By Matthew Haas
Pittsburgh Sports Information
PITTSBURGH – The No. 6 University of Pittsburgh wrestling team (12-1, 5-0 ACC) defeated No. 16 Virginia Tech (15-3, 4-2 ACC), 19-14, this evening at Fitzgerald Field House. With the victory, the Panthers clinch a share of the ACC Regular Season Championship, the first ACC title, in any sport, for the University.
Anthony Zanetta opened the contest with a 3-1 decision over No. 19 Joey Dance of Virginia Tech at 125 pounds. After a scoreless first, Zanetta scored a takedown in the second period off a go-behind on a scramble to give him the two point margin of victory. Dance was able to escape midway through the third but Zanetta held him at bay the remainder of the bout to secure the win. The victory was the 100th of Zanetta’s career making him only the 18th wrestler in school history to reach the century mark in wins.
Shelton Mack and Edgar Bright followed him with back to back decisions at 133 and 141 pounds respectively to extend the Pitt lead to 9-0.
Mack executed a nice double leg takedown of the Hokie’s Dennis Gustafson in the second period giving him a narrow 3-2 win.
Bright used a second period escape and a bonus point for riding time to clinch a 2-1 decision over Erik Spjut to increase Pitt’s lead to 9-0.
The Hokies erased the lead with a run of their own, winning matches at 149, 157, and 165 pounds to take an 11-9 lead before Tyler Wilps earned a 13-3 major decision over John Dickson. Wilps scored five takedowns, an escape, a stall point, and a bonus point for over two minutes of ride time to help the Panthers regain the lead at 13-11.
Pitt would not relinquish the lead as Max Thomusseit and Nick Bonaccorsi sealed the victory for the Panthers with decisions at 184 and 197 pounds.
Thomusseit was dominant in a 7-2 victory over No. 17 Nick Vetterlein at 184 pounds. Thomusseit got on Vetterlein early scoring a quick double and riding out the Hokie 184 pounder for the remainder of the first. In the second, Thomusseit earned a quick escape and takedown to extend his advantage to 5-0. A point for stalling extended the lead to 6-0 as Thomusseit looked for a major but Vetterlein earned the last takedown to make the final, 7-2.
At 197 pounds, Bonaccorsi also cruised to victory with an 8-3 decision over No. 20 Chris Penny. Following a scoreless first, Bonaccorsi started down in the second and earned a quick escape. The redshirt sophomore then went on the offensive with a pair of takedowns to push his lead to 5-1 going to the third. In the final frame, Bonaccorsi added another takedown and a bonus point for riding time to clinch the decision and put the match out of reach for Virginia Tech at 19-11 with one bout to go.
The Hokies’ Ty Walz took a hard-fought, back-and-forth, 12-10 decision over Mike Gregory in their bout at heavyweight to make the final match score 19-14 in favor of the Panthers.
Pitt will return to the mats on Friday, Feb. 14, when it plays host to in-state rival Edinboro (8-3) in a 7 p.m. dual at Fitzgerald Field House.
No. 6 Pitt 19, No. 16 Virginia Tech 14
125: Anthony Zanetta (P) dec. No. 19 Joey Dance (V), 3-1; Pitt leads, 3-0
133: No. 20 Shelton Mack (P) dec. Dennis Gustafson (V), 3-2; Pitt leads, 6-0
141: No. 17 Edgar Bright (P) dec. Erik Spjut (V), 2-1; Pitt leads, 9-0
149: No. 17 Zach Neibert (V) dec. Mikey Racciato (P), 7-3; Pitt leads, 9-3
157: Sal Mastriani (V) tech. fall Ronnie Garbinsky (P), 28-15; Pitt leads, 9-8
165: Chris Moon (V) dec. Geno Morelli (P), 2-1; Virginia Tech leads, 11-9
174: No. 7 Tyler Wilps (P) m. dec. John Dickson (V), 13-3; Pitt leads, 13-11
184: No. 6 Max Thomusseit (P) dec. No. 17 Nick Vetterlein (V), 7-2; Pitt leads, 16-11
197: No. 18 Nick Bonaccorsi (P) dec. No. 20 Chris Penny (V), 8-3; Pitt leads, 19-11
285: Ty Walz (VT) dec. Mike Gregory (P), 12-10; Pitt wins 19-14