– The No. 19 Virginia wrestling team lost 25-12 to Rutgers Friday night in front of a large, raucous crowd at the Louis Brown Athletic Center in Piscataway, N.J.
Virginia (13-5) won at three weight classes. Derek Valenti (So., Newton, N.J.) earned the Cavaliers’ biggest win of the day, picking up a pin against Trevor Melde at 141 pounds. Chris Henrich (Jr., Lansdale, Pa.), ranked third nationally by InterMat, and No. 20 Mike Salopek (R-Fr., North Huntingdon, Pa.) also won by decision for the Cavaliers at 174 and 184 pounds, respectively. It marked the fewest wins by UVa in a dual this season.
In winning their 11th-consecutive match, the Scarlet Knights (15-4-1) got off to a good start with consecutive victories by decision, as Joseph Langel won 8-4 over UVa’s Ross Gitomer (Sr., Flemington, N.J.) at 125 pounds and Billy Ashnault, ranked as high as No. 16 nationally, notched a 6-4 triumph over the Cavaliers’ Matt Snyder (R-Fr., Lewistown, Pa.) at 133 pounds.
Valenti tied the score at six with his team-leading seventh fall of the season, pinning Melde in the 141-pound class at the 6:39 mark. Melde is ranked as high as No. 22 nationally. Valenti upped his record to 19-6 this season.
Rutgers responded with consecutive wins at 149 and 157 pounds that each resulted in bonus points. At 149, David Greenwald scored a 10-1 major decision over UVa’s Dave Ebbott (Blue Bell, Pa.), and Daryl Cocozzo followed with an upset of No. 14 Danny Gonsor, pinning him at the 4:39 mark and igniting the large crowd. The six points from the fall pushed the Rutgers lead to 16-6.
Rutgers tacked on three more points when Gregory Zannetti posted a 2-0 decision over the Cavaliers’ Pat Riley (R-Jr., Bernardsville, N.J.), as he successfully avoided a takedown attempt by Riley late in the final period.
UVa won consecutive decisions at 174 pounds and 184 pounds. Henrich scored a quick takedown in the first period and cruised to a 7-1 decision over Daniel Rinaldi. Henrich improved to 24-2 this year with his ninth straight win. It also marked the 90th win of his career as he moved into a ninth-place tie with Buddy Blaha (1984-87) on the all-time UVa wins ledger.
No. 20 Mike Salopek (R-Fr., North Huntingdon, Pa.) scored a takedown with just under a minute remaining in the third period, then added another takedown to earn a 6-3 win over Daniel Seidenberg.
The most exciting bout of the day came at 197 pounds, where No. 19 Brent Jones (Sr., Burke, Va.) and Lamar Brown battled in a quadruple-overtime thriller before Brown scored a series of points in a frenetic period and came out with a 14-8 victory. Brown is ranked as high as No. 18 nationally.
Tenth-ranked DJ Russo finished off the Rutgers team win with a 7-3 decision at heavyweight over UVa’s Jack Danilkowicz (R-Jr., Green Oaks, Ill.).
Virginia continues its weekend road swing at 1 p.m. Saturday when it wrestles at Princeton.Rutgers 25, No. 19 Virginia 12
125: Joseph Langel (RU) dec. Ross Gitomer (UVa), 8-4; RU 3-0
133: Billy Ashnault (RU) dec. Matt Snyder (UVa), 6-4; RU 6-0
141: Derek Valenti (UVa) pinned Trevor Melde (RU), 6:39: Tied 6-6
149: David Greenwald (RU) major. dec. Dave Ebbott (UVa) 10-1; RU 10-6
157: Daryl Cocozzo (RU) pinned No. 14 Danny Gonsor (UVa), 4:39; RU 16-6
165: Gregory Zannetti (RU) dec. Pat Riley (UVa), 2-0; RU 19-6
174: No. 3 Chris Henrich (UVa) dec. Daniel Rinaldi (RU), 7-1; RU 19-9
184: No. 20 Mike Salopek (UVa) dec. Daniel Seidenberg (RU), 6-3; RU 19-12
197: Lamar Brown (RU) dec. No. 19 Brent Jones (UVa), 14-8 (4OT); RU 22-12
285: No. 10 DJ Russo (RU) dec. Jack Danilkowicz (UVa), 7-3; RU 25-12
*National rankings according to InterMat