Takeaways from Rutgers' 1-1 performance in Journeymen Duals

The Rutgers wrestling team traveled to Troy, N.Y. this past weekend, as it participated in the Journeymen Duals hosted at Hudson Valley Community College.

The No. 15 Scarlet Knights (4-1) came away with a lopsided 26-9 win over Appalachian State, but a late Utah Valley comeback spoiled their hopes of capturing a sweep, ultimately falling 24-14. 

Head coach Scott Goodale maintained the same starting lineups for both meets. Several wrestlers, including freshman 197-pounder Max Wright, did not participate in the meet, as Goodale had mentioned some wrestlers were fatigued from the Rutgers Quad Meet the previous weekend.

After picking up three pins in his first three matches back from injury last weekend, No. 2 graduate student 149-pounder Anthony Ashnault recorded a pin against the Wolverines. He leads the team with four pins, through five matches.

Rutgers dropped three matches against the Mountaineers, including a 6-5 loss by sophomore 197-pounder Matthew Correnti. The Knights led by as much as 17 points against Appalachian State.

In its final meet of the day, Rutgers controlled a 14-9 lead against Utah Valley. Ashnault's win over the Wolverines' Matthew Ontiveros, resulting in a fall, was the Knights' last win against Utah Valley. The Big 12 team finished with six straight wins to upset Rutgers.

Through the Knights' 1-1 record at the tournament, there were several positive and negative takeaways, as they continue their non-conference dual meets. 

Lightweights in control

Rutgers' lightweights shined in their performances against the Mountaineers and the Wolverines. After winning one match at the Rutgers Athletic Center (RAC) two weekends ago, sophomore 125-pounder Shane Metzler went undefeated in both of his matches this weekend. He captured an 11-3 major decision over Utah Valley's Josh Jensen, his second major decision of the season. 

No. 3 junior 133-pounder Nick Suriano has transitioned a weight up from 125 to 133 pounds with ease so far this season. His mental toughness was on display again in his third and fourth matches in the new weight class. Suriano contributed to an early 8-0 Knights lead against the Wolverines, with a 14-2 major decision over Utah Valley's Mitch Brown. The Paramus, N.J. native has 26 points in dual meets this season. His first opponent, Appalachian State's Codi Russell, resulted in a forfeit. 

Metzler has earned a spot in Goodale's starting lineup in each of Rutgers' meets this season. As a freshman last season, the Long Valley, N.J. native cracked the starting rotation at 123 pounds but only wrestled against one Big Ten opponent. It will be interesting to see Metzler's progression this season and if he can become more integrated in the Knights' rotation in future meets.

Close scoring

Rutgers played several of its bouts against the Mountaineers close, where it could have extended its lead even further, but had multiple opportunities against the Wolverines to mount a comeback. Correnti dropped a 6-5 decision to Appalachian State's Randall Diabe, a winnable bout. He has played most of his matches close. In the Knights' season opener, Correnti won a close 5-4 decision against Fresno State at the RAC.  

Junior heavyweight Christian Colucci's 3-1 win over the Mountaineers' Cary Miller was a sudden victory bout that sealed Rutgers' only win of the event. Colucci also played a bout against Fresno State in close fashion at the Rutgers Quad Meet. That match was decided in nine periods, resulting in a tough loss for the Knights.

Tough test comes from ranked opponents

Rutgers was tested by Utah Valley late, as its lead evaporated. Freshman 165-pounder Stephan Glasgow dropped his first bout of the season against the Wolverines' No. 16 Demetrius Romero in a lopsided 8-3 win for Utah Valley. Glasgow's bout brought the Knights' lead to two, their last lead against their opponent. 

After he picked up two pins and a major decision at the RAC to open the season, sophomore 174-pounder Joseph Grello lost to the Wolverines' No. 14 Kimball Bastian, 6-2. Bastian controlled the whole bout, even when it appeared that Grello could mount a comeback against his opponent. 

The final ranked wrestler Rutgers faced was in the heavyweight contest. Colucci lost a close 4-3 bout to Utah Valley's No. 19 Tate Orndorff to secure the Wolverines' 24-14 win over the Knights.

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

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