Feb. 4, 2012
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - The No. 9 Pitt wrestling team won its 17th-straight match in the EWL, rolling to a 26-12 win at West Virginia on Saturday. The Panthers improved to 12-1 overall and 5-0 in the conference, setting up a match with fellow unbeaten Edinboro on Feb. 17 to decide the regular season championship.
No. 20 Shelton Mack and No. 26 Ethan Headlee picked up the two biggest wins of the night for the Panthers, who have won eight straight matches.
Mack continued to show his improvement from last season, avenging yet another loss. He improved to 16-6 overall with an 8-6 decision over No. 24 Nate Pennesi at 133 pounds. Mack, who had lost to Pennesi 5-2 last season, turned a single-leg takedown into a five-point move and hung on late for a victory over the returning national qualifier.
Headlee didn't miss a beat in his return from an injury that forced him to miss the past three matches. The redshirt senior posted his second major decision of the season over No. 22 Lance Bryson, winning this one 12-2. Headlee pretty much has the top seed in the EWL Tournament locked up with this win and a previous victory over returning conerence champion Mike Dessino.
Wrestling the Mountaineers' No. 26 Shane Young for the fifth time in his college career, No. 16 Anthony Zanetta gave the Panthers an early lead with a 2-0 decision at 125 pounds. The Pitt junior continued to be a spark for his team, improving to 24-2 overall and 12-0 in dual meets, most of which started at 125.
Following Mack's decision and a fall by WVU's Michael Morales at 141, No. 13 Tyler Nauman broke a 6-6 tie with a 1-0 decision at 149. He scored the only point of the match on an escape early in the second period.
The Panthers' Donnie Tasser (157) and Tyler Wilps (165) followed with wins, improving to 4-1 and 5-0 in EWL matches, respectively. Tasser had no problem in his match, picking up a bonus point with an 8-0 major decision, while Wilps scored a takedown early in sudden victory for his second win of the season over Kyle Eason.
Headlee's win at 174 made it three in a row for Pitt before WVU's Matt Ryan, ranked No. 20 at 184, ended the run with a 3-1 decision over No. 32 Andy Vaughan. The loss ended an 11-match winning streak for the Panther senior.
Matt Wilps, who would have been a heavy favorite against anyone the Mountaineers' had available, had to settle for a forfeit at 197 to improve to 12-0 in dual competition this season.
Pitt faces an extremely tough stretch heading into the conference tournament with matches against three ranked opponents (No. 23 Hofstra, No. 21 Edinboro and No. 2 Penn Sate). The Panthers will host Hofstra at the Fitzgerald Field House on Friday, Feb. 10.
No. 9 Pitt 26, West Virginia 12
125 – No. 16 Anthony Zanetta (Pitt) dec. No. 26 Shane Young (WVU), 2-0
133 – No. 20 Shelton Mack (Pitt) dec. No. 24 Nate Pennesi (WVU), 8-6
141 – No. 32 Michael Morales (WVU) FALL Travis Shaffer (Pitt)
149 – No. 13 Tyler Nauman dec. Brutus Scheffel (WVU), 1-0
157 – Donnie Tasser (Pitt) maj. dec. Dominic Prezzia (WVU), 8-0
165 – No. 33 Tyler Wilps (Pitt) dec. Kyle Eason (WVU), 4-2 SV
174 – No. 26 Ethan Headlee (Pitt) maj. dec. No. 22 Lance Bryson (WVU), 12-2
184 – No. 20 Matt Ryan (WVU) dec. No. 32 Andy Vaughan (Pitt), 3-1
197 - No. 4 Matt Wilps wins by forfeit
285 - No. 24 Brandon Williamson (WVU) dec. Joel Yahner (Pitt), 7-2