Rutgers defeats Oklahoma, Virginia at Northeast Duals

CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. -- No. 12 Rutgers wrestling earned a pair of victories over No. 19 Oklahoma (22-9) and Virginia (21-9) Saturday afternoon at Shenendehowa High School in Clifton Park, N.Y. In total, the Scarlet Knights secured 14 out of 20 possible individual bouts, as redshirt senior 149-pounder Eleazar DeLuca, sophomore 125-pounder Nick Suriano and redshirt freshman Michael Van Brill all picked up decisions over ranked foes.

Six RU grapplers - DeLuca, Suriano, Van Brill, redshirt senior 133-pounder Scott DelVecchio, redshirt senior 184-pounder Nicholas Gravina and senior heavyweight Razohnn Gross - picked up multiples wins on Saturday.

"We beat two good programs today," said head coach Scott Goodale. "It was a step in the right direction for us. We're still trying to get better. We left a lot of points out there, so I think we need to build on leads and secure more major decisions. But it's still early in the year. I'm happy with our conditioning and our overall fight was really good, so when you can beat Oklahoma and Virginia, it's a good day."

Dual One: No. 12 Rutgers 22, No. 19 Oklahoma 9

Rutgers ripped off four consecutive victories to start its dual with the Sooners, as Suriano earned a hard-fought 4-2 decision over Christian Moody. Suriano recorded a takedown in the first period, had an escape in the second and secured the riding time point for his first win of the afternoon.

DelVecchio followed with a 16-6 major decision over Jake Rubio. Already with a 4-1 lead on Rubio, the South Plainfield, New Jersey, native collected a takedown and near fall to increase his lead to 10-2. Three more takedowns followed to help DelVecchio earn his second consecutive major decision to start the season.

The positive momentum continued for RU, courtesy of back-to-back victories over ranked opponents. Down 1-0 to No. 13 Mike Longo after two periods, Van Brill escaped and followed with a takedown for the 3-2 result. It was the first win for Van Brill in his Rutgers dual career and put the Scarlet Knights up, 10-0.

DeLuca followed with an impressive 8-2 decision over No. 14 Davion Jefferies, as the Talent, Oregon, native jumped out to an early 6-0 lead in the first period. A takedown in the final period secured DeLuca's first-career victory for Rutgers in dual action.

The Scarlet Knights dropped their bout at 157 pounds before redshirt junior 165-pounder John Van Brill claimed a 6-5 decision over Dawaylon Barnes thanks to the riding time point.

With the team score at 16-6 with three bouts to go, Gravina notched a first-period takedown of Matthew Waddell to go up 2-0. The score got to as close as 3-2, but Gravina locked up the riding time point for the 4-2 decision.

Gross closed out the team win with by riding out Connor Webb for the entirety of the final period. The effort earned Gross his first win of 2017-18, a 2-1 decision, and RU's second dual win in as many weekend.

No. 12 Rutgers 22, No. 19 Oklahoma 9
125: No. 2/2/3 Nick Suriano (RU) dec. over Christian Moody (OU), 4-1; Rutgers leads, 3-0
133: No. 12/11/11 Scott DelVecchio (RU) major dec. over Jake Rubio (OU), 16-6; Rutgers leads, 7-0
141: Michael Van Brill (RU) dec. over No. 16/15/16 Mike Longo (OU), 3-2; Rutgers leads, 10-0
149: Eleazar Deluca (RU) dec. over No.14/13/17 Davion Jefferies (OU), 8-2; Rutgers leads, 13-0
157: Justin Thomas (OU) dec. over Brett Donner (RU), 5-0; Rutgers leads, 13-3
165: John Van Brill (RU) dec. over Dawaylon Barnes (OU), 6-5; Rutgers leads, 16-3
174: No. 13/13/7 Yoanse Mejias (OU) dec. over No. 18/NR/NR Jordan Pagano (RU), 7-3; Rutgers leads, 16-6
184: No. 10/10/7 Nicholas Gravina (RU) dec. over Matthew Waddell (OU), 4-2; Rutgers leads, 19-6
197: Andrew Dixon (OU) dec. over Kevin Mulligan (RU), 3-0; Rutgers leads, 19-9
HWT: Razohnn Gross (RU) dec. over Connor Webb (OU), 2-1; Rutgers wins the dual, 22-9
Rankings (-/-/-): InterMat / FloWrestling/The Open Mat
NR denotes not ranked

Dual Two: No. 12 Rutgers 21, Virginia 9

Suriano once again set the pace for Rutgers, as he earned a takedown of No. 18 Louie Hayes for the 2-1 lead after period one. A near fall from Suriano followed in the second period, as he secured his first victory over a ranked opponent as a Scarlet Knight.

