s Ke-Shawn Hayes in the first round and battled back to earn 8th on the podium to grab an auto-bid. He was one win away from being an All-American in 2018, so expect the redshirt-senior to give it all he has for his last ‘go around.

Joe Grello (174)

He finished 9th at 174 at Big Ten’s, one spot shy of an auto bid, but he made his last few wins count. With his RPI and Coaches Ranking helping his case, Grello will make his first appearance at the NCAA Tournament. We are still waiting for the breakout display from Grello, but with this opportunity, we could finally see that long awaited, un-tapped potential.

Nick Gravina (184)

One last time for Gravina. He is a 4x NCAA qualifier, fell two matches short last season, but made it to the blood round in 2017. Gravina is certainly capable of being an All-American and if the Big Ten Tournament showed anything, Gravina is going to leave it all on the mat in Pittsburgh. He definitely looked a little stronger and more fluid this past weekend.