Jan. 22, 2012
PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- The Navy wrestling team (3-6/1-2 EIWA) came up short in its quest to upset 24th-ranked Rutgers (12-3/5-1 EIWA) on Sunday afternoon at The RAC in Piscataway, N.J. thanks to a newly-implemented rule by the NCAA. Following a 4-1 victory by Navy heavyweight Dan Miller (Berlin, Md.) to knot the score at 19-19, the Scarlet Knights were awarded one point and the 20-19 victory by way of a 37-33 advantage in total match points.
The NCAA put into place this season criteria that would eliminate dual meets from ending in ties. In the case of Sunday's Navy-Rutgers battle, the referee was forced to award the decision by going to the third criterion after the first two were eliminated. The first is number of victories, however, both teams won five bouts. The second is combined falls and tech falls, however, once again each team had one pin and no tech falls. The third is all but a "sure thing" in the tie-breaking world, as total match points are used - meaning every point from every bout counts in the decision.
"It's frustrating," said 12th-year Navy head coach Bruce Burnett, whose Midshipmen have lost each of their last three duals to nationally-ranked competition. "I feel bad that we lost, but a little more effort in each of our matches and we win. I believe that 100 percent. Bottom line, effort counts!"
The effort was certainly there in the first handful of matches for the Mids that saw senior 125-pound Tyler Sackett (Omaha, Neb.) score a hard-fought 5-1 victory over two-time NCAA qualifier Joseph Langel. Since returning from a knee injury just two weeks ago, Sackett has put together a 3-1 record and stands 4-1 in duals this season.
"Tyler has done a nice job since getting back on the mat," said Burnett. "Today's win was impressive. Langel has had quite a bit of success during his career, so I chalk that up to a quality win for Tyler."
Navy pushed its advantage to 6-0 after senior team captain Aaron Kalil (Salem, N.H.) put away Rutgers redshirt sophomore Vincent Dellefave, 4-2. Kalil, who fell out of the individual rankings this past Monday, recorded his 21st win of the season and is now just one win shy of joining Navy's 90-win club.
Rutgers, however, closed the gap when fifth-year senior Billy Ashnault dealt Navy senior Dustin Haislip (Inwood, W.Va.) a 5-2 loss at 141 pounds. The Scarlet Knights then forged ahead of the Mids when rookie Anthony Perrotti pinned Navy's Peyton Walsh (Glen Allen, Va.) in 13 seconds to give Rutgers a 9-6 advantage in the match.
Navy junior 157-pound Bobby Barnhisel (River Forest, Ill.) stepped up in the next bout, as he answered with a pin of his own, flattening redshirt freshman Anthony Volpe at 2:38.
"Bobby really kept us in the match and gave the team a huge lift, emotionally and on the scoreboard," said Burnett.
The win was a credit to Barnhisel's focus and determination after getting pinned by Maryland's Kyle John just two days prior. Barnhisel, who is another Navy wrestler who is coming back from an early season injury, has won seven of his last nine matches and stands 4-4 in duals this season.
Navy's three-point lead was erased in the following match as ninth-ranked Scott Winston of Rutgers held Navy's Mason Bailey (Fairmont, W.Va.) scoreless en route to a 2-0 victory at 165 pounds. Winston, who is now 15-3 this season including 9-0 in duals, is a two-time NCAA qualifier and the reigning EIWA Champion at 165 pounds. Bailey, meanwhile, has been out of commission since Dec. 2 when he suffered a rib injury.
"For having been out as long as what he has, Mason did a pretty good job. He was too conservative, though, and in a match against an accomplished wrestler like Winston, you've got to go all out."
Navy and Rutgers split the remaining four matches with 13th-ranked Luke Rebertus (Gloucester, Va.) scoring a 10-2 major decision over Rutgers juior Evan Brewer at 184 pounds and Miller picking up a 4-1 decision over fifth-year senior Daniel Hopkins.
"Our guys competed hard in a hostile environment and really didn't get any breaks," added Burnett. "I just think we've got to learn from our mistakes and push forward. I know our guys learned a valuable lesson today."
Navy will be back in action next Saturday when it travels to the state of North Carolina to face both North Carolina and Campbell. The Mids and Tar Heels are on tap for a 1:00 pm start in Chapel Hill, before Navy travels to Buies Creek, N.C. to battle Campbell at 7:00 pm.
Rutgers 20, Navy 19
(Rutgers wins via third criteria of most match points scored, 37-33)
125 - Tyler Sackett (N) dec Joseph Langel (R), 5-1
133 - Aaron Kalil (N) dec Vincent Dellefave (R), 4-2
141 - Billy Ashnault (R) dec Dustin Haislip (N), 5-2
149 - Anthony Perrotti (R) fall Peyton Walsh (N), 0:13
157 - Bobby Barnhisel (N) fall Anthony Volpe (R), 2:38
165 - #9 Scott Winston (R) dec Mason Bailey (N), 2-0
174 - #17 Greg Zannetti (R) major dec James Mannier (N), 16-6
184 - #13 Luke Rebertus (N) major Evan Brewer (R), 10-2
197 - Dan Rinaldi (R) dec Paul Rands (N), 8-2
285 - Dan Miller (N) dec Daniel Hopkins (R), 4-1
### Go Navy ###