The tossup bouts went Wisconsin’s way, and with that, the Rutgers University wrestling team absorbed its first defeat of the season Sunday at the Wisconsin Field House, in Madison, WI.
Two-time heavyweight All-American Trent Hilger clinched a 19-14 win for the Badgers with a 6-3 win over Boone McDermott.
But, it was a sweep of tossup bouts at 149, 157 and 174 that enabled Wisconsin to put the match in Hilger’s hands. Hilger broke a 2-2 tie with an escape and takedown in the third period.
The three tossup wins, which were part of a sweep of the 149-174 bouts, gave the Badgers (6-0, 2-0), ranked No. 16 nationally, a 16-8 lead with three bouts left.
Rutgers (11-1, 1-1), which is ranked No. 12 nationally after its best-ever start to a season, closed to within 16-14 on wins by returning NCAA fourth-place finisher John Poznanski (184) and an 8-7 win by unbeaten Greg Bulsak (197) over Braxton Amos in a rematch of a Matmen Open semifinal that Bulsak also won.
Wisconsin won six of the 10 bouts. Rutgers also received wins from freshman Joey Olivieri (133) and Sebastian Rivera (141).
Olivieri who was a three-time NJSIAA champion at Hanover Park, was wrestling his first dual-meet bout of the season.
Rutgers was planning to redshirt him, but since he wrestled Sunday, the redshirt is now pulled.
Olivieri was 14-3 in open tournaments while wrestling unattached. He was taking the place of Sammy Alvarez, who did not weigh in for the second straight match after he was injured in the Matmen Open on Dec. 29. Olivieri finished fifth in that tournament.
The biggest tossup bout win came at 174 as Andrew McNally, a transfer from Kent State defeated Rutgers’ returning NCAA All-American Jackson Turley 6-1 to avenge a 7-5 defeat to Turley in a wrestleback bout in last year’s NCAA Tournament that determined who was going to be an All-American.
McNally had a takedown with 30 seconds left in the first period after an extended scramble, rode Turley out in the second, got another takedown in the third and the riding time point.
Austin Gomez (149) got the Badgers’ run started with an 11-1 major decision over two-time NCAA qualifier Mike VanBrill to hand VanBrill his first defeat of the season.
Gomez, a transfer from Iowa State who was one win away from being an All-American at 149 in 2019, got the major when he body-locked VanBrill to his back for a six-point move in the final 10 seconds.
Garrett Model (157) gave Wisconsin a 10-8 lead with a 13-8 win over Robert Kanniard in a tossup bout.
Model broke an 8-8 tie with a takedown with 32 seconds left in the second period and then two back points off a tilt in the final 10 seconds of the second stanza.
Olivieri’s 4-3 win over returning NCAA qualifier Kyle Burwick tied the match 3-3 after Wisconsin’s returning NCAA eighth-place finisher Eric Barnett had defeated Dylan Shawver 8-4 at 125 pounds. w
It was the second time in 11 days Olivieri defeated Burwick. He majored Burwick 9-1 in a Matmen Open wrestleback bout .
Olivieri,got a reversal early in the second period and takedown later in the period. Burwick had just three escapes.
Rivera, a three-time NCAA top six finisher, gave Rutgers an 8-3 lead and continued his streak of getting bonus points in every one of his on the mat bouts this season with a 19-3 technical fall win in 6:06 over former Bergen Catholic wrestler Joseph Zargo.
It was Rivera’s second win over Zargo in 11 days. He majored Zargo 11-1 in a Matmen Open semifinal on Dec. 30 on his way to winning that tournament title.
Wisconsin 19, Rutgers 14
125: Eric Barnett (W) d. Dylan Shawver 8-4.
133: Joey Olivieri (R) d. Kyle Burwick 4-3.
141: Sebastian Rivera (R) tf. Joseph Zargo 6:06 (19-3)
149: Austin Gomez (W) md. Mike VanBrill 11-1.
157: Garrett Model (W) d. Robert Kanniard 13-8
165: Dean Hamiti (W) d. Andrew Clark 10-4
174: Andrew McNally (W) d. Jackson Turley 6-1.
184: John Poznanski (R) d. Chris Weiler 12-5
197: Greg Bulsak (R) d. Braxton Amos 8-7
HWT: Trent Hilger (W) d. Boone McDermott 6-3.