Saturday, Mar 20, 2021
Dellavecchia becomes first Rider wrestler to advance to national title bout
by Rider Sports Information
Rider University wrestling graduate student Jesse Dellavecchia pinned top-seeded Ryan Deakin of Northwestern Friday night in the biggest win in Rider Wrestling history. Dellavecchia becomes the Broncs' first-ever wrestler to advance to the National Championship bout, where he'll face Iowa State's David Carr, the No. 3 seed in the tournament, Saturday night at 7 p.m. on ESPN.
"Jesse deserves this," says Rider Head Coach John Hangey. "He has dedicated his life to the sport and has been completely devoted to our program and University from day one on campus. He has some unfinished business to take care of tomorrow night, but the coaching staff and I couldn't be more proud for Jesse and his family."
Earlier in the day in the quarterfinals, Dellavecchia was leading Penn State's Brady Berge, 2-0, when Berge was injured and had to default. The win made Dellavecchia Rider's 16th different wrestler to earn All-America honors.
Following a scoreless first period against Deakin, Dellavecchia started on top in the second period. The Broncs' 157 lb. wrestler was able to turn Deakin for back points and finished off the pin at 3:18.
"I'm a good top wrestler," Dellavecchia says. "I knew that and I know I can turn anyone. I was on top and it worked out."
The furthest a Rider wrestler had gone at NCAA's prior to Dellavecchia's historic win was to the third-place bout, an accomplishment the Broncs have boasted five times. Rider's first-ever All-American Lou DiSerafino finished third in 1980, while Adam Derengowski (1991) and Doug Umbehauer (2009) also finished third. John Lucerne (1985) and current Rider Head Coach John Hangey (1993) both finished fourth.
On the year, Dellavecchia, who is Rider's first All-American since Chad Walsh and Ryan Wolfe in 2017, remains unbeaten at 11-0 with four wins by fall.
Ethan Laird fell twice in the quarterfinals and blood round to come up just short of All-American status. He fell to second-seeded Mason Parris of Michigan, 14-4, in the quarterfinals, before Ohio State's Tate Orndorff took a 7-2 decision in the blood round.