The highlights of the night included a pin at 133 by sophomore Andrew Tilles (Devon, PA) and an inspiring effort at 149 by freshman Gene Zannetti (Edison, NJ), who was making his dual match debut while replacing incumbent junior Greg Austin (Seaville, NJ).
Zannetti was thrown on his back in the opening moments of his match and spent the next two minutes in that position, fighting desperately to avoid a pin and gain control of his opponent. At the tail end of the first period, Zannetti escaped and rebounded to win the match, 11-6.
“Zannetti did a great job battling back from a tough position at the start of his match,” said head coach John Sacchi, who has now guided the Scarlet Knights to seven-straight wins over East Stroudsburg. “It was a total team effort tonight, but Zannetti’s match really set the tone for us.”
The match opened at 125, and the Warriors (6-1) started off strongly with Mark Koszyk holding off Shaun Sehar (Harrisburg, PA)12-8 to give ESU their lone lead of the night, 3-0. Tilles followed with a pin at the 2:43 mark, giving RU a 6-3 lead before Justin Smigelsky (Old Bridge, NJ) fell at 141, forging a 6-6 tie.
Zannetti’s rousing win gave RU a 9-6 lead and propelled the Scarlet Knights to victories in six of the final seven matches. Amir Khan (Voorhees, NJ), out of action since before the holidays, returned with a 7-2 win over Keith Smith at 157 and Chris Ressa (Andover, NJ) continued his string of success with a 6-2 win at 165 over Brandon Mihalko. Andy Roy (Wall, NJ), also back after missing the Hitchcock Classic, scored an 8-1 win at 174 to increase the lead to 18-6 with three matches remaining.
After Rudy Medini (Colonia, NJ) fell, 9-7, to Shawn Smith at 184, seniors Ryan McGrath (Columbia, NJ) and Frank Sabatino (Hazlet, NJ) followed with back-to-back wins. McGrath defeated Stan Foster, 8-0, while Sabatino capped the successful night with a 6-0 win over Mike Pahira. McGrath has now won his last five matches by a combined score of 40-1.
The Scarlet Knights return to action on Saturday, when they travel to Annapolis, MD to face the United States Naval Academy in a 7:00 p.m. match.
125 - Mark Koszyk (ESU) dec. Shaun Sehar (RU), 12-8
133 - Andrew Tilles (RU) fall Kevin Rake (ESU), 2:43
141 - Mark Smith (ESU) dec. Justin Smigelsky (RU), 10-4
149 - Gene Zannetti (RU) dec. Keith Kleckner (ESU), 11-6
157 - Amir Kahn (RU) dec. Keith Smith (ESU), 7-2
165 - Chris Ressa (RU) dec. Brandon Mihalko (ESU), 6-3
174 - Andrew Roy (RU) dec. John Carr (ESU), 8-1
184 - Shawn Smith (ESU) dec. Rudy Medini (RU), 9-7
197 - Ryan McGrath (RU) maj. dec. Stanley Foster (ESU), 8-0
HWT - Frank Sabatino (RU) dec. Mike Pahira (ESU), 6-0