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Wrestling Closes Road Stretch At No. 23/22 Lehigh
Scarlet Knights will wrestle their third consecutive ranked opponent
  • Posted on February 06, 2014 11:05:20 AM
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  • Redshirt sophomore Billy Smith sealed a 17-16 win against Lehigh at the RAC last season


    PISCATAWAY, N.J. (Feb. 6, 2014) – The Rutgers wrestling team travels to Bethlehem, Pa., for its final road dual of the season against No. 23/22 (USA Today Division I Coaches/ InterMat) Lehigh on Saturday, Feb. 8. The dual represents the third consecutive road match against a ranked opponent for the Scarlet Knights, who wrestled No. 17/17 Iowa State on Jan. 17 and No. 3/6 Cornell on Jan. 26.

    A live video stream of the match will be available via Patriot League.TV. ESPN Radio 1230 will be on hand to provide radio play-by-play of the match, as well.

    RU fell, 29-9, to Cornell its last time out in Ithaca, N.Y. Rutgers was within three points after redshirt senior 133-pounder Vinnie Dellefave (Toms River, N.J.) picked up a win in the second bout, but the Big Red won six of the next eight bouts to seal the win at Newman Arena.

    The Scarlet Knights enter the dual with one ranked grappler in No. NR/15/19 (AWN/InterMat/W.I.N.) redshirt sophomore heavyweight Billy Smith (Wantage, N.J.). Smith enters the weekend on a seven-match winning streak.

    Lehigh enters the match with five of its 10 starters ranked: No. 5/6/6 (AWN/InterMat/W.I.N.) 133-pounder Mason Beckman, No. 13 (AWN.) 141-pounder Laike Gardner, No. 13/10/11 149-pounder Mitch Minotti, No. 9/12/12 157-pounder Joey Napoli and No. 13/NR/15 174-pounder Elliot Riddick.

    Scouting the Mountain Hawks

    Lehigh returns home to face the Scarlet Knights after traveling west for a pair of duals against No. 22/30 Oregon State (Jan. 23) and Boise State (Jan. 26). The Mountain Hawks fell behind, 22-0, against the Beavers in Corvallis, Ore., and never recovered, as  a forfeit and Oregon State bonus-point wins in two of the first five bouts led to the 28-10 road loss.

    The Mountain Hawks bounced back against the Broncos in their following match, winning nine of 10 bouts to secure a 35-6 victory. The only points Boise State earned came by forfeit to start the match at 197 pounds.

    Overall, the Mountain Hawks have three returning NCAA qualifiers on their roster - 133-pounder Randy Cruz, 157-pounder Joey Napoli and 174-pounder Nathaniel Brown each won a title at the 2013 EIWA Championships at the RAC, where Lehigh finished fourth.

    Series Info

    All-time: Lehigh leads Rutgers, 41-2
    Under Coach Goodale: Lehigh leads Rutgers, 5-1
    Last meeting: Jan. 18, 2013 (Rutgers 17, Lehigh 16)

    Last Meeting

    For the first time since 1950, the Rutgers wrestling team downed Lehigh in a thrilling 17-16 victory at the RAC on Jan. 18, 2013. Down 16-14 heading into the heavyweight bout, freshman Billy Smith notched a crucial decision to give the Scarlet Knights the win over the Mountain Hawks, who were ranked No. 14 in the InterMat rankings.

    RU Projected Starters vs. current Mountain Hawks (Rutgers leads, 9-3)

    •  Redshirt senior Vinnie Dellefave (1-0): Defeated Randy Cruz by a 3-2 decision on Jan. 18, 2013.

    • Freshman Tyson Dippery (Harrisburg, Pa.) (2-0): Defeated Jim Carucci by a 4-3 decision on Nov. 3, 2013 at the Clarion Open. Defeated William Switzer on Nov. 17, 2013 at the 47th Annual East Stroudsburg Open.

