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Pitt returns to Fitzgerald Field House with win over Lehigh

PITTSBURGH -- The University of Pittsburgh wrestling team earned a Top-25 victory over Lehigh on Saturday evening, winning 24-9 in the first home match of the season at the Fitzgerald Field House.

The Panthers, ranked No. 13 by the NWCA Coaches Poll this week, took down No. 17-ranked Lehigh decisively in the dual, winning eight out of the 10 matches. In the 65th meeting in Pitt-Lehigh wrestling series history, the 24-9 margin marked Pitt's largest home victory over Lehigh ever.

Pitt defeated Lehigh for the second straight season, and head coach Keith Gavin was pleased with his team's success but also pointed out that several individual matches were very close in a dual that the final team score suggested was more one-sided.

"We won a lot of close matches tonight, and I thought we got too conservative at times," Gavin said. "We can certainly do a better job of scoring when we have a lead. Our goal is to build a mentality of always trying to stay on the attack. It was a solid team win over a Lehigh program that we respect a ton, but I'd like to see us finish matches better and not play it so safe."

Gavin also expressed his gratitude at being able to watch Pitt's student-athletes compete right now.

"We're extremely grateful that so many people worked so hard to make this possible," he added. "It was different with no fans, for sure. Pitt-Lehigh usually gets a lot of fans. But we accept that, and we're just happy to compete. Now we have to stay focused on doing what we need to do to keep going. We need to build off these nonconference wins and perform well in the five ACC duals. We want to have our best performance of the season each time we get on the mat to compete."

After a double-digit dual rally last Sunday at Navy, the Panthers (2-0) once again had to come from behind. The Mountain Hawks (0-1) scored a pin at 125 pounds to go up 6-0 right away. Lehigh also held a 9-6 lead following the bout at 149 pounds.

But Pitt's upper weights proved unbeatable for the second straight outing, winning the final six contests to help the Panthers earn their first team victory over Lehigh at home since 1997 and finally end a 10-match home losing streak for Pitt against the program from Bethlehem, Pa.

All of the Panthers ranked in the Top 25 by FloWrestling this week emerged with victories as Micky Phillippi, Cole Matthews, Jake Wentzel, Gregg Harvey and Nino Bonaccorsi earned decisions.

Newcomers Tyler Badgett and Jake Slinger also won in their debut matches at the Fitzgerald Field House, while Jared McGill continued his impressive start to the season at 174 pounds with a victory.

The Panthers will begin ACC dual meet action next Saturday with a 10 a.m. matchup against Duke at the Fitzgerald Field House. Matches will again be streamed on ACC Network Extra via the WatchESPN app.

Full results from Saturday's action are available below.

Results:
125 | Jaret Lane (Lehigh) pins Colton Camacho (Pitt), 1:58 (Lehigh leads, 6-0)
133 | Micky Phillippi (Pitt) dec. Malyke Hines (Lehigh), 10-5 (Lehigh leads, 6-3)
141 | Cole Matthews (Pitt) dec. Connor McGonagle (Lehigh), 4-3 (Tied, 6-6)
149 | Jimmy Hoffman (Lehigh) dec. Luke Kemerer (Pitt), 4-0 (Lehigh leads, 9-6)
157 | Tyler Badgett (Pitt) dec. JT Cooley (Lehigh), 6-1 (Tied, 9-9)
165 | Jake Wentzel (Pitt) dec. Thayne Lawrence (Lehigh), 3-0 (Pitt leads, 12-9)
174 | Jared McGill (Pitt) dec. Jake Logan (Lehigh), 4-2 (Pitt leads, 15-9)
184 | Gregg Harvey (Pitt) dec. JT Davis (Lehigh), 4-1 (Pitt leads, 18-9)
197 | Nino Bonaccorsi (Pitt) dec. Jake Jakobsen (Lehigh), 7-2 (Pitt leads, 21-9)
HWT | Jake Slinger (Pitt) dec. Victor Lacombe (Lehigh), 9-3 (SV1) (Pitt wins, 24-9)

Additional Matches:
125 | Colton Camacho (Pitt) dec. Sheldon Seymour (Lehigh), 7-4 (TB1)
133 | Louis Newell (Pitt) dec. Satoshi Abe (Lehigh), 5-1
141 | Joe Lobeck (Lehigh) dec. Ryan Michaels (Pitt), 9-3
149 | Mick Burnett (Pitt) dec. Paul Watkins (Lehigh), 8-6
157 | Antonio Petrucelli (Pitt) dec. Tyler Sung (Lehigh), 6-3
165 | Connor Herceg (Lehigh) dec. Tye Weathersby (Pitt), 6-5
174 | Tommy O'Brien (Pitt) pins Trey Cornish (Lehigh), 6:49
184 | Caden Wright (Lehigh) dec. Nicholas Meglino (Pitt), 4-0
197 | James Lledo (Pitt) maj. dec. Andrew Shedleski (Lehigh), 15-2
HWT | Eli Jones (Lehigh) dec. Cole Rickert (Pitt), 2-0

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