NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (Jan. 5, 2014) – Back-to-back pins by freshman 141-pounder Tyson Dippery (Harrisburg, Pa.) and sophomore 149-pounder Ken Theobold (Toms River, N.J.) gave the Rutgers wrestling team (8-2, 5-0 EIWA) enough cushion to take down Harvard, 24-15, Sunday afternoon at the College Ave. Gym.
“It’s a hard thing to do –score falls at this level,” said head coach Scott Goodale. “The forfeit certainly helped but [Dippery and Theobold] were big. When Tyson can score a lot of points, and that was out approach – you’re going to need some bonus points – and Kenny, he leads our team in falls right now so that wasn’t shocking.
“It allowed us to build somewhat of lead because we know they were pretty through the middle. Then Phil Bakuckas was huge – that’s a huge win for him. Hopefully we just keep carrying this momentum and get better every day.”
Harvard forfeited at 125 pounds to begin the matchup but for the second consecutive dual, RU’s fate was determined in the final bout at heavyweight.
The Crimson won four of five bouts from 157 to 197 pounds to cut the RU lead to 21-15. Harvard (1-1, 0-1 EIWA) needed David Gadzjik to top Rutgers 285-pounder Billy Smith (Wantage, N.J.) by fall to tie the match and send it to criteria tiebreakers.
The win by fall would have given Harvard wins in six of 10 bouts, giving the Crimson the team criteria point and 22-21 win. However, No. NR/19/19 (AWN/InterMat/W.I.N.) Smith and Gadzjik went into the second round of sudden victory, where Smith outlasted the Crimson wrestler to secure a 24-15 Rutgers win.
The dual began with a Harvard forfeit at 125 pounds, giving RU an early 6-0 lead. The Crimson took a sudden victory decision at 133 pounds to cut the lead to 6-3 early, as Jeffrey Ott scored a takedown 23 seconds into the overtime period to defeat redshirt senior Vinnie Dellefave (Toms River, N.J.). 4-2.
The Scarlet Knights quickly distanced themselves in the next two bouts with consecutive wins by fall.
Dippery was ahead 8-0 on Harvard’s Colby Knight less than two minutes into the first period after a takedown and two three-point near falls. Soon after, the Central Dauphin (Pa.) product got Knight on his back for good (2:09), recording his third pin of the season and first in dual action.
Theobold rallied behind the pin to take down Harvard’s Nicholas Stager by fall even faster at 149 pounds. Theobold attacked quickly to begin the bout, winning by fall (0:36) to put Rutgers ahead, 18-3. The pin was his fifth of the season, tied for the team lead, as he leads the squad with four wins by fall in dual action.
Following a pair of Harvard decisions at 157 and 165 pounds, redshirt freshman Phil Bakuckas (Hammonton, N.J.) came through late to defeat Eric Morris at 174 pounds. The bout was tied, 1-1, with 13 second to go, when Bakuckas took a shot to earn a takedown and seal a 3-1 win. The win gave Rutgers a 21-9 lead, which allowed the Scarlet Knights to outlast the Crimson despite falling at 184 and 197 pounds.
Rutgers improved to 20-4 all-time against Harvard and has won the last 13 matchups between the two schools. Harvard last defeated RU on Feb. 16, 1971 by a 19-15 margin.
Further, a pair of Scarlet Knights built upon winning streaks. Redshirt freshman Sean McCabe (Connetquot, N.Y.) bumped his streak to six straight wins with the Harvard forfeit, while Smith won his fourth consecutive bout. McCabe and Dippery are currently tied for the team’s wins lead at 18.
RU returns to the College Ave. Gym on Friday, Jan. 10 or its third consecutive EIWA home dual. Rutgers will wrestle American University, as the bout is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. The match will be broadcast live on RVision, presented by AT&T, via scarletknights.com.
Rutgers and American have not faced off since Feb. 9, 2011, when RU knocked off the No. 11 Eagles, 19-15, amid the Scarlet Knights’ record 2010-11 season. Goodale and Co. finished the year 21-2, which still stands as the most single-season dual wins in program history.
Rutgers 24, Harvard 15
Dual started at 125 pounds
125: Harvard forfeit
133: Jeffrey Ott (HU) dec. over Vinnie Dellefave (RU), 4-2 SV
141: Tyson Dippery (RU) wins by fall over Colby Knight (HU), 2:09
149: Ken Theobold (RU) wins by fall over Nicholas Stager (HU), 0:36
157: Tyler Grimaldi (HU) dec. over Corey Stasenko (RU), 8-5
165: Devon Gobbo (HU) dec. over Nick Visicaro (RU), 7-3
174: Phil Bakuckas (RU) dec. over Eric Morris (HU), 7-2
184: Cameron Croy (HU) dec. over Dan Seidenberg (RU), 6-4
197: James Fox (HU) dec. over Hayden Hrymack (RU), 6-4
HWT: No. NR/ 19/19 Billy Smith (RU) dec. over Nicholas Gadzjik (HU), 3-2 TB1
Rankings (-/-/-): AWN / InterMat / W.I.N. (As of Jan. 3)
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