NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. -- The Rutgers wrestling team turned away Clarion by a score of 26-6 to start the 2012-13 dual season in College Ave. Gym on Sunday, winning eight of the 10 contested matches. Seniors Trevor Melde (Hewitt, N.J.) and Greg Zannetti (Edison, N.J.) led the way with bonus points, both notching major decisions at 149 pounds and 174 pounds, respectively. Sixth-year head coach Scott Goodale's squad, for the fifth-straight season, started its campaign with a dual victory.
The dual started at 133 pounds, and junior Vincent Dellefave (Toms River, N.J.) gave the Scarlet Knights the lead they would keep with an 8-3 decision of Clarion's Joe Waltko. Melde followed at 141 pounds and shut out Golden Eagle Sam Sherlock for an 11-0 major decision. Melde, with two NCAA trips on his résumé, has reentered the lineup after a redshirt season in 2011-12. Fellow senior and three-time NCAA qualifier Mario Mason (Moorestown, N.J.) then edged Tyler Bedelyon of Clarion by a score of 3-2.
The highlight match of the evening was at 157 pounds, with top-10 competitors Scott Winston (Jackson, N.J.) and Clarion's James Fleming squaring off. A senior and three-time NCAA qualifier, Winston powered out to a 5-1 advantage in the third period before Fleming was able to draw within one point after a subsequent escape and takedown maneuver with 54 seconds remaining. A 2012 All-American, Fleming nosed ahead of Winston at the 16-second mark with a three-point nearfall to close the bout for Clarion, 7-5.
Rutgers controlled five of the six remaining bouts, with sophomore 165-pounder Nick Visicaro (Long Branch, N.J.) getting the Scarlet Knights back in the win column by way of a 8-1 decision of Clarion's Nick Milano. Zannetti followed at 174 points and cruised to a 10-1 major decision over Ryan Darch of Clarion. Zannetti qualified for his first national tournament in 2011.
Senior 184-pounder Dan Rinaldi (Lodi, N.J.) thwarted Clarion's other 2012 NCAA qualifier in the lineup, Steven Cressley, with a 6-1 decision. Rinaldi continues at 184 pounds after qualifying for his third NCAA Championships last season while competing at 197 pounds. In the following match, junior 197-pounder Dan Seidenberg (Red Bank, N.J.) surrendered a 3-1 result to Clarion's Justin Ortega.
Redshirt freshman heavyweight Billy Smith (Wantage, N.J.) took care of business in his first career dual start, winning 6-1 over Clarion's Phillip Catrucco. Senior 125-pounder Joseph Langel (Howell, N.J.) followed by closing the dual with a 5-3 decision of Golden Eagle Tyler Fraley. Langel has two NCAA qualifications to his credit.
The Scarlet Knights next hit the road for the Northeast Duals in Troy, N.Y., on Nov. 24. Rutgers' next home action will be hosting an in-state tri-meet inside College Ave. Gym with both Rider and conference opponent Princeton on Dec. 8 at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively.
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133: Vincent Dellefave (RU) dec. Joe Waltko (CU), 8-3
141: Trevor Melde (RU) major dec. Sam Sherlock (CU), 11-0
149: Mario Mason (RU) dec. Tyler Bedelyon (CU), 3-2
157: No. 4 James Fleming (CU) dec. No. 9 Scott Winston (RU), 7-5
165: Nick Visicaro (RU) dec. Nick Milano (CU), 8-1
174: No. 16 Greg Zannetti (RU) major dec. Ryan Darch (CU), 10-1
184: Dan Rinaldi (RU) dec. Steven Cressley (CU), 6-1
197: Justin Ortega (CU) dec. Dan Seidenberg (RU), 3-1
HWT: Billy Smith (RU) dec. Phillip Catrucco (CU), 6-1
125: Joe Langel (RU) dec. Tyler Fraley (CU), 5-3