Pitt defeats Virginia in regular season finale

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- The 15th-ranked wrestling team concluded the 2018-19 season on a high night Friday night, defeating No. 23 Virginia, 20-15, at Memorial Gymnasium to finish the season 13-3.

The Panthers finish with 13 wins on the year for the fifth time in program history and for the first time since the 2013-14 season.

For the third consecutive dual, the deciding match came down to the final bout. Tonight's dual came down to redshirt sophomore Gregg Harvey at 174 pounds and he got the job done, holding off the Cavaliers en route to the team victory.

"It was a good way to end the regular season," said second year head coach Keith Gavin. "Our guys wrestled tough today. Now we focus on getting the most out of each day and keep improving for the ACC Championships."

The ACC dual began at 184 pounds, featuring redshirt freshman Nino Bonaccorsi. Bonaccorsi, who ranks No. 11 in his weight class, dominated Will Schany in a 12-3 major decision to give the Panthers a 4-0 lead.

Redshirt junior Kellan Stout then dropped a 3-1 decision to No. 10 Jay Aiello, 3-1, before junior Demetrius Thomas recorded his 24th win of the year at heavyweight. Thomas defeated Tyler Love in a 21-10 major decision to give Pitt an 8-3 lead in the team race.

The Cavaliers tied things up, 8-8, after freshman Brendon Fenton suffered a 21-10 technical fall to No. 5 Jack Mueller at 125 pounds in 3:50.

Senior LJ Bentley got things going again for Pitt at 141 pounds after recording a 7-4 decision over Scott Kiyono.

Virginia continued to chip away at the Panthers' lead after picking up a win at 149 pounds, bringing the team score to 14-11.

Redshirt junior Taleb Rahmani responded at 157 pounds by dominating Jake Keating, 14-9, before sophomore Tommy O'Brien dropped a 12-4 major decision to Cam Coy at 165 pounds.

Entering the final bout, with the team score at 17-15, Harvey outlasted Robert Patrick at 174 pounds. At the end of regulation, Harvey and Patrick were tied 1-1 to force overtime. Harvey came out victorious after escaping in TB-2, securing the team win for Pitt, 20-15.

The Panthers enter postseason Saturday, March 9 at the ACC Championship in Blacksburg, Va., hosted by Virginia Tech.

184: #11 Nino Bonaccorsi (UP) maj. dec. Will Schany (UVA), 12-3 - Pitt leads 4-0
197: #10 Jay Aiello (UVA) dec. Kellan Stout (UP), 3-1 - Pitt leads 4-3
285: #17 Demetrius Thomas (UP) maj. dec. Tyler Love (UVA), 21-10 - Pitt leads 8-3
125: #5 Jack Mueller (UVA) tech. fall Brendon Fenton (UP), 19-2, 3:50 - Tied 8-8
133: #5 Micky Phillippi (UP) dec. Louie Hayes (UVA), 6-1 - Pitt leads 11-8
141: LJ Bentley (UP) dec. Scott Kiyono (UVA), 7-4 - Pitt leads 14-8
149: Michael Murphy (UVA) dec. Dallas Bulsak (UP), 7-2 - Pitt leads 14-11
157: #10 Taleb Rahmani (UP) dec. Jake Keating (UVA), 14-9 - Pitt leads 17-11
165: Cam Coy (UVA) maj. dec. Tommy O'Brien (UP), 12-4 - Pitt leads 17-15
174: Gregg Harvey (UP) def. Robert Patrick (UVA), TB-2, 3-2 - Pitt wins 20-15


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