Jan. 13, 2012
PITTSBURGH – The University of Pittsburgh wrestling team registered the 500th win in program history with a 27-9 victory over visiting Lock Haven on Friday night at the Fitzgerald Field House.
The win also extended the Panthers win streak in the Eastern Wrestling League to 14 matches. They currently sit all alone in first place in the conference with a 2-0 mark this season.
Pitt head coach Rande Stottlemyer is in his 33rd season leading the Panthers and has accumulated 290 of the team’s 500 wins.
“It’s great for the program,” Stottlemyer said. “The University of Pittsburgh has had wrestling for a long time and there wasn’t a better coach than Rex Peery and what he did with the program back in the 50s. It’s a rich tradition and I’m just proud to be part of it.”
Stottlemyer, of course, helped the program pick up some of those wins during his wrestling days, as well. He was a three-time All-American in the late 1970s. Assistant coach Matt Kocher did his part as a wrestler, too, earning All-American status once and tallying 151 career wins on the mat.
The 500th win came in relatively easy fashion for the Panthers as they rolled to their ninth victory of the season. The team’s 9-1-0 start is the program’s best through 10 matches since the 1975-76 team went 9-1-0 on its way to a 12-4 overall record.
With the opposing coaches choosing to draw the starting weight, Matt Wilps had the opportunity to get Pitt off to a good start at 197 pounds. Wilps, ranked No. 5, cruised to a 18-2 technical fall, keeping his unblemished dual record intact at 10-0. He also has the longest current win streak on the team at 12 matches.
Two bouts later Anthony Zanetta
matched Wilps’s 10-0 dual record but it wasn’t nearly as easy. The Pitt junior, ranked No. 16, jumped out to a 2-0 lead with a takedown in the first period and upped his advantage to 3-0 with an escape in the second. But Rehm, a true freshman for the Bald Eagles, made him work for the win, cutting the lead to 3-2 with a takedown. Leading 4-2 in the third period, Zanetta gave up an escape but held on for the one-point win.
Shelton Mack gave the Panthers an 11-3 lead with his decision at 133 pounds, exacting some revenge in the process. John Trumbetti eked out a 5-4 decision over the Panther last season, but this time around Mack tallied three takedowns in a 8-3 win.
Lock Haven cut Pitt’s lead to 11-9 with a fall at 141, but the Panthers finished off the match with five straight wins.
No. 14 Tyler Nauman started the run with a victory in the only match of the night featuring two ranked wrestlers. The redshirt senior showed disparity between the top half of the rankings and the bottom half with an 11-1 major decision over No. 29 Owen Wilkinson at 149.
Donnie Tasser (157), No. 31 Tyler Wilps (165), P.J. Tasser (174) and Andy Vaughan (184) all recorded decisions in their bouts for the Panthers.
Both Tassers evened their records at .500 with their wins. Donnie Tasser improved to 8-8 with a 5-2 decision over Aaron Fry, while P.J. Tasser moved his record to 7-7 with a 2-1 decision over Aaron McKinney.
P.J. Tasser, who was filling in for an injured Ethan Headlee, erased a scoreless match with an escape in the second period. McKinney escaped in the third period, but not before Tasser had racked up over a minute of riding time to secure the win.
Andy Vaughan continued his recent surge, winning his ninth straight match with a 7-3 decision over Fred Garcia at 184. Vaughan scored in multiple ways, including a takedown, two nearfall points and a reversal.
“The guys are doing a good job,” Stottlemyer said. “(Assistant coaches) Jason Peters and Matt Kocher are doing a tremendous job. We’re looking to close it out on a high note heading into EWLs and NCAAs.”
Pitt looks to stay unbeaten in the conference when it travels to Bloomsburg for a match on Sunday. That match is scheduled for 2 p.m.
No. 10 Pitt 27, Lock Haven 9
197 – No. 5 Matt Wilps (P) tech. fall Matt Parlier (L), 18-2
285 – Harry Turner (L) dec. Joel Yahner (P), 6-1
125 – No. 16 Anthony Zanetta (P) dec. Bobby Rehm (L), 4-3
133 – No. 20 Shelton Mack (P) dec. John Trumbetti (L), 8-3
141 – Matt Bonson (L) FALL Travis Shaffer (P), :58
149 – No. 14 Tyler Nauman (P) maj. dec. No. 29 Owen Wilkinson (L), 11-1
157 – Donnie Tasser (P) dec. Aaron Fry (L), 5-2
165 – No. 31 Tyler Wilps (P) dec. Seth Creasy (L), 6-3
174 – P.J. Tasser (P) dec. Aaron McKinney (L), 2-1
184 – Andy Vaughan (P) dec. Fred Garcia (L), 7-3