RUTGERS (7-1, 2-0 EIWA) vs. CSU BAKERSFIELD (4-1, 0-1 PAC 12)
Dual No. 9: CSU Bakersfield (4-1, 0-1 PAC 12)
Thursday, Jan. 3 • 9 p.m. ET
Bakersfield, Calif. • CSUB Old Gym
• The Rutgers wrestling team (7-1, 2-0 EIWA) jets out to the West Coast for dual action at CSU Bakersfield on Thursday, Jan. 3 inside CSUB’s Old Gym at 9 p.m. ET. The Scarlet Knights will continue at the Stanford Duals on Sunday, Jan. 6, facing Arizona State and the host Cardinal squad in Palo Alto, Calif., starting at 5 p.m.
• RU took a 1-1 split at the inaugural “Grapple at the Garden” event inside New York City’s historic Madison Square Garden on Dec. 16, dropping a 22-10 result to No. 14 Nebraska before churning out a 28-12 victory vs. Chattanooga.
• In his sixth season leading the Scarlet Knights, head coach Scott Goodale holds an outstanding 91-30-1 dual record as Rutgers’ mat leader.
• The Scarlet Knights currently feature four individuals in the national rankings: 141-pounder Trevor Melde (Hewitt, N.J.), 157-pounder Scott Winston (Jackson, N.J.), 174-pounder Greg Zannetti (Edison, N.J.) and 184-pounder Dan Rinaldi (Lodi, N.J.).
• Zannetti returns to the 174-pound starting spot after leading the squad in wins with a 31-6 overall record in 2011-12.
• Rutgers’ lineup features three seniors who have earned qualification for the NCAA Championships in all three seasons of their career. Mason, Winston and Rinaldi have not missed a national tournament.
Rutgers and the CSU Bakersfield Runners
• Rutgers has not faced CSU Bakersfield in its program history. The Saturday, Jan. 3 match inside CSUB’s Old Gym will be the Scarlet Knights’ first opportunity against the Runners.
Scouting the Runners
• CSU Bakersfield, an affiliate member of the PAC 12 Conference for wrestling, has compiled a 4-1 overall record and 0-1 conference mark in the 2012-13 season. The Runners are a pristine 3-0 in home matches so far in their campaign.
• Individually, CSUB sports three ranked wrestlers. The squad is led by freshman 133-pounder Ian Nickell, who owns a 22-6 overall record and No. 14 ranking. Following Nickell are fellow freshmen Timmy Box (16-5) and Bryce Hammond (20-5) at 141 pounds and 174 pounds. The two are ranked 20th and 18th at their respective weights.
Scouting the Stanford Duals
• After its dual matchup with CSU Bakersfield, the Scarlet Knights will head to Palo Alto, Calif., to take part in the Stanford Duals on Sunday, Jan. 6. RU will face Arizona State and Stanford beginning at 5 p.m. inside Burnham Pavilion, beginning at 5 p.m. ET.
• Arizona State (5-2, 1-0 PAC 12) has notched victories over North Carolina (21-16), Campbell (43-0), The Citadel (42-6), CSU Bakersfield (29-10) and Grand Canyon (42-6) thus far in the 2012-13 season). The Sun Devils are led individually by seventh-ranked 197-pounder Jake Meredith, who has compiled a 13-1 overall record.
• The hosting Cardinal squad enters the Stanford Duals with a 4-3 overall record, while going 0-2 in home events in the 2012-13 season. Stanford went 1-1 in recent dual action in Columbia, Mo., winning 22-11 over South Dakota State before falling to Missouri, 31-3.
Scarlet Knights Take 1-1 Dual Split at “Grapple at the Garden”
• The Rutgers wrestling team split dual matches at the first-ever “Grapple at the Garden” inside Madison Square Garden on Dec. 16, falling to No. 14 Nebraska, 22-10, before defeating Chattanooga, 28-12. The Scarlet Knights’ point-filled effort against the Mocs improved the squad’s record to 7-1 overall in 2012-13.
• RU was led by redshirt freshman heavyweight Billy Smith (Wantage, N.J.), who posted a 2-0 record on the day. Smith first turned away NU’s Donny Longendyke by decision, 4-2, followed by a 4-0 decision of Moc heavyweight Kevin Malone.
Rutgers Rolls vs. Rider and Princeton
• Rutgers improved to 6-0 with two strong dual performances, defeating Rider 25-5 and EIWA foe Princeton 30-6 on Dec. 8 in College Ave. Gym. The Scarlet Knights won 16 of the 20 contested matches. Included in the victories were 2-0 outings by senior 174-pounder Greg Zannetti (Edison, N.J.), senior 184-pounder Dan Rinaldi (Lodi, N.J.), junior 197-pounder Dan Seidenberg (Red Bank, N.J.), redshirt freshman heavyweight Billy Smith (Wantage, N.J.) and senior 125-pounder Joseph Langel (Howell, N.J.).
• Both Langel and Smith won their two matches by major decision margins. Langel first won by an 8-0 advantage over Rider’s Patrick Skinner, then defeated Princeton’s Max Rogers by a score of 11-3. Smith shutout Greg Velesco of Rider, 9-0, then controlled Princeton’s Charles Fox, 13-1.
• The wins by Zannetti and Rinaldi improved their identical season records to 14-1 overall.
• Sophomore 165-pounder Nick Visicaro (Long Branch, N.J.) turned in an upset victory in RU’s victory over Rider, winning a 4-1 decision over No. 16 Ramon Santiago.