PISCATAWAY, N.J. (Jan. 23, 2014) – The NCAA released the first of three coaches panel rankings for the 2013-14 season Thursday, as three Scarlet Knights earned national recognition.
Redshirt senior 133-pounder Vinnie Dellefave (Toms River, N.J.), freshman 141-pounder Tyson Dippery (Harrisburg, Pa.) and redshirt sophomore heavyweight Billy Smith (Wantage, N.J.) were ranked by the panel, which serves as one of the tools used in the selection process in order to qualify for the 2014 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, to be held in Oklahoma City, Okla., from March 20-22.
Smith picked up the No. 17 spot in the panel – the highest ranking of any heavyweight in the EIWA. He currently stands as the lone RU wrestler in the national rankings, earning the No. NR/16/18 (AWN/InterMat/W.I.N.) ranking among heavyweights. He is 18-5 this season and 9-2 in dual action, as four of his five losses have come against ranked opponents. All four of those losses have come by three points or less, with his match against then-No. 6/11/17 Spencer Myers of Maryland ending in the second round of tiebreakers at the second annual “Grapple at the Garden” (Dec. 1).
Smith owns a six-bout winning streak heading into RU’s match against No. 3/6 (USA Today Division I Coaches/ InterMat) Cornell this Sunday at 2 p.m. in Ithaca, N.Y.
Dippery, RU’s win’s leader at 20-8 this season, earned the No. 25 ranking in the panel at 141 pounds. Three EIWA grapplers sit ahead of Dippery after the first panel, but the Central Dauphin (Pa.) product continues to impress in his rookie season. He has won four straight bouts – all coming in dual action – while defeating Columbia’s then No. 13 (AWN) Matt Bystol in the process, 3-0, on Jan. 3.
Dellefave came in at No. 32 at 133 pounds. He is 8-6 this season after qualifying for the NCAA Championships last season as a junior. He also placed third in last season’s EIWA Tournament.
About the NCAA Division I Coaches Panel
Wrestlers in each weight class will be measured by winning percentage, rating percentage index (RPI) and coaches’ rankings to earn spots in their qualifying tournaments for the 2014 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships. The coaches’ rankings are compiled by a vote of coaches representing each qualifying tournament.
For ranking purposes, coaches may only consider a wrestler that has been designated as a starter at a respective weight class. In order to be eligible for the rankings, wrestlers must have participated in at least five matches against Division I opponents in the weight class and have wrestled within the last 30 days.
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