No. 1 Minnesota Finishes Strong, Beats No. 23 Rutgers
A pin from Dylan Ness set off a streak of six consecutive wins by the Gophers to take down the Scarlet Knights, 23-12, in the first-ever meeting between the two teams
Now in its 106th season of wrestling, No. 1 Minnesota had never wrestled No. 23 Rutgers prior to Sunday’s dual. The Gophers had to wait until their fifth match of this first-ever meeting to get their first victory over the Scarlet Knights, but the wins came quickly after that, as Minnesota took the final six matches of the dual to knock off the Knights, 23-12. The win improves Minnesota to 8-0 this season (4-0 in the Big Ten) and extends the Gophers winning streak in duals to 15.
Rutgers, in its debut season in the Big Ten, entered Sunday’s meet looking for the school’s first victory in its new conference. Early on, the Scarlet Knights energized a home crowd hungry to see an upset by taking the first four matches of the dual and building up a 12-0 lead. It was the first time since January, 2013 that the Gophers trailed by 10 points or more in a dual.
No. 1 Dylan Ness sparked the Minnesota comeback in the final match before the intermission, the 157 bout which pitted Ness against redshirt freshman Dylan Painton, who stepped in when No. 17 Anthony Perrotti was scratched from the lineup late Sunday morning. Ness appeared very aware of his team’s need for bonus points, continually working to put Painton on his back. Late in the second period, Ness successfully locked in a cradle and pinned Painton, halving the Gopher deficit in one quick second. The pin was the 35th of Ness’ career, moving him into 10th place on Minnesota’s all-time pin list. Ness is now 21-0 on the season.
Following the intermission, the Gophers began to roll. Brandon Kingsley opened the second half of the dual with a 4-0 decision over Nicholas Gravina at 165. The victory was Kingsley’s first dual win this season after making his 2014-15 dual debut on Friday. No. 3 Logan Storley followed with a decision of his own at 174, defeating Phil Bakuckas, 5-1. With Storley’s victory, Minnesota had successfully erased Rutgers’ advantage and tied the dual at 12 with three matches remaining.
At 184, No. 10 Brett Pfarr looked very impressive, repeatedly taking down Hayden Hrymack and piling up points to earn a major decision, 19-9, and giving Minnesota its first lead of the day. Not to be outdone, No. 1 Scott Schiller followed at 197 with a major decision of his own, 11-2, over Andew Campolattano. Schiller’s win clinched the dual for Minnesota heading to the afternoon’s final match. In that last bout, No. 13 Michael Kroells snapped a three-match losing streak in dual competition after scoring a takedown late in the third period to defeat No. 9 Billy Smith, 6-5.
Rutgers built its lead with four consecutive decisions at the dual’s outset. At 125, Sean McCabe and Jordan Bremer wrestled an entertaining match, one which McCabe took by a 5-3 decision. At 133 and 141, Jordan Kingsley and Conrad Rangell each avoided major decisions and saved the team bonus points, as Kingsley fell in an 8-3 decision to Scott DelVecchio at 133 and Rangell dropped a 12-5 decision to No. 7 Anthony Ashnault at 141. Rutgers capped off its opening run at 149, where Ken Theobold came back from an early deficit to defeat Jake Short, 7-6, in what would turn out to be Rutgers’ final victory on the afternoon.
Minnesota returns home for its next dual, a home contest with No. 9 Illinois next Sunday at 1 p.m. CT. The dual will be streamed live on BTN Plus, which requires a subscription. Updates from the Sports Pavilion will be available throughout the meet on the Gopher Wrestling Twitter feed and a full recap of the dual following its conclusion will be shared on GopherSports.com.
#1 Minnesota 23 #24 Rutgers 12
125 Sean McCabe (Rutgers) dec. Jordan Bremer (Minnesota) 5-2
133 Scott DelVecchio (Rutgers) dec. Jordan Kingsley (Minnesota) 8-3
141 #7 Anthony Ashnault (Rutgers) dec. Conrad Rangell (Minnesota) 12-5
149 Ken Theobold (Rutgers) dec. Jake Short (Minnesota) 7-6
157 #1 Dylan Ness (Minnesota) fall Dylan Painton (Rutgers) 3:24
165 Brandon Kingsley (Minnesota) dec. Nicholas Gravina (Rutgers) 4-0
174 #3 Logan Storley (Minnesota) dec. Phil Bakuckas (Rutgers) 5-1
184 #10 Brett Pfarr (Minnesota) maj. dec. Hayden Hrymack (Rutgers) 19-9
197 #1 Scott Schiller (Minnesota) maj. dec. Andrew Campolattano (Rutgers) 11-2
285 #13 Michael Kroells (Minnesota) dec. #9 Billy Smith (Rutgers) 6-5