PITTSBURGH – Despite winning the first two matches and three of the first four, Nationally-ranked No. 18 Pitt came up short in its final match of the season, falling to West Virginia, 24-14, on Sunday, Feb. 22 at Fitzgerald Field House.
It was the Panthers’ first loss to West Virginia since 2007, snapping a five match win streak and a seven match unbeaten streak.
Pitt’s two ranked wrestlers that competed, sophomore Mikey Racciato and redshirt senior Tyler Wilps, continued their recent success and each closed out the season with major decisions. The Panthers also received victories from redshirt junior Ronnie Garbinsky and redshirt freshman Nick Zanetta.
The Panthers started off strong, winning their first two bouts at 149 and 157 pounds to grab an early 7-0 lead in the match.
Racciato, ranked 19th at 149 pounds, registered his sixth straight win with a 13-4 major decision over Roman Perryman. During that season-ending win streak, Racciato recorded four bonus point victories – today’s major decision and three falls.
At 157 pounds, Garbinsky tallied his fourth consecutive win and brought the crowd to its feet by winning in the second tiebreaker. After remaining tied 3-3 throughout regulation time and sudden victory, Garbinsky kept a stronghold on his opponent, Brutus Scheffel, and when it was his turn to start on bottom, scored one last escape to win 4-3.
West Virginia then put its first points on the scoreboard at 165 pounds with a win 5-2 decision from Ross Renzi over Pitt redshirt freshman Cody Wiercioch.
No. 8 Tyler Wilps followed up the loss by continuing his stellar season to notch a big 14-5 major decision Parker VonEgidy and extend the team score to 11-3 in Pitt’s favor.
For the next four matches, West Virginia stole momentum, claiming victories at 184, 197, 285, and 125 pounds.
With redshirt senior Max Thomusseit sitting out again, redshirt senior Troy Reaghard got the call at 184 pounds. His opponent outweighed him by nearly 20 pounds and handed him a 9-1 defeat.
The tides officially turned at 197 pounds when Jake A. Smith posted a fall of redshirt junior Nick Bonaccorsi in 1:45. That six-point victory gave the Mountaineers the lead for good at 12-11.
Following another two straight wins, which included a major decision at 125 pounds, West Virginia led 19-11 with two bouts remaining.
Attempting to keep the match going, redshirt freshman Nick Zanetta took care of business at 133 pounds and tallied his 16th win of the season by taking down Cory Stainbrook, 3-1.
West Virginia’s only ranked wrestler, No. 16 Michael Morales sealed the win for the Mountaineers with a tech fall as time expired.
In addition to redshirt seniors Tyler Wilps and Tory Reaghard, three more Pitt seniors were honored before the match, including Max Thomusseit, Eric Nutter and Matt Gotzon.
Thomusseit, who sat out the final two matches of the season, completed the 2014-15 dual season with a perfect 14-0 mark, becoming the first Pitt wrestler since Tyler Nauman in 2009-10 to go undefeated throughout the dual season.
Pitt is off for the next two weeks and will resume action when it hosts the Atlantic Coast Conference Championships on Sunday, March 8 at the Petersen Events Center.
Tickets for the 2015 Atlantic Coast Conference Wrestling Championship, hosted by Pitt on Sunday, March 8, are on sale effective immediately.
The one-day tournament, which will take place at the Petersen Events Center, is the first ACC championship event put on by the Panthers in school history.
Admission to the Petersen Events Center is $10 for adults and $5 for both youth 12-and-under and senior citizens. All tickets are general admission and can be purchased online, calling 800-643-PITT (7488), or visiting the Panthers Ticket Office located in the lobby of the Petersen Events Center. Tickets will also be available at the door on the day of the event.
Tickets for the NCAA Championship in St. Louis (March 17-19) are also on sale and can be purchased by calling 800-643-PITT (7488) or visiting the Panthers Ticket Office located in the lobby of the Petersen Events Center.
149: No. 19 Mikey Racciato (P) m. dec. Roman Perryman (W), 13-4; Pitt leads 4-0
157: Ronnie Garbinsky (P) dec. Brutus Scheffel (W), 4-3 (TB2); Pitt leads 7-0
165: Ross Renzi (W) dec. Cody Wiercioch (P), 5-2; Pitt leads 7-3
174: No. 8 Tyler Wilps (P) m. dec. Parker VonEgidy (W), 14-5; Pitt leads 11-3
184: Bubba Scheffel (W) dec. Troy Reaghard (P), 9-2; Pitt leads 11-6
197: Jake A. Smith (W) fall Nick Bonaccorsi (P); 1:45; WVU leads 12-11
285: A.J. Vizcarrondo (W) dec. Ryan Solomon (P), 2-1; WVU leads 15-11
125: Zeke Moisey (W) m. dec. Dom Forys (P), 14-5; WVU leads 19-11
133: Nick Zanetta (P) dec. Cory Stainbrook (W), 3-1; WVU leads 19-14
141: No. 16 Michael Morales (W) tech fall Ben Ross (P), 22-4 (7:00); WVU wins 24-14