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