Rutgers headed down to North Carolina today for a quad-meet against Clarion, Davidson, and UT-Chattanooga and came back with three wins. Another overall dominant performance saw Rutgers win 24 of 30 matches on the day to earn a 6-0 record on the season.
Dylan Shawver, Sammy Alvarez, Mike VanBrill and John Poznanski all went 3-0 while Sebastian Rivera, Greg Bulsak, and Boone McDermott went 2-0.
#12 Rutgers vs Clarion
Led by bonus points from Alvarez, Rivera, and Bulsak, #12 Rutgers Wrestling downed Clarion 27-10 in the first match of their Saturday quad-meet in Davidson, NC. The only ranked matchup during the meet saw #27 Mike VanBrill handle #23 Brent Moore, 7-1. VanBrill was in control the entire match and barely gave Moore any room to breathe.
#5 Sebastian Rivera dominated a previously unbeaten Seth Koleno of Clarion to win by tech-fall 21-5 and #13 Sammy Alvarez shut out his opponent, winning by major decision, 10-0. #14 Greg Bulsak, going up against his former school, put a stamp on the dual when he pinned Clarion’s Will Feldkamp in the second period at 197lbs.
Clarion was able to pull off two upsets on the day, as Trevor Elfvin was able to take out Rutgers #32 Rob Kanniard, 8-3. Elfvin’s scored a big move in the second period, putting Kanniard to his back and securing near-fall points, which Kanniard was never able to recover from.
The other upset occurred at 174lbs where Clarion’s John Worthing spoiled #7 Jackson Turley’s season debut for Rutgers, beating him 12-6. Turley didn’t look like himself and it was clear he wasn’t 100% in match condition. Turley almost threw Worthing to his back in the first period, but it went downhill from there.
I was really impressed with the top game of both Bulsak who rides legs like a lanky 141lber and heavyweight Boone McDermott, who must have had over four minutes of riding time by the end of his 5-0 decision win.
#12 Rutgers vs Davidson
In the second match of the day, #12 Rutgers handled the host team, Davidson by a score of 35-6. Rutgers won 8 of 10 matches and scored bonus points in six of those wins.
#26 Dylan Shawver wasted little time, dispatching his opponent by technical fall, 16-0. #13 Sammy Alvarez was up next and although Davidson’s Kyle Gorant was a game challenger, Alvarez simply outclassed him utilizing several different techniques to score takedowns, winning by major decision, 13-5.
Michael Cetta stepped in at 141lbs and put on a show, scoring a tech-fall over his opponent, 17-2. After two more Rutgers wins, Davidson was able to string together back-to-back decision victories at 165lbs and 174lbs, but that was all they could muster against this dominant Rutgers squad.
At 197lbs, Kyle Epperly got the nod and took full advantage, pinning his opponent with a cradle after dominating most of the match.
#12 Rutgers vs UT-Chattanooga
Saturday’s final matchup saw #12 Rutgers molly-whop UT-Chattanooga, 39-3. Rutgers won 9 of 10 bouts and looked their best on the day. UTC came into the match with four ranked wrestlers but only one saw action, as the anticipated 125lb ranked matchup between Rutgers’ #26 Dylan Shawver and UTC’s #22 Fabian Gutierrez ended before it began with Gutierrez forfeiting.
After #13 Sammy Alvarez scored a decision win, #5 Sebastian Rivera earned his second tech-fall win on the day, dispatching his opponent in the middle of the second period. #27 Mike VanBrill continued his hot start to the season with a decision win at 149lbs followed by #32 Rob Kanniard pouring on some points and winning by major decision, 17-5.
Andrew Clark fell at 165lbs, but then Connor O’Neill earned a big 2-0 decision with a huge 3rd period ride-out of his opponent. #5 John Poznanski got a ranked win over #30 Matthew Waddell with a workmanlike 9-4 decision. It also should be noted that Poz is an absolute bully with his snap-downs and it’s awesome to see.
