Pitt beats Virginia

PITTSBURGH -- Pitt wrestling honored seven seniors on Friday night at Fitzgerald Field House and sent out the Class of 2024 as winners with a 35-7 dual victory over Virginia.

The 23rd-ranked Panthers (10-8, 2-3 ACC) crushed the Cavaliers (7-6, 1-4 ACC) with eight match wins, including six victories by bonus-point decisions.

On his Senior Night, Cole Matthews earned his 100th career win and a standing ovation from the fans in another memorable moment in the career of the ACC champion and NCAA All-American.

"I thought it was a good performance, probably one of our better ones of the season," Pitt head coach Keith Gavin said after the dual. "It was nice to score a lot of points in our last home match in front of the fans after recognizing the seniors. That's what we want to see heading into the postseason."

"It hasn't hit me that was my last time wrestling at the Fitzgerald Field House," Matthews said. "I'll be sad about that after the season. But right now, I'm just proud of getting to 100 career wins and thankful to have six incredible seasons here at Pitt. That means a lot to me."

Pitt started with a victory by forfeit for another senior, Colton Camacho, at 125 pounds; and after Matthews brought the crowd to its feet, the cheering continued for some freshmen performances with a major by Finn Solomon at 149 and a win by pin by Jared Keslar at 157.

The Panthers kept on winning and extended their lead to a lopsided margin as Holden Heller won at 165 pounds on his Senior Night, Luca Augustine defeated a top-15 opponent at 174 and Reece Heller scored from numerous positions to pick up a technical fall at 184 pounds.

Mac Stout earned Pitt's final win with a major at 197 pounds, adding to a high-scoring evening of wrestling action for the Panthers at the Fitz in their 2023-24 home finale.

Pitt will now begin preparation for the postseason. The 2024 ACC Wrestling Championship will be held at North Carolina's Carmichael Arena in Chapel Hill on Sunday, March 10, giving 10 Panthers a chance to qualify for the 2024 NCAA Championships that will be hosted in Kansas City from March 21-23.

125: Colton Camacho (Pitt) wins by forfeit (Pitt leads, 6-0)
133: No. 28 Marlon Yarbrough (UVA) dec. No. 23 Vinnie Santaniello (Pitt), 7-6 (Pitt leads, 6-3)
141: No. 14 Cole Matthews (Pitt) maj. Kyren Butler (UVA), 9-1 (Pitt leads, 10-3)
149: Finn Solomon (Pitt) maj. Michael Gioffre (UVA), 13-5 (Pitt leads, 14-3)
157: Jared Keslar (Pitt) pins Nick Sanko (UVA), 3:54 (Pitt leads, 20-3)
165: No. 13 Holden Heller (Pitt) dec. Nick Hamilton (UVA), 6-1 (Pitt leads, 23-3)
174: No. 18 Luca Augustine (Pitt) dec. No. 13 Justin McCoy (UVA), 4-2 (Pitt leads, 26-3)
184: No. 10 Reece Heller (Pitt) tech fall Ethan Weatherspoon (UVA), 21-5 (6:19) (Pitt leads, 31-3)
197: No. 15 Mac Stout (Pitt) maj. Krystian Kinsey (UVA), 12-3 (Pitt leads, 35-3)
285: Ryan Catka (UVA) maj. Geoff Magin (Pitt), 12-4 (Pitt wins, 35-7)