After losing two duals in a row, the Rutgers wrestling team looks to rebound this weekend with two home matches against Michigan State and Michigan. The No. 24 Scarlet Knights (8-3, 0-2) are still looking for their first Big Ten dual win as they lost their first two conference duals to Indiana 24-16 and No. 7 Ohio State 27-12.
In its match tomorrow against the No. 20 Spartans (7-2, 0-2), Rutgers will be facing a team that is in a situation very similar to its own. Michigan State also lost both of its two Big Ten matchups, falling to the No. 3 Wolverines (7-0, 2-0) by a score of 25-10 and then-No. 12 Minnesota by a score of 21-11. The Knights look to secure a ranked win against the Spartans to go along with their defeat over then-No. 21 Penn by a score of 19-12.
After its dual against Michigan State, Rutgers is set to take on Michigan, which is coming into this matchup with a perfect record that includes four ranked dual wins against Wisconsin, the Spartans, Cal Poly and North Carolina.
The Wolverines have defeated these opponents with a combined score of 105-39. In this matchup, the Knights will face the No. 2 heavyweight wrestler in the country Mason Parris who will dual against No. 24 junior 285-pounder Boone McDermott while sophomore 157-pounder Andrew Clark will look to rebound against No. 10 Will Lewan. Michigan will be the highest-ranked team that Rutgers has faced so far this season.
If the Knights hope to win one of their next two matches, they will have to do so without one of their top wrestlers, junior 141-pounder Sammy Alvarez. Alvarez has been absent from the team since its matchup against Rider after he failed to meet his required weight before the dual.
After facing disciplinary actions for failing to make weight and thus being benched for the dual against the Broncos, Alvarez announced that he was entering the transfer portal.
Rutgers will participate in its first home match since it secured a 29-4 victory against Clarion on Nov. 11, 2022 at the College Avenue Gym. These two matches will also be the Knights’ first ones at Jersey Mike’s Arena on Livingston campus as the team has been on the road since mid-November.
The dual against Michigan State will take place tomorrow at 7 p.m. while the dual against the Wolverines will take place at 2 p.m. on Sunday. Both matches will be available to watch on Big Ten Network+.
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