March 20, 2014
OKLAHOMA CITY - Four members of the University of Pittsburgh wrestling team advanced in the championship brackets of the 2014 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, while four additional Panthers will compete in the consolation rounds. All eight Pitt wrestlers will return to the mats at 7 p.m. EST for Session II this evening at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City.
Shelton Mack started the tournament with a victory over Devon Lotito from Cal Poly in the pigtail match at 133 pounds thanks to Mack's riding-time advantage.
Then No. 15 Anthony Zanetta put bonus points on the board for Pitt by pinning Conor Youtsey from Michigan at 3:44. Zanetta fell behind 2-0 after conceding a takedown in the first period. But when Youtsey chose the bottom position in the second, Zanetta responded with a tilt that resulted in the first fall of the season for the Panther senior 125-pounder. After Zanetta's pin, Pitt momentarily held the team lead with 4.0 points.
No. 14 Edgar Bright picked up another victory for the Panthers, earning a 3-1 decision over Tyler Scotton from Boston University at 141 pounds.
After those three victories, Pitt almost added to its great start; however, both Mack and Mikey Racciato fell just short in their attempts to upset No. 3 seeds. Mack lost 3-1 to Tony Ramos from Iowa after the returning national finalist at 133 pounds secured a late takedown of the Pitt senior in what was a very even match. Meanwhile, Racciato held a lead over Chris Villalonga of Cornell before giving up three back points at the end and losing 5-2.
Following a lengthy wait for the next Pitt bouts, No. 7 Tyler Wilps (174) and No. 4 Max Thomusseit (184) both advanced in the championship bracket, defeating Bradley Wukie of Penn (4-2) and Clint Morrison of Rider (5-4), respectively. Wilps and Thomusseit each recovered from early deficits to keep their hopes of winning an individual national championship alive.
However, the afternoon ended disappointingly as two more Panthers came up just short of upsetting seeded wrestlers. Nick Bonaccorsi suffered a 3-1 defeat to No. 14 Chris Penny from Virginia Tech at 197 pounds and P.J. Tasser fell 6-4 in sudden victory to No. 7 Mike McClure of Michigan State after Tasser had led 3-0.
The Panthers finished the first session with 7.0 team points, placing them tied for 15th place with Old Dominion and Virginia Tech.
Complete results and Session II matchups for the eight Pitt wrestlers are listed below.
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2014 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships - Pitt Results and Upcoming Matches
No. 15 Anthony Zanetta (125 pounds)
First Round: No. 15 Anthony Zanetta (P) pins Conor Youtsey (Michigan), 3:44
Second Round: No. 2 Nahshon Garrett (Cornell) vs. No. 15 Anthony Zanetta (P)
Shelton Mack (133 pounds)
Pigtail Round: Shelton Mack (P) dec. Devon Lotito (Cal Poly), 2-1
First Round: No. 3 Tony Ramos (Iowa) dec. Shelton Mack (P), 3-1
Wrestlebacks: Shelton Mack (P) vs. Nick Wilcox (Bloomsburg)
No. 14 Edgar Bright (141 pounds)
First Round: No. 14 Edgar Bright (P) dec. Tyler Scotton (Boston University), 3-1
Second Round: No. 3 Zain Retherford (Penn State) vs. No. 14 Edgar Bright (P)
Mikey Racciato (149 pounds)
First Round: No. 3 Chris Villalonga (Cornell) dec. Mikey Racciato (P), 5-2
Wrestlebacks: Mikey Racciato (P) vs. Ryan Lubeck (Wisconsin)
No. 7 Tyler Wilps (174 pounds)
First Round: No. 7 Tyler Wilps (P) dec. Bradley Wukie (Penn), 4-2
Second Round: No. 7 Tyler Wilps (P) vs. No. 10 Mike Ottinger (Central Michigan)
No. 4 Max Thomusseit (184 pounds)
First Round: No. 4 Max Thomusseit (P) dec. Clint Morrison (Rider), 5-4
Second Round: No. 4 Max Thomusseit (P) vs. No. 13 Jack Dechow (Old Dominion)
Nick Bonaccorsi (197 pounds)
First Round: No. 14 Chris Penny (Virginia Tech) dec. Nick Bonaccorsi (P), 3-1
Wrestlebacks: Nick Bonaccorsi (P) vs. John Bolich (Lehigh)
P.J. Tasser (Heavyweight)
First Round: No. 7 Mike McClure (Michigan State) dec. P.J. Tasser (P), 6-4 (SV)
Wrestlebacks: P.J. Tasser (P) vs. Blake Herrin (American)