Feb. 17, 2012
PITTSBURGH - The University of Pittsburgh wrestling team won its third straight Eastern Wrestling League Dual Meet Championship with a 26-10 victory over visiting Edinboro on Friday night at the Fitzgerald Field House
No. 15 Tyler Nauman won a highly anticipated rematch over No. 6 Dave Habat and No. 24 Shelton Mack posted a huge upset over No. 7 A.J. Schopp as the Panthers won their 18th straight match in the conference, in front of a packed house of 2,112 fans.
"The crowd definitely played a factor, said Nauman, who will finish his career with just one home loss in his entire college career. "Senior night, last match here and we wanted it. I think that showed in our performance tonight."
Pitt, winner of 11 straight dual meets this season, improves to 14-1. The Panthers had the match and the title clinched with three bouts still left to go following Ethan Headlee's fall at 174 pounds. Headlee's fall was the 30th of his career, moving him into sixth-place on Pitt's career pins list.
"This was a total team effort," said Pitt head coach Rande Stottlemyer. "I don't think you could have scripted it any better."
Anthony Zanetta got things rolling for the Panthers with a 9-0 major decision over Kory Mines at 125. Zanetta's win was fueled by two takedowns and a three-point tilt as he improved to 14-1 in dual meets this season.
Mack followed with a 3-2 decision over Schopp. The Edinboro freshman was 32-3 entering the match and is top-10 in the nation in falls. Mack erased an earlier loss to Schopp this season, bolstered by a first period takedown at the edge of the mat.
"It's definitely a huge win for me and it means even more that it helped the team win its third straight title," Mack said. "The whole season we have known this was going to come down to a few key matches for us to win the EWL."
Nauman (24-4) proved he should still be considered one of the nation's top wrestlers at 149 pounds with his win in the fourth matchup with Habat. The Panther senior evened the season series at 2-2 with a 7-4 decision. It was the third win of the season over a top-10 wrestler for Nauman. His four losses are also against top-10 wrestlers.
Nauman's win was the start of five consecutive victories for the Panthers from 149-184. Donnie Tasser and Tyler Wilps followed him with easy wins at 157 and 165, respectively. Tasser notched a 6-0 shutout over Casey Fuller, while Wilps had six takedowns in a 14-4 major decision over Jesse Swink.
Andy Vaughan made it a perfect night for the Pitt seniors in the starting lineup with his 9-3 decision over No. 28 Vic Avery. Vaughan, who is ranked No. 32, picked up his first win over a ranked opponent this season, using three takedowns, two escapes and a point for riding time.
Edinboro closed out the match with wins at 197 and 285 to get their score into double digits. The 26-10 win was the biggest point differential of the Panthers' three straight victories over the Fighting Scots.
Pitt is 4-1 against ranked opponents this season with wins over Michigan, Lehigh, Hofstra and Edinboro, and a loss to Ohio State. The Panthers will face another ranked team when they travel to Penn State to take on the second-ranked and defending national champion Nittany Lions. The match is already sold out with over 6,000 fans expected to attend.
No. 9 Pitt 26, No. 20 Edinboro 10
133 - No. 24 Shelton Mack (P) dec. No. 7 A.J. Schopp (E), 3-2
149 - No. 15 Tyler Nauman (P) dec. No. 6 Dave Habat (E), 7-4
184 - No. 32 Andy Vaughan (P) dec. No. 28 Vic Avery (E), 9-3
197 - No. 1 Chris Honeycutt (E) dec. No. 5 Matt Wilps (P), 11-5
285 - No. 23 Ernest James (E) maj. dec. Joel Yahner (P), 10-1