USA Wrestling

Jan 24 Rutgers drops third ranked Virginia Tech 24 7

By Matthew Haas | Jan. 24, 2011, 12:53 p.m. (ET)
PISCATAWAY, N.J. (January 21, 2011) - The No.8 Rutgers wrestling team pulled off one of its biggest dual victories in program history as it knocked off No. 3 Virginia Tech, 24-7, in front of 2,739 fans at the Louis Brown Athletic Center Friday night in Piscataway.
 
"It was a big win for us in front of a great crowd at the RAC" said Rutgers head coach Scott Goodale. "Virginia Tech has a great team but our guys dug deep and came through in a lot of big matches for us."
 
The match started at 125-pounds with Rutgers' Joe Langel (Howell, N.J.) taking on No. 13 Jarrod Garnett of VT. After a 4-3 first, Garnett began on top to start the second. After Garnett rode Langel for the first minute, Langel was able to escape and earn a takedown to take a 6-4 advantage into the third. In the third, Garnett began down and earned a quick reversal to even the score. Garnett eared some ridging time before Langel was able to pull off another reversal to regain the lead. Garnett escaped with 30 seconds remaining setting up a tense final 30 seconds. Garnett tried to score but Langel was able to keep him at bay to earn the upset and set the tone for the evening.
 
After a VT major decision at 133-pounds, Trevor Melde (Hewitt, N.J.) took on No. 13 Chris Diaz at 141-pounds. Each wrestler earned a takedown in the first and the match went into the second even at two. Melde earned an escape less than 10 seconds in to the second to take the lead but Diaz responded with a takedown to take a 4-3 advantage, but Melde was able to escape again to send the match into the final period tied at four. The third started with the two grapplers starting neutral. Melde earned a quick takedown to regain the lead but was reversed by Diaz to again even the score.  Melde earned an escape with less than 40 seconds remaining in the bout to regain the lead and was able to hang on for RU's second upset of the night.
 
In the 149-pound bout, No. 4 Mario Mason (Moorestown, N.J.) took on No. 8 Brian Stephens in a battle of top-10 opponents. Mason earned a quick takedown to take an early 2-0 lead. After Mason accumulated over a minute of riding time, Stephens was able to gain an escape to send the match into the second with a score of 2-1. Mason began down to start the second and earned a quick escape to take a 3-1 lead which he carried into the third. Stephens started on bottom to begin the third and earned an escape but not until Mason was able to regain the minute of riding time which helped him earn the 4-2 victory by decision.
 
The 157-pound bout saw another top-20 showdown as No. 17 Daryl Cocozzo (River Edge, N.J.) took on No. 8 Jesse Dong of Virginia Tech. Cocozzo earned the first takedown of the match at the 1:39 mark but Dong escaped less than 30 seconds later to cut the lead to 2-1. Dong began down to start the second and earned a reversal with 50 seconds left in the frame to take a 3-2 advantage. The two began the third neutral where Cocozzo earned a quick take down but Dong escaped and earned a takedown of his own to take a 6-4 lead which he held onto to cut the RU lead to 9-7.
 
At 165-pounds, No. 7 Scott Winston (Jackson, N.J.) took on No. 15 Pete Yates. After a scoreless first, Winston started down to begin the second and earned a quick escape and takedown to take a 3-0 lead. Yates quickly countered with an escape but Winston earned another takedown with 20 second but got called for locking hands to cut his lead to 5-2. Yates earned an escape with three seconds left to head into the final period down 5-3. Yates began down to start the third and Winston cut him loose to make the score 5-4. Winston got called for a stall with 10 seconds left to force overtime. In the overtime, Winston and Yates felt each other out for the first 10 seconds before Winston shot and got a single leg takedown with 23 seconds remaining to give RU another three points and a 12-7 advantage.
 
No. 18 Alex Caruso (Green Brook, N.J.) took on Matt Epperly at 174-pounds. After a scoreless first, Caruso began down to start the second and earned a quick escape to score the match's first points. Caruso earned a takedown with 20 seconds left and Epperly escaped with four seconds remaining to send the match to the third with a 3-1 score in favor of Caruso.  Epperly started down to begin the third and quickly escaped to cut the lead to 3-2. Epperly tried to score for the remainder of the frame but Caruso kept him at bay to push the RU lead to 15-7.
 
At 184-pounds, Dan Rinaldi (Lodi, N.J.) came out strong scoring a takedown of John Dickson less than 10 seconds into the frame. After racking up over a minute of riding time Dickson earned an escape to cut Rinaldi's lead in half. Rinaldi began down to start the second and quickly earned an escape to take a 3-1 lead. The third started with Dickson down and he earned an escape 30 seconds in to cut Rinaldi's lead to one but Rinaldi was able to hold him at bay for the remainder of the match and earn a bonus point for riding time to take the bout, 4-2.
 
Mike Wagner (South Plainfield, N.J.) took on Chris Penny at 197-pounds and earned a takedown less than a minute into the first to take an early 2-0 lead. Penny escaped almost 40 seconds later to cut Wagner's lead in half. In the second, Wagner started down and quickly escaped to regain the two point edge. Penny look to have a takedown with around 50 seconds left in the second but Wagner ducked through and turned it into a takedown of his own to gain a 5-2 advantage. Penny began down to start the third and earned an escape thirty seconds in to cut the lead to 5-3. A Penny takedown evened the score but Wagner quickly escaped to regain the lead.  Penny tried to take down Wagner but was unable to and Wagner earned a 7-5 decision with a bonus point for riding time.
 
In the heavyweight bout, No. 4 DJ Russo (Netcong, N.J.) took on David Marone. Russo earned a takedown with under five seconds to take a 2-0 lead into the second. Russo began down to start the second and quickly scored two back points on Marone. An escape by Marone cut the lead to 4-1 but Russo scored another takedown with a minute to go in the frame to take a 6-1 advantage. Russo started the third down and quickly escaped to push his advantage to 7-1. Marone scored a takedown with 10 seconds remaining to cut the lead to 7-3 but Russo used a bonus point from riding time to take the match, 8-3 and give RU the 24-7 victory.
 
The Scarlet Knights return to action tomorrow afternoon when they welcome in-state rival Rider to College Ave. Gym for a noon dual.
 
Rutgers 24, Virginia Tech 7
125: Joe Langel (RU) dec. No. 13 Jarrod Garnett (VT), 8-7; Rutgers leads, 3-0
133: No. 8 Devin Carter (VT) maj. dec. Mike DeMarco (RU), 13-3; Virginia Tech leads, 4-3
141: Trevor Melde (RU) dec. No. 13 Chris Diaz (VT), 7-6; Rutgers leads, 6-4
149: No. 4 Mario Mason (Rutgers) dec.  No. 8 Brian Stephens (VT), 4-2; Rutgers leads, 9-4
157: No. 8 Jesse Dong (VT) dec. No. 17 Daryl Cocozzo (RU), 6-4; Rutgers leads, 9-7
165: No. 7 Scott Winston (RU) dec. No. 15 Pete Yates (VT), 7-5 (OT); Rutgers leads, 12-7
174: No. 18 Alex Caruso (RU) dec. Matt Epperly (VT), 3-2; Rutgers leads, 15-7
184: Dan Rinaldi (RU) dec. John Dickson (VT), 4-2; Rutgers leads, 18-7
197: Mike Wagner (RU) dec. Chris Penny (VT), 7-5; Rutgers leads, 21-7
285: No. 4 DJ Russo (RU) dec. David Marone (VT), 8-3; Rutgers wins, 24-7
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