RU opened the day facing its most challenging opponent in seventh-ranked Lehigh. The Scarlet Knights fell behind, 9-0, after two matches and never regrouped as the Mountain Hawks won nine of 10 bouts. The lone bright spot for the Scarlet Knights came at 149, where junior Greg Austin (Seaville, NJ) registered a win by fall over Tommy Rohn at the 6:35 mark.
In its second match of the day, Rutgers faced a tough Lock Haven squad, which was ranked as high as 10th nationally last season. The Scarlet Knights fell into a quick hole, as Lock Haven built a 13-0 lead through the first three matches. Austin provided three points with a 4-3 win at 149, knocking off James LaValle, but Amir Khan (Voorhees, NJ) was pinned at 157, lengthening the gap to 19-3. RU won four of the next five bouts to end the match, as Chris Ressa (Andover, NJ) won by default, 19-9, at 165 and Andy Roy (Wall, NJ) scored an 11-5 win at 174. After a LHU win at 184, seniors Ryan McGrath (Columbia, NJ) and Frank Sabatino (Hazlet, NJ) earned wins at 197 and 285, respectively. McGrath scored a 5-0 win over Tom Boetsch, while Sabatino pinned Steve Itterly at the 3:24 mark.
In the final match of the day, the Scarlet Knights won eight of ten matches en route to its 37-6 win over Slippery Rock. Marc Rosenfeld (Brick, NJ) opened the match with a pin at the 3:12 mark, while Justin Smigelsky (Old Bridge, NJ) followed with a 7-5, OT win at 133. Mike Palo (Belleville, NJ) and Austin fell victim in the next two matches, which closed the gap to 9-6, but Rutgers won out to preserve the team victory. At 157, Khan pinned Jason Cardillo (4:53), while Ressa earned a 4-2 win at 165 to give RU an 18-6 lead. Roy won by forfeit at 174, increasing the lead to 24-6, while Rudy Medini (Colonia, NJ) registered a pin in just 30 seconds at 184 to increase the advantage to 30-6. McGrath, with a major decision (9-0), and Sabatino, with a 6-0 win, ended the day on a positive note.
Rutgers will return to action on December 28-29, when the team heads to the Wilkes Open. In addition, selected members of the team will travel to Evanston, IL to compete at the Midland Championships.