The returning national qualifier from Pittsburgh, Pa. earned the award after posting wins in two Panther victories, including an upset of No. 6 Lehigh, 18-16, on Saturday, Nov. 12, and a 25-13 win over Drexel the following day.
With Pitt leading 15-10 against Lehigh, Wilps, ranked seventh in the nation at 197 pounds by InterMat Wrestling, came through with a thrilling come-from-behind win over the ninth-ranked Kennedy to clinch the match for the Panthers.
Kennedy looked poised to avenge a 2-1 overtime loss to Wilps in the semifinals of the Buffalo Open. The Lehigh senior scored a third-period takedown to take a 3-1 lead. But a late flurry resulted n an escape and a double-leg takedown by Wilps for the win.
“That’s what you expect out of an upperclassmen and a guy who wants to be on the podium at the NCAAs this year,” said Pitt coach Rande Stottlemyer following the match.
Wilps improved to 6-1 on the season with an 8-5 decision over Brandon Palik of Drexel on Sunday.
The Panthers (2-0) are on a seven-match winning streak dating back to last season and are ranked No. 17 in the NWCA/USA Today Coaches Poll. They will look to make it eight in a row in their home opener against No. 8 Michigan on Saturday, Nov. 19. The match is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Fitzgerald Field House.
Courtesy of Matt Jackson | University of Pittsburgh | Media Relations Assistant