UTC forfeited again at 197lbs, giving Rutgers’ #14 Greg Bulsak a win but depriving the fans of a ranked matchup with UTC’s #31 Logan Andrew. At heavyweight, Boone McDermott made quick work of his opponent, turning him to his back and securing the fall in the first period.
The two early season quad-meets have laid a great foundation for this year’s Rutgers squad to build on. The results were anticipated but getting live mat action is never overrated.
The schedule begins get harder as the next action for Rutgers Wrestling will come November 27th at the Prudential Center in Newark for the “Garden State Grapple” where they will face off against Hofstra and #13 North Carolina. The UNC match specifically should have some fun matchups, and we’ll break them down as the date approaches.
Happy Thanksgiving, eat well and thank goodness most of us reading this won’t have to cut weight after.
No. 12 Rutgers 27, Clarion 10
125: No. 26 Dylan Shawver (RU) over Joey Fischer (CU) by decision, 7-3
133: No. 13 Sammy Alvarez (RU) over Alex Blake (CU) by MD, 10-0
141: No. 4 Sebastian Rivera (RU) over Seth Koleno (CU) by TF, 21-5
149: No. 27 Michael VanBrill (RU) over No. 23 Brent Moore (CU) by decision, 7-1
157: Trevor Elfvin (CU) over No. 32 Robert Kanniard (RU) by decision, 7-3
165: Cam Pine (CU) over Andrew Clark (RU) by MD, 8-0
174: John Worthing (CU) over No. 7 Jackson Turley (RU) by decision, 12-6
184: No. 5 John Poznanski (RU) over Max Wohlabaugh (CU) by decision, 6-2
197: No. 14 Greg Bulsak (RU) over Will Feldkamp (CU) by Fall
HWT: No. 29 Boone McDermott (RU) over Austin Chapman (CU) by decision, 5-0
No. 12 Rutgers 35, Davidson 6
125: No. 26 Dylan Shawver (RU) over Hale Robinson (DC) by TF, 16-0
133: No. 13 Sammy Alvarez (RU) over Kyle Gorant (DC) by MD, 13-5
141: Michael Cetta (RU) over Joshua Viarengo (DC) by TF, 17-2
149: No. 27 Michael VanBrill (RU) over Noah Frack (DC) by MD, 10-0
157: No. 32 Robert Kanniard (RU) over Bryce Sanderlin (DC) by MD, 15-4
165: Jaden Hardrick (DC) over Andrew Clark (RU) by decision, 3-1
174: Steven Newell (DC) over Connor O’Neill (DC) by decision, 6-5
184: No. 5 John Poznanski (RU) over Gavin Henry (DC) by MD, 19-5
197: Kyle Epperly (RU) over Owen Vietmeier (DC) by fall (1:27)
HWT: Alex Esposito (RU) over Jake Fernicola (DC) by decision, 9-2
No. 12 Rutgers 39, UT-Chattanooga 3
125: No. 26 Dylan Shawver (RU) by forfeit
133: No. 13 Sammy Alvarez (RU) over Brayden Palmer (UTC) by decision, 12-5
141: No. 4 Sebastian Rivera (RU) over Franco Valdos (UTC) by TF, 16-1
149: No. 27 Michael VanBrill (RU) over Noah Castillo (UTC) by decision, 4-1
157: No. 32 Robert Kanniard (RU) over Grant Lundy (UTC) by MD, 17-5
165: Weston Wichman (UTC) over Andrew Clark (RU) by decision, 5-4
174: Connor O’Neill (RU) over Carial Tarter (UTC) by decision, 2-0
184: No. 5 John Poznanski (RU) over Matthew Waddell (UTC) by decision, 8-4
197: No. 14 Greg Bulsak (RU) by forfeit
HWT: No. 29 Boone McDermott (RU) over Grant Walthall (UTC) by fall
133: Devon Britton (RU) over Sam Prinkey (CU) by decision, 10-3
165: Caleb Hetrick (CU) over Al DeSantis (RU) by MD, 17-7
133: Devon Britton (RU) over Sam Nini (DC) by fall (1:31)
197: Kyle Epperly (RU) over Thomas Sell (UTC) by fall