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Jan. 24, 2014

PITTSBURGH  - The No.8 University of Pittsburgh wrestling team (10-1, 4-0 ACC) won the final four bouts of the day and used a pin from Mikey Racciato to cruise past ACC foe No. 13 Virginia (13-3, 2-1 ACC), 25-9, this evening at Fitzgerald Field House.

Anthony Zanetta started the Panthers out with a win at 125 pounds. The senior and UVa's Nick Herrmann were knotted at 1-1 with a minute to go in the bout before Zanetta struck on a nice high single for the takedown to take the 3-1 lead and rode out Herrmann for the remainder of the period to give Pitt an early 3-0 lead.

The Cavaliers were able to tie the match at 3-3 with a decision at 133 pounds, setting up a key match between Virginia's 16th-ranked Joe Spisak and 19th-ranked Edgar Bright. Spisak scored the lone takedown of the opening frame to hold a 2-0 lead going into the second. In the second, Bright started on bottom but was able to gain a reversal to even the match. Following a stalemate call, Spisak was called for his third caution on bottom awarding Bright a point. Spisak was able to escape in the third to once again tie the match early in the third before Bright struck on a double near the edge of the mat with a mere 10 seconds left to bring the Fitzgerald Field House to its feet and give Pitt a lead it would not relinquish.

Racciato helped push the Panther lead to nine points after four bouts when he pinned Justin Van Hoose at the 6:46 mark. Racciato was on Van Hoose early, scoring a pair of takedowns in the first and another in the second to lead 6-3 going into the third. Racciato then started down in the third and quickly escaped and went on the offensive, adding yet another takedown. As Van Hoose tried to escape, Raccaito was able to catch him out of position and turn him to his back for the fall.

Virginia earned a pair of decisions at 157 and 165 pounds to cut the Pitt lead to a mere three points before No. 7 Tyler Wilps put in a dominating performance at 174 pounds in a 12-4 major decision over No. 12 Stephen Doty. Wilps scored five takedowns during the match, including a key go-behind near the Virginia bench with under 20 seconds left to push his edge to eight points for the major decision.

The Panthers picked up decisions from Max Thomusseit and Nick Bonaccorsi at 184 and 197 pounds respectively to put the match out of reach at 22-9.

While the final match would not decide the dual this time, P.J. Tasser once again pulled out a thrilling overtime victory. With a quick escape in the first tie breaker period, Tasser went on top and was able to ride out the Cavalier's Ethan Hayes, who weighed 60 pounds more than Tasser, for the final 30 seconds for the 2-1 decision to finalize the Panther victory, 25-9.     

Pitt will return to the mats on Saturday, Feb. 1, when it travels to long-time rival West Virginia (9-3) for a 7 p.m. dual.    

No. 8 Pitt 25, No. 13 Virginia 9

125: Anthony Zanetta (P) dec. Nick Herrmann (V), 3-1; Pitt leads, 3-0

133: Joseph Martinez (V) dec. No. 17 Shelton Mack (P), 1-0; Match tied, 3-3

141: No. 19 Edgar Bright (P) dec. No. 16 Joe Spisak (V), 5-3; Pitt leads, 6-3

149: Mikey Racciato (P) pins Justin Van Hoose (V), 6:46; Pitt leads, 12-3

157: No. 15 Blaise Butler (V) dec. Cole Sheptock (P), 3-1; Pitt leads, 12-6

165: No. 2 Nick Sulzer (V) dec. Geno Morelli (P), 14-8; Pitt leads, 12-9

174: No. 7 Tyler Wilps (P) m. dec. No. 12 Stephen Doty (V), 12-4; Pitt leads, 16-9

184: No. 6 Max Thomusseit (P) dec. No. 20 Jon Fausey (V), 5-3; Pitt leads, 19-9

197: No. 18 Nick Bonaccorsi (P) dec. Zach Nye (V), 3-1; Pitt leads, 22-9

285: P.J. Tasser (P) dec. Ethan Hayes (V), 2-1 (TB1); Pitt wins, 25-9


No. 8 Pitt Wrestling Cruises Past No. 13 Virginia, 25-9

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