    • Redshirt sophomore Anthony Perrotti (Roseland, N.J.) (1-0): Defeated Bill Ramsey by fall (3:30) on Nov. 10, 2013 at the Jonathan Kaloust Bearcat Open.

    • Redshirt freshman Phil Bakuckas (Hammonton, N.J.) (1-1): Defeated Elliot Riddick by a 5-0 decision on Dec. 28, 2012 at the Wilkes University Open. Lost to Riddick by a 3-2 decision at the 2013 National Collegiate Wrestling Open.

    • Redshirt junior Nick Visicaro (Long Branch, N.J.) (1-0): Defeated Been Haas by a 17-6 major decision on Jan. 18, 2013.

    • Redshirt senior Dan Seidenberg (Red Bank, N.J.) (1-2): Lost to Nathaniel Brown by a 5-2 decision on Nov. 10, 2013 at the Jonathan Kaloust Bearcat Open. Defeated Zach Diekel by a 7-3 decision on Nov. 10, 2013 at the Jonathan Kaloust Bearcat Open. Lost to John Bolich by a 4-2 decision on Jan. 18, 2013.

    • Redshirt sophomore Billy Smith (2-0): Defeated Jack Delia by a 6-0 decision on Jan. 18, 2013. Defeated Delia by a 5-2 decision on Dec. 28, 2011 at the Wilkes University Open.

    Rutgers Projected Starters

    Wt.                             Name      Yr.                 Hometown      Overall (Dual Record)
    125                  Sean McCabe    R-Fr.        Connetquot, N.Y                           18-9 (4-4)
    133                 Vinnie Dellefave   R-Sr.        Toms River, N.J.                             9-6 (7-4)
    141                  Tyson Dippery       Fr.          Harrisburg, Pa.                            20-9 (8-3)
    149                   Ken Theobold      So.        Toms River, N.J.                           16-10 (7-5)
    157               Anthony Perrotti    R-Fr.            Roseland, N.J.                           12-9 (6-5)
    165                     Nick Visicaro   R-Jr.     Long Branch, N.J.                            11-13 (5-8)
    174               Phillip Bakuckas    R-Fr.     Hammonton, N.J.                              13-8 (9-4)
    184                 Dan Seidenberg   R-Sr.           Red Bank, N.J.                          10-10 (6-6)
    197               Hayden Hrymack      So.               Lincroft, N.J.                         13-11 (4-8)
    HWT                      Billy Smith   R-So.           Wantage, N.J.                          19-5 (10-2)

    Lehigh Projected Starters

    Wt.                             Name      Yr.                 Hometown                    Overall (Dual)
    125                     Darian Cruz       Fr.            Allentown, Pa.                           15-6 (7-4)
    133             Mason Beckman      So.             Greenville, Pa.                         17-2 (12-0)
    141                  Laike Gardner      So.              Biglerville, Pa.                          12-5 (8-3)
    149                   Mitch Minotti       Fr.                 Easton, Pa.                           17-6 (7-5)
    157                     Joey Napoli       Sr.    Boiling Springs, Pa.                              9-2 (9-2)
    165                        Ben Haas      So.         Little Valley, N.Y.                            4-7 (1-3)
    174                    Elliot Riddick      Fr.            Allentown, Pa.                            15-8 (8-4)
    184                     Zach Diekel       Fr.            Whitehall, N.Y.                         15-10 (5-6)
    197                      John Bolich      So.       Willow Grove, Pa.                            14-9 (3-7)
    HWT                  Max Wessell      So.             Boulder, Colo.                             6-2 (2-1)
    -OR-                   Doug Vollaro      Fr.                  Oviedo, Fla.                          11-6 (4-4)


    Follow Rutgers Athletics on Facebook (www.facebook.com/RutgersAthletics) and Twitter (@RUAthletics) for all of the latest news and updates. For specific updates regarding Rutgers wrestling, follow the program on Twitter (@RUWrestling) and Instagram (@RUWrestling). Fans can receive timely information, including special offers and giveaways throughout the year on our social media outlets along with www.ScarletKnights.com.


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