June 17, 2019 | 78° F

Rutgers splits 2 meets at New York State

Photo by Curstine Guevarra |

The Rutgers wrestling team split the Journeymen Duals in Troy, N.Y. on Saturday for its fourth win as well as its first loss of the season. The No. 15 Scarlet Knights (4-1) defeated Appalachian State, 26-9, in their first meet, but fell to Utah Valley, 24-14, to close out the day.

After sweeping their three opponents at the Rutgers Quad Meet last week, the Knights seemingly picked up right where they left off in the first meet against the Mountaineers. After dropping 2 out of his 3 matches last week, sophomore 125-pounder Shane Metzler defeated the Mountaineers' De'Andre Swinson-Barr, 7-3.

In his second meet in the 133-pound weight class, No. 2 junior 133-pounder Nick Suriano picked up his fourth and fifth wins to stay undefeated. Suriano’s first victory of the day came by forfeit to Appalachian State’s Codi Russell. 

Rutgers’ only losses against the Mountaineers came in the 141, 157, and 197-pound matchups. Both sophomore 141-pounder Michael van Brill and No. 9 graduate student 157-pounder John van Brill lost their only two matches of the day against Irvin Enrique and Angel Najar, respectively. For both van Brills, the losses were their first of the season, following a 2-0 start.

Freshman 165-pounder Stephan Glasgow won his fourth match of his collegiate career, with a 9-7 victory over Appalachian State's Joe Accousti. Glasgow came within seconds of defeat, trailing 6-7 in the final seconds of the third period, but a last-second takedown pushed him over his opponent to give the Knights their fourth win of the season.

No. 2 graduate student 149-pounder Anthony Ashnault captured a bonus-point victory in a 22-6 win. Junior heavyweight Christian Colucci defeated Cary Miller by a final tally of 26-9. Colucci is now 2-1 on the season in his first year on the Banks.

Rutgers finished with seven wins and one pin by Ashnault against Appalachian State. The Knights’ first road trip of the season would see their fortunes change later in the day, as their wrestlers struggled in the team's second match against Utah Valley. 

The match against the Wolverines started as fortuitously for Rutgers as any of its other matches this season with victories from Metzler, Suriano and Ashnault. Ashnault picked up his second pin of the day against the Wolverines' Matthew Ontiveros, bringing his season total to four pins.

Both van Brills lost each of their second matches, finishing a combined 0-4. The two midweighters’ struggles would be the beginning of a stretch of seven losses that led to the Knights' first loss of the 2018-19 season.

Rutgers led by as much as 14-6 but did not see another win after that point. After the van Brills' losses, Glasgow suffered his first loss as a Knight against Utah Valley’s Demetrius Romero, 8-3. 

The Knights led 14-12 after John van Brill's loss but relinquished their first lead on the next match when sophomore 174-pounder Joseph Grello dropped a 6-2 decision to No. 14 Kimball Bastian. Neither fifth-year senior 184-pounder Jordan Pagano, nor sophomore 197-pounder Matthew Correnti could pick Rutgers back up, as the two losses sealed the match for the Wolverines. 

The Knights had a chance to finish the day with a win in the heavyweight match. Colucci faced No. 19 Tate Orndorff in the final match but ultimately lost in a close 4-3 decision for the team's sixth loss in their meet against Utah Valley.

Despite the loss, Rutgers had high-level performances from Suriano and Ashnault. Both left with their fifth wins while Ashnault brought his season pin total to four. Metzler also had a good day with two wins to bring his season record over .500. 

The Knights will go back on the road to face Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y. Friday evening. 

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

Jackson Thompson

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