No. 24 Rutgers Defeats Army 27-10

Taken from

WEST POINT, N.Y. – Billy Ashnault recorded a pin at 141 pounds, and three other Rutgers wrestlers posted major decisions to lead the 24th-ranked Scarlet Knights past Army, 27-10, in an EIWA dual match Sunday afternoon at Christl Arena.

Rutgers won the first three bouts to take an early 13-0 lead, but Army responded with three straight wins to trim the Scarlet Knights’ edge to 13-10. RU ended the match by winning the last four bouts, however, to provide the final margin.

“The bottom line is we are in the infancy stages of building something big here,” said Army second-year head coach Joe Heskett. “We have to go out there and we have to fight and we have to execute, but it’s a big picture vision. Every single match, every single experience, every single shot all adds up to that big picture.

“I think patience is the key to a lot of this, but at the same time, you still have go out there and fight your hardest and find a way to win. I think that’s what we’re trying to do. We were close in some of those weight classes, but we’ve got to find a way to win.”

Rutgers (8-1, 4-0 EIWA) jumped out to a 4-0 advantage as Vincent Dellefave took a 12-4 major decision from Army freshman Scott Filbert in the 125-pound bout. Dellefave used a pair of takedowns and near fall to build a 7-2 lead following the first period. After a scoreless second stanza, Dellefave took Filbert to the mat early in the third period and added another three-point near fall to cap the scoring.

Michael DeMarco extended Rutgers’ lead over Army to 7-0 with a 9-7 sudden-victory decision versus Black Knight junior Jordan Thome at 133 pounds. Thome assumed a 5-1 edge after the opening frame thanks to a takedown and near fall. DeMarco drew to within 5-3 following a second-period takedown, and the RU senior forced overtime (7-7) with another takedown late in the final stanza. DeMarco then took Thome to the mat one final time early in the first sudden victory period to earn the win.

Ashnault pinned Army junior 141-pounder Connor Hanafee in 6 minutes, 4 seconds to move Rutgers’ lead to 13-0. Hanafee actually led, 2-1, entering the third period, but Ashnault took him to the mat early in the frame and was able to collect the pin.

Army (3-5, 1-1 EIWA) trimmed Rutgers’ advantage to 13-10 following three consecutive wins. The Black Knights got on the scoreboard in the 149-pound matchup as sophomore Ryan Bilyeu took a 6-2 decision from Luke Rigoglioso. Bilyeu trailed, 1-0, following the first two periods, but exploded in the third frame. The second-year grappler produced a pair of takedowns in the final frame en route to the victory.

Black Knight senior co-captain Jimmy Rafferty made it back-to-back Army victories by posting a 7-1 decision opposite David Seidenberg at 157 pounds. Rafferty authored a pair of takedowns and accumulated over three minutes of riding time during the dominant performance.

Army freshman Cole Gracey earned a 12-3 major decision versus Douglas Hamann in the 165-pound matchup to slice Rutgers’ lead to 13-10. Gracey took a 5-0 lead following the first period, and extended his advantage to 7-0 after two frames. The Army plebe, who finished with nearly five minutes of riding time, continued to pile it on in the third period. He finished the bout with two takedowns, two reversals and one near fall.

Rutgers halted Army’s momentum in the 174-pound matchup as Greg Zannetti took an 11-2 major decision from Army sophomore Ryan Tompkins. Zannetti, who is ranked 16th nationally according to Intermat, took Tompkins to the mat four times in the win. Zannetti’s four-point major decision increased Rutgers’ cushion to 17-10 with three bouts remaining.

The Scarlet Knights’ lead ballooned to 21-10 after Daniel Seidenberg posted a 10-2 major decision opposite Army senior Michael Gorman at 184 pounds. Daniel Rinaldi then clinched the match for Rutgers by recording a 9-3 decision versus Army senior Derek Stanley in the 197-pound bout. Rinaldi’s victory gave the Scarlet Knights an insurmountable 24-10 lead.

Rutgers’ Daniel Hopkins doubled up Black Knight freshman Stephen Snyder, 4-2, in the heavyweight bout to close the contest.

Army returns to action on Saturday, Jan. 14, when the Black Knights travel to New York, N.Y., to face EIWA rival Columbia. The conference contest is slated to get under way at 7 p.m.

Match Notes: Army all-time record versus Rutgers dips to 29-12-1 … Ryan Bilyeu’s collected his first career dual win with his victory at 149 pounds … it marked his first career appearance in a dual match … he improves to 6-8 overall this season … Jimmy Rafferty improves to 17-10 overall this season … his 17 wins lead the team … Rafferty’s six dual wins also top the squad … he now shows a 6-2 mark in dual matches this season.

#24 Rutgers 27, Army 10
125: Vincent Dellefave (R) maj. dec. Scott Filbert, 12-4
133: Michael DeMarco (R) dec. Jordan Thome, 9-7 (sv1)
141: Billy Ashnault (R) pinned Connor Hanafee, 6:04
149: Ryan Bilyeu (A) dec. Luke Rigoglioso, 6-2
157: Jimmy Rafferty (A) dec. David Seidenberg, 7-1
165: Cole Gracey (A) maj. dec. Douglas Hamann, 12-3
174: #16 Greg Zannetti (R) maj. dec. Ryan Tompkins, 11-2
184: Daniel Seidenberg (R) maj. dec. Michael Gorman, 10-2
197: Daniel Rinaldi (R) dec. Derek Stanley, 9-3
285: Daniel Hopkins (R) dec. Stephen Snyder, 4-2


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