PISCATAWAY, N.J. – (Feb. 19, 2014) – The Rutgers wrestling team will close the 2014 season on Friday, Feb. 21 at 7 p.m., when the Scarlet Knights welcome EIWA opponent Drexel to the RAC. RU will wrestle in its final dual as a member of the EIWA, as the squad moves to the Big Ten next season. The RAC match is the first since facing No. 1 Penn State on Feb. 24, 2013.
Friday's match will be streamed live on RVision, presented by AT&T.
The program will say goodbye to its two seniors, 133-pounder Vinnie Dellefave (Toms River, N.J.) and 184-pounder Dan Seidenberg (Red Bank, N.J.), in a pre-match ceremony Friday. Both grapplers began their careers in Scarlet in 2009 and together have combined for nearly 100 wins.
Former UFC Champion Frankie Edgar will be on hand to sign autographs from 6-6:45 p.m. on the concourse prior to the match. The RAC doors will open at 6 p.m. and fans are encouraged to arrive early if interested in the autograph signing.
The Scarlet Knights reached double-digit dual victories for the eighth consecutive year their last time out and look to finish the 2014 campaign with their fifth straight win over Drexel dating back to 2010. RU topped Lock Haven, 18-15, on Saturday, Feb. 15 at the College Ave. Gym, using a decision in the final bout from redshirt sophomore 157-pounder Anthony Perrotti (Roseland, N.J.) to seal the win.
The Scarlet Knights enter the dual with one ranked grappler in No. 14/14/17 (AWN/InterMat/W.I.N.) redshirt sophomore heavyweight Billy Smith (Wantage, N.J.). Smith enters the weekend on a nine-match winning streak and is ranked higher than at any other point this season.
Despite having just one ranked grappler, RU had six wrestlers ranked in the second NCAA Division I Coaches’ Panel, released on Feb. 13. Redshirt senior 133-pounder Vinnie Dellefave (Toms River, N.J.) ranked No. 31 at 133 pounds, freshman Tyson Dippery (Harrisburg, Pa.) ranked No. 22 among 141 pounders, Sophomore Ken Theobold (Toms River, N.J.) was ranked No. 32 at 149 pounds, Perrotti was ranked No. 29 at 157 pounds and redshirt freshman Phil Bakuckas (Hammonton, N.J.) was ranked No. 31 at 174 pounds. Smith pulled in the highest ranking at No. 11 among heavyweights.
Scouting the Dragons
Drexel enters Friday’s match at 7-13 overall, 1-4 in the EIWA and as winners of its last three duals, all coming at the friendly confines of the Daskalakis Athletic Center. The Dragons defeated Duke, 24-14 (Feb. 1), Rider, 20-19 (Feb. 7) and Franklin & Marshall, 25-11 (Feb. 8).
In the win over Rider, Drexel held a 20-16 lead entering the final bout of the night, as Joseph Giorgio held off Rider from taking a major decision to seal the 20-19 win.
Drexel enters the dual with one ranked grappler in No. 17/14/20 197-pounder Brandon Palik. Palik was also the only Dragon to be ranked in the second NCAA Division I Coaches’ Panel, earning the No. 16 spot among 197-pounders.
Palik, the only ranked Dragon entering the matchup, has won two straight matches entering the Friday dual.
Drexel Projected Starters
Wt. Yr. Name Hometown/Previous School Overall Record (Dual)
125 Fr. Tanner Shoap Chambersburg, Pa./Chambersburg Area 8-8 (7-8)
133 R-Fr. Kevin Devoy Jr. Burlington, N.J./ Burlington Township 15-6 (14-6)
141 R-Fr. David Pearce Moro, Ill./ Civic Memorial 8-9 (8-9)
149 R-Jr. Noel Blanco El Monte, Calif./ Arroyo 10-7 (8-7)
-OR- R-Fr. Matt Cimato Yardley, Pa./ La Salle College High 7-9 (7-9)
157 Sr. Austin Sommer Northampton, Pa./ Northampton 10-11 (9-11)
165 R-Fr.. Jason Fugiel Crystal Lake, Ill./ Crystal Lake 4-15 (4-15)
174 R-Sr. Kevin Matyas Johnson City, N.Y./ Johnson City 6-15 (6-15)
184 Fr. Alex DeCiantis Mars, Pa./ North Allegheny 3-11 (3-11)
-OR- R-Jr. Bryan Sternlieb Toms River, N.J./ Toms River East 4-10 (4-10)
197 R-Sr. Brandon Palik Bethlehem, Pa./ Saucon Valley 15-4 (12-4)
285 R-Fr. Joe Giorgio Reading, Pa./ Exeter 0-13 (0-13)
Rutgers Projected Starters
Wt. Yr. Name Hometown/Previous School Overall Record (Dual)
125 Sean McCabe R-Fr. Connetquot, N.Y./ Connetquot HS 19-10 (5-5)
133 Vinnie Dellefave R-Sr. Toms River, N.J./ Toms River East HS 9-8 (7-6)
141 Tyson Dippery Fr. Harrisburg, Pa./ Central Dauphin HS 20-11 (8-5)
149 Ken Theobold So. Toms River, N.J./ Toms River HS South 17-11 (8-6)
157 Anthony Perrotti R-Fr. Roseland, N.J./ West Essex HS 13-10 (7-6)
165 Nick Visicaro R-Jr. Long Branch, N.J./ Long Branch HS 12-14 (6-9)
174 Phillip Bakuckas R-Fr. Hammonton, N.J./ Hammonton HS 14-9 (10-5)
184 Dan Seidenberg R-Sr. Red Bank, N.J./ Raritan HS 10-11 (6-7)
197 Hayden Hrymack So. Lincroft, N.J./ Christian Brothers Academy 13-13 (4-10)
HWT Billy Smith R-So. Wantage, N.J./ High Point 21-5 (12-2)
The Scarlet Knights last wrestled Drexel on Feb. 15, 2013, defeating the Dragons, 26-10, in Philadelphia, Pa.
RU Possible Starters vs. Current Dragons (Rutgers leads, 5-2)
• Redshirt freshman Sean McCabe (0-1): Lost to Zachary Fuentes by a 5-4 tiebreaker decision at the Wilkes University Open on Dec. 28, 2013.
• Redshirt senior Vinnie Dellefave (1-0): Defeated Clayton Lutzow by a 12-4 major decision on Feb. 15, 2013.
• Sophomore Anthony Perrotti (1-0): Defeated Austin Sommer by an 8-6 decision on Feb. 16, 2012.
• Redshirt junior Nick Visicaro (2-0): Defeated Jason Fugiel by a 16-8 major decision at the Wilkes University Open on Dec. 28, 2013. Defeated William long by a 12-5 decision on Feb. 15, 2013.
• Redshirt senior Dan Seidenberg (0-1): Lost, 4-0, to Brandon Palik on Feb. 15, 2013.
• Redshirt sophomore Billy Smith (1-0): Defeated Mauro Correnti by fall (2:18) at the Jonathan Kaloust Bearcat Open on Nov. 17, 2013.
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