PITTSBURGH, Pa. – The Virginia wrestling team (7-5, 0-3 ACC) fell at No. 10 Pittsburgh (8-3, 2-1 ACC) by a score of 23-10 on Friday night (Feb. 7) at the Fitzgerald Field House. It was the third consecutive top-10 opponent for the Cavaliers to start the ACC portion of the dual schedule.
The Cavaliers got off to a quick start on the night as two-time All-American Jack Mueller (Dallas, Texas), the second-ranked wrestler nationally at 125 pounds, posted a tech fall of Louis Newell to open the dual. Mueller shutout his opponent, taking the 15-0 victory to give Virginia the five-point lead out of the gates.
Pittsburgh won the next two weight classes before Denton Spencer (Waverly, Ga.) would turn in a gutsy performance at 149 pounds, starting the third period on top in a scoreless bout and riding out the period for the 1-0 decision. His victory put Virginia on top 8-6 in the overall score.
The home-standing Panthers would win the next four bouts to lock up the victory before Jay Aiello (Chantilly, Va.) would take a 3-1 decision at 197 pounds to cap the scoring for the Cavaliers. His victory put Virginia at 10 points in the dual as a team point had been deducted following an earlier bout due to a code violation on the bench.
Virginia will return to action next weekend, traveling to face Duke in a 7 p.m. dual on Friday, Feb. 14.
HEAD COACH STEVE GARLAND ON THE DUAL
“Pitt is a very tough team. I have a lot of respect for Keith Gavin and his staff. They do a great job and tonight their kids out-performed ours. We have two matches left. Our kids need to make a decision on how they want to figure out this regular season. Thankfully, there is still a lot of wrestling left.”
- Senior Jack Mueller improved to 11-0 on the season with his eighth bonus-point victory of the year.
- The match against Pitt was the third consecutive against a top-10 opponent for the Cavaliers.
- Denton Spencer improved to 16-8 on the season with his victory over Dallas Bulsak.
- Junior Jay Aiello improved to 23-4 on the season and has won eight consecutive matches and has won 12 of his last 13 matches.
- It was the first of back-to-back road matches in the ACC for the Cavaliers who face Duke next weekend.
No. 10 Pittsburgh 22, Virginia 10
125: No. 2 Jack Mueller tech fall Louis Newell (Pitt), 15-0 – UVA 5, Pitt 0
133: No. 6 Micky Phillippi (Pitt) dec. Louie Hayes, 8-4 – UVA 5, Pitt 3
141: Cole Matthews (Pitt) dec. Brian Courtney, 4-3 – Pitt 6, UVA 5
149: Denton Spencer dec. Dallas Bulsak (Pitt), 1-0 – UVA 8, Pitt 6
157: Taleb Rahmani (Pitt) dec. Justin McCoy, 7-5 – Pitt 9, UVA 8
165: No. 12 Jake Wentzel (Pitt) dec. Cam Coy, 8-2 – Pitt 12, UVA 8
174: No. 17 Gregg Harvey (Pitt) dec. Victor Marcelli, 8-3 – Pitt 15, UVA 8*
184: No. 6 Nino Bonaccorsi (Pitt) major dec. Michael Battista, 19-7 – Pitt 19, UVA 7
197: No. 10 Jay Aiello dec. Kellan Stout (Pitt), 3-1 – Pitt 19, UVA 10
HWT: No. 8 Demetrius Thomas (Pitt) major dec. No. 18 Quinn Miller, 13-4 – Pitt 23, UVA 10
* Team point deducted following 174 pounds for a conduct violation on the bench