Scarlet Knights Rankings, Keep Rising

Credits: Rutgers Athletics Communications

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Following a weekend spilt and near upset of No. 4 Ohio State last Sunday, the Rutgers wrestling team matched its season-best ranking of No. 21 in the USA Today/ NWCA Division I Coaches Poll, announced Tuesday. Individually, six Scarlet Knights are ranked this week by Intermat, The Open Mat, WIN Magazine orFloWrestling.

The Intermat Dual Rankings tab the Scarlet Knights (11-6, 1-6 Big Ten) as No. 24 in the country.

133-pounder Scott DelVecchio (South Plainfield, N.J.) and 157-pounder Anthony Perrotti (Roseland, N.J.) both enjoyed top-10 upsets amid their weekend sweeps, improving their national standing.

DelVecchio (16-6, 10-4 Duals) bumped to No. 18/16/NR/17 overall after topping then-No. 7/6/7/7 Johnni DiJulius of Ohio State. The rankings by IntermatThe Open Mat and FloWrestling are the highest of DelVecchio’s career.

Perrotti (14-6, 9-5 Duals) improved to No. 16/16/14/18 nationally following an 8-5 win over then-No. 9/8/9/7 Josh Demas – his first top-10 win this season.

149-pounder Ken Theobold (Toms River, N.J.) continued to get his hand raised and has now won seven matches in a row. Among starters, the No. 17/16/17/20-ranked Theobold (20-4, 14-2 Duals) owns the most wins in advance of facing 2014 149-pound national champion Jason Tsirtsis Sunday.

141-pounder Anthony Ashnault (South Plainfield, N.J.) stayed true to his winning ways with a major decision and tech fall over the weekend. Ashnault (19-4, 15-2 Duals) is the highest-ranked Scarlet Knight at No. 9/7/12/9 in the four polls.

No. 14/18/20/11 redshirt junior heavyweight Billy Smith (Wantage, N.J.) is back in a groove after winning three consecutive matches, including one over a ranked opponent. Smith (12-4, 9-4 Duals) faces another two top-five opponents in No. 3/2/2/4 Connor Medbery (Wisconsin) and No. 4/3/3/3 Mike McMullan (Northwestern) this weekend.

Rounding out the six ranked Scarlet Knights is 174-pounder Phillip Bakuckas (Hammonton, N.J.). Bakuckas (16-10, 9-8 Duals) dropped out of three polls following a pair of tough losses to Navy’s Jadaen Bernstein and Ohio State’s then-No. 13/10/17/13 Mark Martin, and comes in ranked No. 17 this week by The Open Mat.

The Scarlet Knights travel this weekend to face No. 18 Wisconsin on Friday, Feb. 6 and No. 25 Northwestern on Sunday, Feb. 8. Both road matches will be streamed live via BTN Plus.

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