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Pitt downs Duke

DURHAM, N.C. -- The University of Pittsburgh wrestling team dominated the Duke Blue Devils, 23-10, Sunday afternoon at Cameron Indoor Stadium as seven Panthers recorded wins.

With the victory, the Panthers move to 3-10 on the year and claim their first ACC dual of the year (1-3). The Blue Devils move to 6-6 and 1-3 against conference foes.

Seven Pitt wrestlers recorded wins on the day including senior Dom Forys (133), redshirt senior Nick Zanetta (141), junior Robert Lee (149), redshirt freshmen Jake Wentzel (165) and Gregg Harvey (184), redshirt sophomore Kellan Stout (197) and junior LJ Bentley (125).

"It was a good win today," said head coach Keith Gavin. "Our focus and effort is much better now than it was in the beginning of the year."

The dual started at 133 pounds, which featured a bounce-back win by Forys as he picked up a 16-6 major decision over Duke's Josh Finesilver. The 11th-ranked 133 pounder used seven takedowns, an escape and over four minutes of riding time to secure Pitt's first win of the dual.

Zanetta extended the Panthers' team lead to 7-0 after winning in a 4-1 decision over Jeremiah Reitz at 141 pounds. After two scoreless periods, Zanetta opened the third in the bottom position and escaped to take a 1-0 lead. The Pittsburgh native quickly added a takedown, extending his lead to 3-0. Reitz escaped but it wouldn't be enough as Zanetta added a final riding point to secure the win.

Lee followed Forys' lead as he also won in a major decision, with this win coming at 149 pounds. The Wisconsin native struck early in the first with a takedown and added another two points with a reversal off bottom to open the second period. Leynaud was hit with back-to-back stall warnings to give Lee a 5-0 advantage entering the final period. Lee started the third on the bottom position and escaped then quickly scored a takedown, extending his lead to 8-0. He added his ninth point with riding time to bring the team score to 11-0 in favor of the Panthers.

The Blue Devils got on the board after redshirt sophomore Taleb Rahmani dropped a 3-1 decision to Duke's 11th-ranked Mitch Finesilver at 157 pounds.

Wentzel extended Pitt's lead to 14-3 in the dual after winning in an 8-2 decision over Zach Finesilver at 165 pounds. The Pittsburgh native struck first in the opening frame, scoring a takedown just a few seconds in, and remained on top the rest of the period. Wentzel and Finesilver started the second period in the neutral position, which led to another takedown by Wentzel, building a 4-0 lead entering the third. Starting the final period on top, Finesilver added his first two points off a reversal, however Wentzel quickly escaped and added a takedown. Wentzel added his final point with riding time for the 8-2 decision.

Duke captured its second bout of the day at 174 pounds as freshman Tommy O'Brien fell in a 12-3 major decision to Matt Finesilver, bringing the team score to 14-7.

At 184 pounds, Harvey had a solid performance as he won in a 15-8 decision over Duke's Kaden Russell. Harvey fell behind early on, trailing 4-2 entering the second period but bounced back to lead 7-5 entering the third. In the final frame, Harvey used three takedowns and a two point nearfall to secure the win, giving Pitt a 17-7 lead.

Stout pushed the Panthers' lead to 20-7 after winning in a 4-2 decision over Alec Schenk at 197 pounds. The Pittsburgh native held off his Blue Devil opponent by using a first period takedown, escape and riding time en route to the victory.

Duke claimed its third bout of the day at heavyweight as redshirt senior Ryan Solomon dropped a 5-1 decision to No. 4 Jacob Kasper.

In the final bout of the day, Bentley picked up a 4-2 win over Thayer Atkins at 125 pounds. All Bentley needed was a takedown, escape and riding time to hold off Atkins as the Panthers captured the dual, 23-10.

The Panthers resume action Friday, Feb. 16 to host Virginia in their final home dual meet of the season. Action is slated to get underway at 7 p.m. in the Petersen Events Center.

Results:
133: #11 Dom Forys (UP) maj. dec. Josh Finesilver (DU), 16-6 - Pitt leads 4-0
141: Nick Zanetta (UP) dec. Jeremiah Reitz (DU), 4-1 - Pitt leads 7-0
149: Robert Lee (UP) maj. dec. Brandon Leynaud (DU), 9-0 - Pitt leads 11-0
157: #11 Mitch Finesilver (DU) dec. Taleb Rahmani (UP), 3-1 - Pitt leads 11-3
165: Jake Wentzel (UP) dec. Zach Finesilver (DU), 8-2 - Pitt leads 14-3
174: Matt Finesilver (DU) maj. dec. Tommy O'Brien (UP), 12-3 - Pitt leads 14-7
184: Gregg Harvey (UP) dec. Kaden Russell (DU), 15-8 - Pitt leads 17-7
197: Kellan Stout (UP) dec. Alec Schenk (DU), 4-2 - Pitt leads 20-7
285: #4 Jacob Kasper (DU) dec. Ryan Solomon (UP), 5-1 - Pitt leads 20-10
125: LJ Bentley (UP) dec. Thayer Atkins (DU), 4-2 - Pitt wins 23-10

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