DelVecchio just missed his second major decision of the day after he defeated Scott Kiyono, 11-4, to give RU a 6-0 lead. Michael Van Brill followed with a 4-0 decision over Sam Martino, as the Mullica Hill, New Jersey, native had an escape and takedown in the second period and rode out Martino in the final portion of the match.

With the team score now 9-0, DeLuca continued his hot start to the season. Against Sam Krivus, DeLuca notched four takedowns in his final match of the weekend, including two in the first period. A takedown and riding time point solidified the 9-3 result over Krivus, a 2017 NCAA Championships qualifier.

The Cavaliers produced three consecutive wins, though the grit of John Van Brill prevented UVA from doing more damage. Van Brill went down with an injury early in the first period against three-time national qualifier Andrew Atkinson, but the redshirt junior wrestled through the pain to lose by just a decision instead of a six-point medical forfeit if he was taken out.

With the momentum from John Van Brill's performance evident, Gravina muscled out a 3-0 victory over Chance McClure to make it 15-9 in favor of Rutgers.

The Scarlet Knights closed out the dual win with back-to-back victories, including redshirt freshman 197-pounder Kevin Mulligan's 5-0 decision over Jay Aiello. Holding a 3-2 lead in the final period, Gross added a last-second takedown to earn his 5-2 decision over Tyler Love to give RU its 21-9 final team mark.

No. 12 Rutgers 21, Virginia 9
125: No. 2/2/3 Nick Suriano (RU) dec. over No. 18/15/12 Louie Hayes (UVA), 8-1; Rutgers leads, 3-0
133: No. 12/11/11 Scott DelVecchio (RU) dec. over Scott Kiyono (UVA), 11-4; Rutgers leads, 6-0
141: Michael Van Brill (RU) dec. over Sam Martino (UVA), 4-0; Rutgers leads, 9-0
149: Eleazar Deluca (RU) dec. over Sam Krivus (UVA), 9-3; Rutgers leads, 12-0
157: Jake Keating (UVA) dec. over Brett Donner (RU), 4-0; Rutgers leads, 12-3
165: George Atkinson (UVA) dec. over John Van Brill (RU), 9-2; Rutgers leads, 12-6
174: Will Schany (UVA) dec. over No. 18/NR/NR Jordan Pagano (RU), 6-5; Rutgers leads, 12-9
184: No. 10/10/7 Nicholas Gravina (RU) dec. over Chance McClure (UVA), 3-0; Rutgers leads, 15-9
197: Kevin Mulligan (RU) dec. over Jay Aiello (UVA), 5-0; Rutgers leads, 18-9
HWT: Razohnn Gross (RU) dec. over Tyler Love (UVA), 5-2; Rutgers wins the dual, 21-9
Rankings (-/-/-): InterMat / FloWrestling/The Open Mat
NR denotes not ranked

Rutgers returns to action on Sunday, Nov. 19, when the Scarlet Knights compete at the Army Invitational in West Point, New York.

Knight Notes
  • In Rutgers first three matches, 125 pounder Nick Suriano and 133-pounder Scott DelVecchio have combined to outscore their opponents, 44-25.
  • It marked the first win over Oklahoma for Rutgers since 2014 and was the second win all-time over the Sooners.
  • The win over Virginia evened the all-time series with the Cavaliers, 4-4, and was the first win over UVA since a 25-12 win in 2010.
  • Michael Van Brill and Eleazar DeLuca both registered their first-career dual victories as Scarlet Knights.
  • With his two wins on Saturday, DelVecchio now has 66 for his career, which is good for 43rd all-time in program history.
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