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Jan. 24, 2014

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The No. 13 Virginia wrestling team dropped a 25-9 dual to No. 8 Pittsburgh Friday evening at Fitzgerald Field House in Pittsburgh, Pa. Seven of the 10 weight classes were determined by two points or fewer.

Joseph Martinez (R-So., Platteville, Colo.), Blaise Butler (R-So., Belvidere, Ill.) and Nick Sulzer (R-Jr., Cleveland, Ohio) each scored wins for Virginia (13-3, 2-1 ACC), which made its first-ever trip to Pitt as the Cavaliers and Panthers (10-1, 4-0) also squared off for the first time as ACC rivals.

“We got outwrestled tonight, no question about it,” said Virginia head coach Steve Garland. “We haven’t been in this position in a while and that might be a good thing. There’s nothing like a loss to motivate you and I am excited to see how our guys respond to this setback.”

Four of the first five duals were determined by two points or fewer. Pitt took a 3-0 dual lead when Anthony Zanetta held off Nick Herrmann (So., Amarillo, Texas), 3-2, at 125 pounds. Zanetta scored the lone offensive points in the third period with a takedown to snap a 1-1 tie.

UVa knotted the score at 133 when Martinez dominated on top in a 1-0 decision over 17th-ranked Shelton Mack. Martinez recorded an escape point in the second period, then rode Mack for the full third period to keep Mack off the scoreboard and earn the win.

Pitt took the lead for good when No. 16 Edgar Bright recorded a takedown with 10 seconds left in the third period to break a 3-3 tie and down 12th-ranked Joe Spisak (R-Jr., Boiling Springs, Pa.) at 141. The Panthers then got key bonus points at 149 when Mikey Racciato pinned Justin Van Hoose (So., Kirksville, Mo.) with 14 seconds left in the third period, giving Pitt a 12-3 lead.

Ranked 15th nationally, Butler pulled the Cavaliers back to a 12-6 deficit with a 3-1 decision over Cole Sheptock at 157 as he improved to 13-6 on the year. UVa then sliced the lead to 12-9 when Sulzer, No. 2 nationally at 165, cruised to a 14-8 decision over Geno Morelli. Sulzer is now 25-1 this season and has won eight straight bouts since his lone loss on Jan. 2 at the Southern Scuffle.

In three straight matchups of ranked wrestlers, the Panthers earned consecutive wins in stretching their lead to 22-9. Seventh-ranked Tyler Wilps rolled to a 12-4 major decision over No. 17 Stephen Doty (R-Sr., St. Louis, Mo.) at 174, and No. 7 Max Thomusseit followed by holding off Jon Fausey (R-Sr., Dalmatia, Pa.), 4-3, at 184. At 197, No. 20 Nick Bonaccorsi recorded a third-period takedown to break a 1-1 tie and down No. 19 Zach Nye (R-So., Enola, Pa.), 3-1, to snap Nye’s five-match winning streak.

The heavyweight bout between UVa’s Ethan Hayes (R-So., New Lebanon, Ohio) and reigning ACC Wrestler of the Week P.J. Tasser went into a tiebreaker period. After Tasser escaped in the first 30 seconds, he rode Hayes for the second frame to secure the 2-1 victory.

Virginia continues its ACC slate next Friday (Jan. 31) when it returns home to face Maryland in a 7 p.m. dual at Memorial Gymnasium. The Cavaliers also will wrestle Bucknell at 2 p.m. the following Sunday (Feb. 2). There is no admission charge to home Virginia wrestling matches at Mem Gym.

No. 8 Pitt 25, No. 13 Virginia 9
125: Anthony Zanetta (Pitt) dec. Nick Herrmann (UVa), 3-2; Pitt 3-0
133: Joseph Martinez (UVa) dec. No. 17/17 Shelton Mack (Pitt), 1-0; tied 3-3
141: No. 16/19 Edgar Bright (Pitt) dec. No. 12/16 Joe Spisak (UVa), 5-3; Pitt 6-3
149: Mikey Racciato (Pitt) pinned Justin Van Hoose (UVa), 6:46; Pitt 12-3
157: No. 15/15 Blaise Butler (UVa) dec. Cole Sheptock (Pitt), 3-1; Pitt 12-6
165: No. 2/2 Nick Sulzer (UVa) dec. Geno Morelli (Pitt), 14-8, Pitt 12-9
174: No. 7/7 Tyler Wilps (Pitt) major dec. No. 17/12 Stephen Doty (UVa), 12-4; Pitt 16-9
184: No. 7/6 Max Thomusseit (Pitt) dec. No. -/20 Jon Fausey (UVa), 4-3; Pitt 19-9
197: No. 20/18 Nick Bonaccorsi (Pitt) dec. No. 19/- Zach Nye (UVa), 3-1; Pitt 22-9
285: P.J. Tasser (Pitt) dec. Ethan Hayes (UVa), 2-1 (TB1); Pitt 25-9
Rankings: AWN/InterMat

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