In what looked like an overall brutal first round for Rutgers, the Scarlet Knights will have nine of their 10 wrestlers alive for competition for tonight’s Session II (7 pm ET on Flo Wrestling or BTN Plus). Update: Session II recap here.
The opening hours were highlighted by Nick Suriano and Anthony Ashnault, whom each won two bouts to secure their spots in tonight’s semi-finals. They also clinched their automatic bids to the NCAA Tournament in Pittsburgh.
149 | TICKET PUNCHED! (1) Anthony Ashnault secures an automatic bid to the 2019 NCAA Championships and his spot in the B1G semifinals with his 6-3 decision over (8) Malik Amine (MICH)!#B1GWrestle | #RelentlessPursuit pic.twitter.com/7Eqdf99cOd— Rutgers Wrestling (@RUWrestling) March 9, 2019
133 | TICKET PUNCHED! (3) Nick Suriano secures an automatic bid to the 2019 NCAA Championships and a spot in the B1G semifinals with his 9-2 decision over (6) Ethan Lizak (MINN)!#B1GWrestle | #RelentlessPursuit pic.twitter.com/MPtOjIxgne— Rutgers Wrestling (@RUWrestling) March 9, 2019
Ashnault will wrestle Minnesota’s Tommy Thorn while Suriano will get a rematch with Iowa’s Austin DeSanto.
Meanwhile, John Van Brill had the highlight of the morning when he stunned Ohio State’s Ke-Shawn Hayes by pinning him in the third period. Van Brill was the underdog and trailed 4-2 when he won a scramble position to tie the match but ultimately got the turn and stuck Hayes to the mat.
He would lose to Nebraska’s Tyler Berger in the next round but Van Brill is now one win away from clinching at spot in Pittsburgh. He’ll get a rematch with Purdue’s Griffin Parriott.
As for the rest of the team, Peter Lipari and Nick Gravina would drop their opening matches but had bye’s in the first round of consolations, so they will wrestle tonight.
Shane Metzler kept his season alive with a win over Penn State’s Devin Schnupp to advance in the consolation bracket.
Stephan Glasgow and Christian Colucci each had wins over Michigan State’s Austin Hiles and Chase Beard, respectively, to advance in their consolation brackets. Glasgow seems to have a good shot to qualify considering 165 will take the Top 9 finishers.
Matt Correnti saw his tournament end with a 10-6 loss to Illinois’ Andre Lee and will have to hope for a wild card berth.
Nine Scarlet Knights are still alive after Session I, as (1) Anthony Ashnault (149) & (3) Nick Suriano (133) both advance to semifinal bouts in tonight's second session.— Rutgers Wrestling (@RUWrestling) March 9, 2019
We sit in eighth with 23.5 team points.#B1GWrestle | #RelentlessPursuit pic.twitter.com/Twtf7ifvor