A solid Rutgers team drove into the Lehigh Valley last night to face a talented and tough Lehigh. Once again the level of separation between closely ranked teams was on display. The first 5 matches were wrestled hard, even if the score opened up. Fans got a little bit of everything, upsets on both sides, well condition wrestlers getting ready for the conference championships, a few big moves, a college coach bumped (Gravina up to 97) and ranked guys were getting after each other. The biggest disappointment for me was the size of the crowd. The Snake Pit/Grace Hall holds over 2,200 people but in the wrestling mad state of Pennsylvania, in the heart of Dist 11, this match drew just over 1,500 people.
Darian Cruz opened the match with bonus against tough local guy Paetzell and Lehigh reeled off wins in 5 of the first 6 matches. Longo and Pagano knocked off ranked wrestlers. Pagano transferred back to New Jersey and is the guy at 74 for Rutgers after spending time at Penn State the last couple of seasons.
Post Match Interviews
Coach Hughes, Laike Gardner, Drew Longo, Branden Paetzell and Jordan Pagano
125lbs: #4 Darian Cruz (LU) major dec. over Brandon Paetzell (RU), 18-4; LU leads, 4-0
133lbs: #9 Scott Parker (LU) dec. over #30 Scott DelVecchio (RU), 4-2; LU leads, 7-0
141lbs: #5 Anthony Ashnault (RU) dec. over #16 Randy Cruz (LU), 4-0; LU leads, 7-3
149lbs: #11 Laike Gardner (LU) dec. over #14 Ken Theobold (RU), 7-3; LU leads, 10-3
157lbs: Drew Longo (LU) dec. over #15 John Van Brill (RU), 2-1; LU leads, 13-3
165lbs: #14 Mitch Minotti (LU) major dec. over Willie Scott (RU), 13-5; LU leads, 17-3
174lbs: #18 Jordan Pagano (RU) dec. over #4 Ryan Preisch (LU), 10-4; LU leads, 17-6
184lbs: Andrew Price (LU) dec. over Phillip Bakuckas (RU), 2-1(TB-1); LU leads, 20-6
197lbs: #13 Nicholas Gravina (RU) major dec. over Thomas Murray (LU), 11-2; LU leads, 20-10
HWT: #16 Doug Vollaro (LU) dec. over Razohnn Gross (RU), 3-1 (SV); LU wins, 23-10