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March 9, 2013

Edinboro, Pa. – In its final contest in the Eastern Wrestling League (EWL), the University of Pittsburgh wrestling team captured its third-consecutive EWL Tournament title this evening at McComb Field House on the campus of Edinboro University.

“It’s always good to come into this gym and come back as winners,” said head coach Rande Stottlemyer. “Winning a conference is great but this is a stepping stone to NCAAs which are two weeks away.”

The Panthers crowned four individual champions – Nick Bonaccorsi (174), Max Thomusseit (184), Matt Wilps (197) and Zac Thomusseit (285) – and saw eight wrestlers earn automatic bids to the NCAA Championships. Additionally, Matt Wilps was named the EWL Tournament Outstanding Wrestler for the second consecutive season.  

Bonaccorsi was Pitt’s first champion on the evening. In his championship match against Chris Smith of Bloomsburg, Bonaccorsi stuck early and was dominant on top using 4:23 of riding time to win the EWL title at 174 pounds. Bonaccorsi scored a takedown 30 seconds into the first and rode out the period. In the second, Smith started down and was rode out by Bonaccorsi. In the third, Bonaccorsi earned a quick escape and kept Smith at bay to give Pitt its first EWL Champion of 2013.

In his semifinal match, Bonaccorsi fell behind early against Patrick Jennnigs of Edinboro but kept his composure and earned a reversal to turn a 2-1 disadvantage to a 3-2 lead. From there Bonaccorsi used a takedown and a bonus point for riding time to take the 6-2 win and advance to the finals.

Max Thomussiet followed up the momentum from the Bonaccorsi win by capturing the EWL Championship at 184 pounds. In the finals against Lock Haven’s Fred Garcia Thomusseit earned a dominant 9-1 major decision. Thomusseit was on the offensive early scoring an early takedown. In the second, Thomusseit scored a pair of takedowns to push his lead to 5-1. A three point near fall and a bonus point for riding time was enough to secure the major and give Thomusseit his first career EWL title.  

Thomusseit won his 184 pound semifinal match over Sam Shirey of Bloomsburg to secure an autobid to NCAAs. Thomusseit got off to a quick start with an early takedown and never looked back en route to a 10-2 major decision victory.

In the championship match at 197 pounds, Matt Wilps scored a hard fought victory over Bloomsburg’s Richard Perry. After the two had a scoreless first, Wilps started the second down and scored a quick escape. Wilps pushed his lead to 3-0 on a high single. Perry was able to get back in the match with a quick reversal near the end of the period to make the score 3-2 going into the third. In the third, Wilps secured the 5-4 win thanks to a bonus point for riding time. The win was Wilps’ third EWL title. Wilps took his first bout over Lock Haven’s Phil Sprenkle by a 19-6 major to secure a place in the finals.

Zac Thomusseit made quick work of Henry Turner in his first match pinning the Lock Haven heavyweight at 2:44 for his 11th pin of the season. In the finals, Thomusseit won a 6-3 decision over Bloomsburg’s Justin Grant. Thomusseit scored an early takedown and never looked back on his way to winning his second EWL title.

Shelton Mack started out his championships at 133 pounds with a convincing 16-8 major decision over Cleveland State’s Mike Carlone. In the semifinals, Mack avenged an earlier loss to Bloomsburg’s Nick Wilcox with a 3-1 decision. After a scoreless first, Mack started down in the second and quickly earned an escape to take a 1-0 lead into the final period. Mack was able to tilt Wilcox for two near fall points to extend his lead to 3-0. Wilcox escaped but Mack kept him at bay for the remainder of the bout and secured a berth in the finals and a trip to Nationals.

At 149 pounds, Ronnie Garbinsky started his tournament run with a second period fall over Cleveland State’s Mike Mencini. Garbinsky then faced Bloomsburg’s Josh Roosa for a chance to go to the finals. Roosa got off to a quick start scoring an early takedown. Garbinksy kept his composure and earned an escape to send the match into second at 2-1 in favor of Roosa. Garbinksy was able to tie the match with another escape in the second. The third period started out with a flurry of action. Starting down, Roosa earned a quick ecape but Garbinsky connected on a double to take a 4-3 lead before Rossa escaped again to tie the match 4-4. The two wrestlers exchanged shots for the remainder of the third with neither connecting and the match went into sudden victory. After neither wrestler could score in SV, the match went into rideouts with Roosa starting down. Garbinsky was able to quickly tilt Roosa on a choke over to get a pair of nearfall points en route to a ride out giving him a 6-4 lead. While Garbinsky could not escape during his time on bottom he kept Roosa from getting a tilt and was able to secure the win and his first trip to Nationals.

