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Pitt comes back to upset Virginia Tech

PITTSBURGH -- The 10th-ranked University of Pittsburgh Wrestling team upset No. 7 Virginia Tech, 18-13, Saturday night at the Fitzgerald Field House in the regular season finale.

With the win, Pitt ends its regular season 10-4 overall for its second consecutive winning season under third-year head coach Keith Gavin. The Panthers finish with a 3-2 record against ACC foes. Virginia Tech moves to 11-3 overall and 2-3 in the ACC.

"I thought we all wrestled really well, even the guys who lost," said Gavin. "They were aggressive, really up and down the line up. I'm happy with the performance, especially at this time of the year."

The Panther's win ended a five-year losing streak against Virginia Tech and marked Pitt's first win over the Hokies since 2014.

The highlight of the match came at 184 pounds when seventh-ranked redshirt sophomore Nino Bonaccorsi upset No. 2 Hunter Bolen 10-8 in TB-1. The win put Pitt within two points with two bouts to go.

Virginia Tech took the first lead of the night, winning a decision at 133 pounds.

Sixth-ranked redshirt sophomore Micky Phillippi put the Panthers on the board and tied the match using a takedown and riding time in a 4-1 decision over Collin Gerardi. The win was Phillippi's 23rd of the season and eighth over a ranked opponent.

The Hokies then regained the lead, winning back-to-back bouts at 141 and 149 pounds.

In his final regular season bout, redshirt senior Taleb Rahmani upset No. 18 B.C. LaPrade using an escape at the start of the third period to put him ahead and secure the 4-3 decision. The win, Pitt's second of the day, put the Panthers back within six points.

Virginia Tech then extended its lead with a 2-1 decision at 165 pounds as 14th-ranked redshirt junior Jake Wentzel dropped a hard-fought match to No. 10 David McFadden.

Moving to 174 pounds, redshirt junior Gregg Harvey used two takedowns and escape en route to his 40th career win and 15th win this season, a 5-1 decision over Cody Hughes. The win brought the team score to 13-9 in favor of Virginia Tech.

At 184 pounds, Bonaccorsi used three takedowns, including one in overtime, to defeat Bolen. The win was Bonaccorsi's first win over a ranked opponent this season.

Pitt lost a team point at the conclusion of 184 pounds for control of mat, bringing the team score to 13-11 in favor of the Hokies.

Redshirt senior Kellan Stout continued Pitt's winning ways as he defeated Stanley Smeltzer, 6-2, making the score 14-13 in favor of Pitt, giving the Panthers their first lead of the day.

In the final bout of the night, eighth-ranked senior Demetrius Thomas put the match away, using two takedowns and a four-near fall en route to a 13-2 major decision over John Borst.

Pitt will be back in action when it hosts the ACC Championship, Sunday, March 8 at the Petersen Events Center.

Results:
125: Brandon Wittenberg (VT) dec. Louis Newell (UP), 6-2 - VT leads 3-0
133: #6 Micky Phillippi (UP) dec. Collin Gerardi (VT), 4-1 - Tied 3-3
141: Mitch Moore (VT) dec. Cole Matthews (UP), 4-2 - VT leads 6-3
149: Bryce Anderson (VT) maj. dec. Luke Kemerer (UP), 10-1 - VT leads 10-3
157: Taleb Rahmani (UP) dec. #18 B.C. LaPrade (VT), 4-3 - VT leads 10-6
165: #10 David McFadden (VT) dec. #14 Jake Wentzel (UP), 2-1 - VT leads 13-6
174: Gregg Harvey (UP) dec. Cody Hughes (VT), 5-1 - VT leads 13-9
184: #7 Nino Bonaccorsi (UP) TB-1 #2 Hunter Bolen (VT), 10-8 - VT leads 13-11*
197: Kellan Stout (UP) dec. Stanley Smeltzer (VT), 6-2 - Pitt leads 14-13
285: #8 Demetrius Thomas (UP) maj. dec. John Borst (VT), 13-2 - Pitt wins 18-13
*Pitt lost a team point for mat control

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