Four Pitt wrestlers win titles at Eastern Michigan Open

YPSILANTI, Mich. -- The 24th-ranked University of Pittsburgh wrestling team opened the 2017-18 season Saturday at the Eastern Michigan Open at the Convocation Center and left with four individual champions.

Pitt's champions were redshirt freshman Micky Phillippi at 133 pounds, junior Robert Lee at 149 pounds, redshirt sophomore Taleb Rahmani at 157 pounds and redshirt senior Ryan Solomon at heavyweight.

"It was a good day overall," said first-year head coach Keith Gavin. "Our guys gave a good effort for the most part and competed hard. It was a positive day, but we still have a lot of things to build on and need to continue to improve."

In addition to the four titles, six other Pitt wrestlers placed in the tournament.

Phillippi, a transfer from Virginia, went 4-0 on the day en route to the title. The Pittsburgh native upset No. 11 Korbin Myers of Edinboro in the final, 1-0.

Returning for his third year as a Panther, Lee received a first round bye and collected three wins for the title. Lee captured the victory in thrilling fashion, pinning Navy's Corey Wilding in 4:19.

Rahmani, the reigning 157 pound ACC Champion, picked up where he left off last season, going 4-0 on the day. Rahmani won his first two matches by decision, his third in overtime and pinned Jake Tucker of Michigan State in the final.

Solomon was the final match of the day as he cruised his way to the championship. The returning NCAA qualifier pinned his first two opponents in under two minutes and thirty seconds, won his third match by injury default and outlasted his last opponent in a 2-0 decision.

Pitt enters dual competition next week, traveling to California and Arizona for three dual meets. The Panthers first head to Bakersfield, Calif., to take on Cal Bakersfield and Wisconsin Friday, Nov. 17. Pitt will then head to Arizona State Sunday, Nov. 19 to take on the Sun Devils.


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