Feb. 24, 2012
PITTSBURGH - For the first time in 49 years, the Pitt wrestling team finished in the top-10 in the final NWCA/USA Today Coaches Poll. The Panthers finished the regular season ranked ninth, following a 14-2 overall record and a perfect 6-0 mark in the Eastern Wrestling League.
Pitt knocked off four ranked teams this season, including Lehigh and Michigan, which were both ranked in the top-10 at the time of the match. The Panthers also posted victories over No. 22 Hofstra and No. 20 Edinboro.
"We've worked really hard these last several years trying to get to where we are right now, which is in the top-10," said head coach Rande Stottlemyer, who is nearing the end of his 33rd season at Pitt. "Obviously, assistant coaches Jason Peters and Matt Kocher did a great job. Without them we wouldn't be where we are. "
The Panthers' win over the Fighting Scots capped a third straight unbeaten season in the EWL and the third consecutive regular season championship. They will attempt to add their second straight EWL Tournament title on Sunday, March 4, at Clarion University.
The latest EWL regular season title was the most dominant of the three for Pitt. The Panthers outscored their six opponents 176-47 and won 47 of the 60 individual bouts. Anthony Zanetta (125), Shelton Mack (133) and Tyler Nauman (149) all went 6-0 in conference dual meets, while Ethan Headlee and P.J. Tasser combined for a 6-0 record at 174 pounds. Another four Pitt wrestlers, Donnie Tasser, Tyler Wilps, Andy Vaughan and Matt Wilps, had just one conference loss.
"It was a lot of fun, from the beginning of the year to the end of the year, to see what we accomplished," Stottlemyer said. "But we're not done yet."