June 20, 2019 | 75° F

Rutgers gears up for duals against Appalachian State, Utah Valley in New York

Photo by Curstine Guevarra |

The Rutgers wrestling team takes its first road trip of the season as it readies for the Journeyman Duals in Troy, N.Y. this Saturday.

The No. 14 Scarlet Knights (3-0) will wrestle Appalachian State at noon and will close out the event against Utah Valley at 2 p.m.

Rutgers comes into New York State fresh off a three-game sweep in its first meet at the Rutgers Athletic Center (RAC) last weekend, against two NCAA Division III programs in Centenary, Johnson & Wales and Division I opponent Fresno State. 

There was much anticipation for the return of No. 2 graduate senior 149-pounder Anthony Ashnault, who was sidelined last season due to injury. At the Rutgers Quad Meet, the South Plainfield, N.J. native won all three of his matches on 3 pins, shattering doubts of whether he would return to the mat in the same form as his 2016-2017 All-American self.

Freshman 165-pounder Stephan Glasgow impressed in his collegiate debut on the Banks. He finished the day undefeated and had a fall in the first match of his career. Glasgow's largest margin of victory came in a major decision win over the Wildcats' Nick Munsch, 18-7.

"He wrestled tough against good kids. There's a bigger test coming this weekend," said head coach Scott Goodale. "He's got two good opponents this weekend. We'll find a little more about Steph this weekend."

Freshman 197-pounder Max Wright picked up two wins against Johnson & Wales and the Cyclones, as he was subbed out for sophomore 197-pounder Matthew Correnti. Goodale mentioned that he would start Correnti over Wright this weekend, as some wrestlers were fatigued in the first tournament. 

The Knights will face the Mountaineers first this weekend, who finished seven of their wrestlers in the top six division of the Hokie Open — hosted by Virginia Tech. Overall, the team finished second in the 15-team pool.

Ashnault's likely opponent in the first match would be Appalachian State's Matt Zovistoski, who redshirted last season after competing in the NCAA Championships and is a Paramus, N.J. native.  

"I'm familiar with the one kid from Appalachian State," Ashnault said. "I'm excited to see where I'm at and test myself. Wrestle hard, have some fun and put up some victories."

Randall Diabe, a preseason All-Southern conference selection at 197 pounds and Correnti's likely opponent, placed second in his weight class at the tournament. Casey Miller finished third in the heavyweight class.

Suriano's potential opponent, Codi Russell, was named to the preseason All-Southern conference team as well, after finishing with a 13-3 overall record last season and placing in second at the tournament. 

"It's going to be our first real test," said fifth-year senior 184-pounder Jordan Pagano. "There's going to be a lot of good battles and opportunities for some of our guys to knock off some really good guys."

Pagano, who missed the majority of last season because of injury, picked up two wins at the RAC over the Bulldogs and Centenary. He was subbed out for junior 184-pounder Willie Scott against Johnson & Wales, who won a major decision to Khamri Thomas.

Rutgers' second and last opponent of the day will be the Wolverines. Six of their wrestlers earned podium finishes at the Cowboy Open last time out. Heavyweight Benjamin Andrew placed second, going 2-1 on the day.

Utah Valley Cameron Haddock and Jayden Woodruff claimed titles in the 149- and 197-pound weight classes, respectively. Haddock won a 11-0 decision to capture the amateur title, while Woodruff went 3-0 to capture the 197-pound title. 

"We got to be ready to go back-to-back against two really good programs," Goodale said. "I'm excited to see how our guys compete and where they're at."

For updates on the Rutgers wrestling team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

Jake Schmied

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