Tyler Wilps used four takedowns, two escapes and a bonus point for over three minutes of riding time to take an 11-6 victory over Johnny Greisheimer of Edinboro. The victory over Greisheimer clinched Wilps’ first trip to NCAAs.  

After dropping his first bout sending him to the consolation brackets, Donnie Tasser needed to win a pair of matches, and finish in third, to clinch a trip to his second NCAA Championships. Tasser won his first match against Edinboro’s Michael Depalam in dominant fashion 5-0 to advance to the consolation finals. In the third place match, Tasser met up with Lock Haven’s Jacob Kemerer. After a scoreless first, Tasser started down in the second and earned an escape a mere four seconds into the period. Tasser then went on the offensive and connected on a takedown off a high single to push his lead to 3-0. In the third Kemerer chose a neutral start trying to get back into the match. Tasser continued his aggressive approach and was able to earn his trip to Nationals with a 3-0 decision.

Derrick Nelson (sixth at 125) and Travis Shaffer (fifth at 141) rounded out the Panthers in action at the EWL Championships.

“We’ve got a good crew,” Stottlemyer said. “They’ve sacrificed all year long. They were committed and that’s why we are where we’re at. We have some upperclassmen that led the way and a lot of people followed and that’s why we are where we are today.”

Pitt will be back in action at the National Tournament in Des Moines, Iowa, beginning on Thursday, March 21.

Panther EWL Championship Results  

125 pounds – Derrick Nelson

First Round: Tyler Fraley (Clarion) t. fall Derrick Nelson (P), 16-1 (3:58)

Consolation Semis: Robert Rehm (Lock Haven) dec. Derrick Nelson (P), 7-4

Fifth Place Match: Sean Boylan (Bloomsburg) dec. Derrick Nelson (P), 8-6  

133 pounds – Shelton Mack

First Round: Shelton Mack (P) m. dec. Mike Carlone (Cleveland State), 16-8

Semifinals: Shelton Mack (P) dec. No. 20 Nick Wilcox (Bloomsburg), 3-1

Finals:  No. 4 A.J. Schopp (Edinboro) dec. Shelton Mack (P), 2-0

141 pounds – Travis Shaffer

First Round: Travis Shaffer (P) m. dec. Nick Flannery (Cleveland State), 16-7

Semifinals: No. 19 Dan Neff (Lock Haven) m. dec. Travis Shaffer (P), 10-1

Consolation Semis: Sam Sherlock (Clarion) pins Travis Shaffer (P), 5:42

Fifth Place Match: Travis Shaffer (P) pins Nick Flannery (Cleveland State), 1:06

149 pounds – Ronnie Garbinsky

First Round: Ronnie Garbinsky (P) pins Mike Mencini (Cleveland State), 3:35

Semifinals: Ronnie Garbinsky (P) dec. Josh Roosa (Bloomsburg), 6-4 (OT)

Finals: No. 17 David Habat (Edinboro) dec. Ronnie Garbinsky, 7-0

157 pounds – Donnie Tasser

Semifinals: No. 13 Frank Hickman (Bloomsburg) dec. Donnie Tasser (P), 5-2

Consolation Semis: Donnie Tasser (P) dec. Michael Depalma (Edinboro), 5-0

Third Place Match: Donnie Tasser (P) dec. Jacob Kemerer (Lock Haven), 3-0

165 pounds – Tyler Wilps

Semifinals: Tyler Wilps (P) dec. Johnny Greisheimer (Edinboro), 11-6

Finals: No. 19 Josh Veltre (Bloomsburg) dec. Tyler Wilps (P), 3-1 (SV)

174 pounds – Nick Bonaccorsi

First Round: Nick Bonaccorsi (P) pins Travis Moyer (Lock Haven), 2:29

Semifinals: Nick Bonaccorsi (P) dec. Patrick Jennings (Edinboro), 6-2

Finals: Nick Bonaccorsi (P) dec. Chris Smith (Bloomsburg), 3-0

184 pounds – Max Thomusseit

Semifinals: Max Thomusseit (P) m. dec. Sam Shirey (Bloomsburg), 10-2

Finals: Max Thomuisseit (P) m. dec. Fred Garcia (Lock Haven), 9-1

197 pounds – Matt Wilps

Semifinals: Matt Wilps (P) m. dec. Phil Sprenkle (Lock Haven), 19-6

Finals: Matt Wilps (P) dec. No. 14 Richard Perry (Bloomsburg), 5-4

285 pounds – Zac Thomusseit

Semifinals: Zac Thomusseit (P) pins Henry Turner (Lock Haven), 2:44

Finals: Zac Thomusseit (P) dec. No. 19 Justin Grant (Bloomsburg), 6-3



Pitt Wins Third-Straight EWL Championship

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