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Rutgers wrestling set to take part in Garden State Grapple

Sophomore 184-pounder John Poznanski and the Rutgers wrestling team will take part in the Garden State Grapple this weekend. – Photo by

On Sunday, the Rutgers wrestling team returns to New Jersey from its West Coast road trip to compete in the Garden State Grapple. After defeating Stanford 20-15 and having strong individual performances at the Roadrunner Open, the Scarlet Knights (3-1, 0-0) will look to keep their hot streak alive as they take on UPenn and Drexel.

Rutgers will face the No. 21 Quakers (0-1, 0-0) first at 2 p.m. This will be the Knights' second-ranked matchup of the season as they will be looking to get their first-ranked dual win of the season. Rutgers will then look to beat the Dragons (0-0, 0-0) at 4 p.m.

Three Knights are currently ranked in the top 15: No. 8 junior 141-pounder Sammy Alvarez, No. 12 freshman 184-pounder Brian Soldano and No. 14 graduate student 133-pounder Joe Heilmann. All of these men are projected to wrestle in the upcoming tournament.

Alvarez and junior 285-pounder Boone McDermott will look to stay undefeated on the season. Alvarez is 4-0 to start the season and will look to continue that streak in both matchups. McDermott has started the season on a perfect six-match winning streak and he will look to add two more wins on Sunday.

One more Rutgers wrestler who could be competing to extend his undefeated season is sophomore 184-pounder John Poznanski. Poznanski is currently 5-0, but he has not yet been confirmed to be starting this weekend.

In Sunday's matches, the Knights will look to extend their all-time series lead against both programs. Rutgers leads its series against UPenn 19-11-1 and also leads its series against Drexel 15-11. This will be the Knights' first matchup against the Quakers since 1996.

This tournament is a part of Rutgers' unusually long road stretch. The program will not be returning home to Piscataway for an event until Jan 20, 2023, when the team faces off against Michigan State. The matchup in January will be the Knights' first dual at home since the season opener.

This is the second annual Garden State Grapple and many other Big Ten teams will also be competing. This tournament will see Big Ten teams take on teams from the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association. Rutgers won both matches in the inaugural tournament last year and will be looking to keep that streak going on Sunday.

The Garden State Grapple will start at 2 p.m. at the Prudential Center in Newark. Both of the Knights' duals will be streamed on Big Ten Network Plus.

For more updates on the Rutgers wrestling team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

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