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The Rutgers wrestling team has accomplished several team and individual goals entering its last two matches of the season. The Scarlet Knights (9-5, 6-2) have an impressive record in dual competition and been able to win six of their eight matches against EIWA conference opponents. Both records set the team up nicely for postseason wrestling.
Sophomore Billy Smith pushed his record to 20-5 after winning in the second tiebreaker of sudden victory against Lehigh.
A three-match stretch against three ranked opponents is not exactly the easiest way to wrap up the last part of a team’s schedule on the road. For the Rutgers wrestling team, the difficult stretch, where it grappled then-No. 17 Iowa State and then-No. 3 Cornell, will come to a close when it wrestles No. 23 Lehigh (7-5, 3-2) tomorrow in Bethlehem, Pa.
Senior 133-pounder Vinnie Dellefave said the Knights built on their win last season against No. 23 Lehigh.
The history of the matchup between the Rutgers wrestling team and Lehigh dates back to February 1941, when the Mountain Hawks defeated the Scarlet Knights, 34-0. Since then, Rutgers and Lehigh met more than 40 times. The all-time record between the two programs is not exactly even, as the Mountain Hawks hold a 41-2 overall-series record.
Junior 165-pounder Nick Visicaro gained a major decision last year against Lehigh.
With three matches remaining in the regular season, the Rutgers wrestling team has already found another way to prepare for the high-caliber competition they will face when they make the switch to the Big Ten conference. Three more Scarlet Knights have enrolled as mid-season additions.
Head coach Scott Goodale said newly-admitted junior Andrew Campolattano is capable of winning a national title. Campolattano compiled a 40-26 record wrestling at 197 pounds and qualified twice for the NCAA tournament in his two years at Ohio State.
Sophomore transfer Ethan Orr said he wants to help redshirt freshman Phil Bakuckus become a better wrestler, as both will train at 174-pounds.
Two weeks will amass before the Rutgers wrestling team takes the mat again after Sunday’s loss to Cornell, the Scarlet Knights’ first in the EIWA. The break between matches will be the Knights’ longest of the season, not including the time off spent during winter recess. Things do not look any easier for Rutgers, as the program is set to visit No. 23 Lehigh on Feb. 8.
Senior 133-pounder Vinnie Dellefave says he will use the short break from practice to rest and heal his body before the team returns to practice Thursday.
ITHACA, N.Y. — If the Rutgers wrestling team’s first loss in EIWA competition had to come to any team, one would be hard pressed to find a more competitive team to lose to than No. 3 Cornell. The final score ended with only three Scarlet Knights with their hands raised, while the Big Red claimed two wins by fall and another two major decisions. The additional bonus points brought the final score to 29-9.
Sophomore Ken Theobold collected a 3-1 decision against Cornell. The win brings the 149-pounder’s record to 16-10 on the season.
What Superman means to the fictional world of DC Comics could adequately describe Cornell wrestling’s dominance and importance in NCAA wrestling. The 21 EIWA championships that the Big Red has collected in its history can only be compared to the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball or the Detroit Red Wings of the NHL.
Redshirt freshman Sean McCabe will face the No. 1 grappler at 125-pounds. McCabe currently has an 18-8 record on the season.
With classes being cancelled and University activities halted because of a winter weather advisory, Billy Smith took full advantage of an open mat Tuesday morning to work on his grappling. The sophomore heavyweight worked with Rutgers assistant wrestling coach John Leonardis to help improve his already impressive season.
Heavyweight Billy Smith has won nine of his last 10 matches. The sophomore has won six decisions in a row.
While most first-year students use the winter recess to recover from a difficult transition to the college lifestyle, freshman Tyson Dippery proved he has had no issues adjusting to the grind of collegiate wrestling. The 141-pounder collected four wins for the Rutgers wrestling team over the month-long school break. Those four victories now put the grappler at 20 wins for the season, a team high.
Freshman 141-pounder Tyson Dippery leads Rutgers with 20 wins on the season. Dippery went 4-0 over winter break.
The Rutgers wrestling team traveled more than 2,500 miles to compete in their latest tournament, the Cliff Klein Las Vegas Invitational. While the Scarlet Knights arrived in Nevada a day before to train and acclimate to the three-hour time difference, senior 184-pounder Dan Seidenberg admitted it was not the Knights’ easiest weekend.