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Pitt defeats Virginia to improve to 8-3

PITTSBURGH -- The 10th-ranked University of Pittsburgh wrestling team won seven of 10 bouts en route to a 23-10 victory over Virginia Friday night at the Fitzgerald Field House.

With the win, Pitt improves to 8-3 overall and 2-1 in the ACC. Virginia falls to 7-5 overall and 0-3 against ACC foes.

"It was a good win," said head coach Keith Gavin. "We are in a tough conference, so anytime you get a win in the conference is good. I think there were a lot of really good matches out there and that's what you're seeing in the ACC. These duals are getting tightly contested because everyone in the conference is doing a good job. It's good for the fans, it's good for our guys to be challenged, and they responded well tonight."

Virginia took an early lead, winning the first match of the night at 125 pounds.

Sixth-ranked redshirt sophomore Micky Phillippi put Pitt on the board, earning his sixth win over a ranked opponent this season. Phillippi used two escapes and three takedowns in an 8-4 decision No. 20 Louie Hayes at 133 pounds.

No. 24 redshirt freshman Cole Matthews fed off Phillippi's win to record Pitt's second win of the night. Matthews used a takedown with 24 seconds left in the third period to take a 4-2 lead and go on to win in a 4-3 decision over Brain Courtney, giving Pitt its first lead of the night.

Moving to 149 pounds, redshirt sophomore Dallas Bulsak wrestled a scoreless bout in his second career dual appearance versus No. 31 Denton Spencer. Bulsak lost in a 1-0 decision decided by riding time.

At 157 pounds, 28th-ranked redshirt senior Taleb Rahmani used a takedown and four nearfall to take an early 6-0 lead in the first period over No. 27 Justin McCoy. McCoy battled back in the third period, but Rahmani's early lead was enough to lift him to a 7-5 decision for his 12th win of the season and put the Panthers back in the lead, 9-8.

Pitt took its largest lead of the match at the conclusion of 165 pounds when 10th-ranked redshirt junior Jake Wentzel defeated Cam Coy in an 8-2 decision to put Pitt ahead 12-8.

Moving to 174 pounds, No. 24 redshirt junior Gregg Harvey scored a takedown and an illegal hold violation against Virginia would give him an early 3-0 lead over Vic Marcelli. Harvey then used a takedown and two nearfall in the third period to come away with the 8-3 decision.

Ninth-ranked redshirt sophomore Nino Bonaccorsi recorded his ninth major decision of the season after defeating Michael Battista, 19-7. Bonaccorsi scored eight takedowns and a reversal in the win, boosting Pitt's lead to 19-8 in the team race. Virginia was deducted a team point for control of mat, bringing the score to 19-7.

Virginia then won its final bout of the night at 197 pounds.

At heavyweight, ninth-ranked senior Demetrius Thomas fell behind early in the first period. He battled back to earn his seventh major decision, 13-4.

The Panthers return to action Sunday, Feb. 9 when they host Davidson at 2 p.m. at the Fitzgerald Field House.

Results:
125: #2 Jack Mueller (UVA), tech. fall Louis Newell (UP), 16-0, 4:56 - Virginia leads 5-0
133: #6 Micky Phillippi (UP) dec. #20 Louie Hayes (UVA), 8-4 - Virginia leads 5-3
141: #24 Cole Matthews (UP) dec. Brain Courtney (UVA), 4-3 - Pitt leads 6-5
149: #31 Denton Spencer (UVA) dec. Dallas Bulsak (UP), 1-0 - Virginia leads 8-6
157: #28 Taleb Rahmani (UP) dec. #27 Justin McCoy (UVA), 7-5 - Pitt leads 9-8
165: #10 Jake Wentzel (UP) dec. Cam Coy (UVA), 8-2 - Pitt leads 12-8
174: #24 Gregg Harvey (UP) dec. Vic Marcelli (UVA), 8-3 - Pitt leads 15-8
184: #9 Nino Bonaccorsi (UP) maj. dec. Michael Battista (UVA), 19-7 - Pitt leads 19-7*
197: #7 Jay Aiello (UVA) dec. Kellan Stout (UP), 3-1 - Pitt leads 19-10
285: #9 Demetrius Thomas (UP) maj. dec. #24 Quinn Miller (UVA), 13-4 - Pitt wins 23-10
*Virginia was deducted a team point for control of mat

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