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Pitt picks up road win at Virginia

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- The 24th-ranked Pitt wrestling team picked up its second win of the weekend after outlasting conference opponent Virginia, 19-14, Sunday afternoon in Memorial Gym.

Six Panthers earned wins including one with bonus points and two in overtime. The win marks the first over an ACC opponent this season, improving Pitt's overall record to 10-5.

"Today was a total team effort," co-head coach Drew Headlee said. "When everyone pulls together, this team can do some great things. A couple guys had to really dig deep to pull out a win and that is the grit and toughness that we need to finish the season strong."

"Overall it was a good weekend," co-head coach Matt Kocher added. "The team came together for a good effort and we had fun doing it. We came out on top of some tough close matches today. [Mikey] Racciato, [Taleb] Rahmani and [Zach] Bruce all had moments where they could have given in but showed some guts to pull out the win. Our energy on the bench has been good and I think those guys were fighting for more than just themselves - it helped them to push through."

Redshirt junior Ryan Solomon got the dual started at 285 pounds by picking up an 11-1 major decision over Tyler Love. Solomon built up a 6-1 lead in the first period off two takedowns and a two point nearfall. Love escaped in the opening frame but wouldn't be able to score any other points. Solomon continued to dominate, picking up four more points and adding one with riding time en route to the Panthers' first win of the day.

The Cavaliers took a 5-4 lead in the dual after Jack Mueller won by technical fall at 125 pounds over sophomore LJ Bentley.

Junior Dom Forys brought the lead back in favor of Pitt at 133 pounds after he won in a 10-8 decision over Will Mason. Forys and Mason were tied 3-3 entering the second period but a reversal, escape and two takedowns would give him a 10-7 lead entering the final frame. Mason escaped off bottom in the third as Forys held him off the rest of the way.

Virginia regained the lead, 8-7, after a victory at 141 pounds. Redshirt junior Nick Zanetta dropped a 9-3 decision to reigning 133-pound ACC Champion George DiCamillo.

The Panthers claimed the next three matches, extending their lead to 16-11.

Senior Mikey Racciato earned an overtime win against Sam Krivus, 6-4, in the first sudden victory. Racciato and Krivus were scoreless after the opening period before Racciato reversed him for a 2-0 lead entering the third. Krivus escaped to start the third, but Racciato quickly took him down. Krivus then escaped and took down Racciato to tie the bout 4-4 at the end of regulation. In sudden victory, Racciato took down Krivus to secure the win.

Redshirt freshman Taleb Rahmani followed that with another exciting overtime victory versus Andrew Atkinson. Rahamni led 6-4 at the end of the first period off a reversal, takedown and nearfall, but wouldn't be able to score in the second as Atkinson escaped to open the period. Starting the third on bottom, Rahmani reversed Atkinson but his Cavalier opponent escaped and took him down to tie it 8-8 at the end of regulation. Rahmani took down Atkinson in sudden victory to lock up the win.

Sophomore TeShan Campbell fed off the previous two overtime wins as he picked up a 9-2 decision over Ray Bethea. Campbell struck first in the opening frame, jumping out to a 4-1 lead. The Pittsburgh native held Bethea scoreless in the second, adding three more points off an escape and takedown. In the final period, Bethea gave up a point after being hit with his second stall warning and Campbell added one more point with riding time.

Virginia claimed the following weight class at 174 pounds as sophomore Donovan McAfee dropped a 6-3 decision to Garrett Peppelman.

Redshirt sophomore Zach Bruce turned in the final win for the Panthers at 184 pounds as he outlasted Will Schany, 2-1, earning the winning point with riding time.

With the dual locked up in favor of the Panthers, Virginia's Chance McClure posted a 3-2 decision over senior John Rizzo.

Pitt concludes the regular season Saturday, Feb. 18 as it hosts the Duke Blue Devils in a 7 p.m. dual at the Fitzgerald Field House.

Results:
285: #18 Ryan Solomon (UP) maj. dec. Tyler Love (UVA), 11-1 - Pitt leads 4-0
125: #8 Jack Mueller (UVA) tech. fall #32 LJ Bentley (UP), 16-1, 5:00 - Virginia leads 5-4
133: #8 Dom Forys (UP) dec. Will Mason (UVA), 10-8 - Pitt leads 7-5
141: #7 George DiCamillo (UVA) dec. #30 Nick Zanetta (UP), 9-3 - Virginia leads 8-7
149: Mikey Racciato (UP) dec. #32 Sam Krivus (UVA), SV-1, 6-4 - Pitt leads 10-8
157: #32 Taleb Rahmani (UP) dec. #19 Andrew Atkinson (UVA), SV-1, 10-8 - Pitt leads 13-8
165: #9 TeShan Campbell (UP) dec. Ray Bethea (UVA), 9-2 - Pitt leads 16-8
174: Garrett Peppelman (UVA) dec. Donovan McAfee (UP), 6-3 - Pitt leads 16-11
184: Zach Bruce (UP) dec. #32 Will Schany (UVA), 2-1 - Pitt leads 19-11
197: Chance McClure (UVA) dec. John Rizzo (UP), 3-2 - Pitt wins 19-14

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