NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – With injuries depleting the Rutgers roster, several Scarlet Knights were forced to bump up and compete at higher weights to prevent a forfeit in at any weight. The strategy paid off as Rutgers earned a hard-fought 26-18 victory over Sacred Heart on Saturday night at the College Avenue Gymnasium in New Brunswick. The win improves the Scarlet Knights to 5-2 in dual matches this season, while the Pioneers fall to 2-5.
Sophomore Steve Adamcsik (Chester, NJ) and Sacred Heart’s Chris Davis started things off at 141 pounds. Adamcsik controlled the match and appeared to be heading to a major decision victory with a 9-2 advantage early in the second period when Davis turned things around with a pin of Adamcsik in 3:44 to give the Pioneers an early 6-0 advantage.
The Scarlet Knights stormed back with technical falls in the next two matches. Sophomore Mike Ferrara (Effort, PA) earned a 21-5 technical fall in 6:03 at 141, using several take downs and gaining back points on separate occasions to record his 12th victory of the season. Red-shirt sophomore Gene Zannetti (Edison, NJ) then scored a 22-3 technical fall in 6:26 at 157 to give the Scarlet Knights a 10-6 lead. Zannetti was up 10-1 after the opening period and held a 12-1 advantage heading into the final period, cruising to his third technical fall victory of the season.
Sacred Heart pulled back within a point at 10-9 as Sherwood Fendryk of the Pioneers posted a 3-2 victory over the Scarlet Knights’ Joe Sacco (Johnson City, NY) at 165.
With senior 197-pound starter John Foscolo (South Plainfield, NJ) sidelined with an injury, Rutgers was forced to juggle its upper weights to prevent forfeiting a match and losing six valuable points. All three Scarlet Knights – red-shirt freshman Rob Kaiser (Lodi, NJ) and seniors Andy Roy (Wall, NJ) and Chris Ressa (Andover, NJ) – bumped up a weight
Kaiser, wrestling his first career match at 174 pounds, made easy work of Greg Capello, posting a 9-1 major decision.
Roy, ranked as high as sixth nationally at 174 pounds, was wrestling his first career match at 184 pounds. He showed little affect by the change in weight class, registering his team-best fourth pin of the season, putting Sacred Heart’s Dan Keefe on his back in 5:05. The win is Roy’s team-best 14th victory of the season and 91st career win, moving him into 13th place on the Rutgers all-time wins list.
Ressa, who competed last season at 165 pounds, was wrestling in his first career match at 197 pounds. He posted a 10-4 victory over Declan Josephson to give Rutgers a 23-9 lead, heading into the final three bouts.
Sacred Heart pulled within eight points at 23-15 after Sacred Heart’s Payam Zarrinpour pinned RU’s John Slevin in 3:11 at heavyweight.
Mike Arone of Sacred Heart earned a 9-7 sudden victory in overtime over Rutgers’ Ricky Ringel (South Plainfield, NJ) to pull the Pioneers within five points at 23-18 heading into the final match of the night. Ringel nearly pinned Arone at the end of the second period, earning a two-point take down and two back points but Arone escaped, earning a point. Ringel was behind, 7-6, at the end of the third period, but earned a tie with riding time.
Sacred Heart needed a pin for the victory or a technical fall to tie in the final match, but the Scarlet Knights thwarted any chance for the Pioneers as sophomore Dan Hilt (Manalapan, NJ) and Sacred Heart’s Kyle McCarthy competed in the second-straight overtime match and this time, Rutgers was victorious. Hilt posted a two-point take down for the victory. It gave Rutgers the 26-18 victory.
Rutgers will travel to Providence, RI, next Saturday to face EIWA foe Brown at 5 p.m.
Rutgers 26, Sacred Heart 18
141 – Chris Davis (SH) pinned Steve Adamcsik (RU), 3:44
149 – Mike Ferrara (RU) tech. fall Tom Sands (SH), 21-5 (6:03)
157 – Gene Zannetti (RU) tech. fall Vince Contino (SH), 22-3 (6:26)
165 – Sherwood Fendryk (SH) dec. Joe Sacco (RU) vs. 3-2
174 – Rob Kaiser (RU) maj. dec. Greg Capello (SH), 9-1
184 – Andy Roy (RU) pinned Dan Keefe (SH), 5:05
197 – Chris Ressa (RU) dec. Declan Josephson (SH), 10-4
285 – Payam Zarrinpour (SH) pinned John Slevin (RU), 3:11
125 – Mike Arone (SH) dec. Ricky Ringel (RU), 9-7 SV
133 – Dan Hilt (RU) dec. Kyle McCarthy (SH), 4-2 SV