The Panthers got their seventh win of the season and improved to 7-2 with a 28-6 win over the Edinboro Fighting Scots at the Fitzgerald Field House on Sunday.
Pitt jumped out to a big lead on the backs of a tech fall from Louis Newell and two major decisions from Micky Phillippi and Cole Matthews. Louis looked particularly dominant, and head coach Keith Gavin had some positive feedback for his lead off man.
“I’m really happy with Louis in particular with his progress from last year to this year. He didn’t wrestle much last year because he couldn’t make weight. He just grew up, we don’t even worry about him making weight now. He wrestles with a lot of energy.”
Discussing the other young guns in the lineup, Gavin added, “I’m proud of him and Cole Matthews; they want to win. Same with Nino. They’re fun to coach.”
After the three straight bonus point wins made the score 13-0, Edinboro got a win at 149 as Tyler Vath beat Luke Kemerer 10-5. Their other win came at 174 in a match with two ranked wrestlers: No. 19 Jacob Oliver beat No. 24 Gregg Harvey 3-1.
“The two losses stick out… we need Kemerer to start believing in himself. Harvey wrestled well, we need to get off the bottom there.”
The remainder of Pitt’s lineup looked solid.
“Most of them did a good job continuing to try to score points, that’s what they have to do, always be on the hunt to score.”
Kellan Stout concluded his productive weekend – after a 14-0 major at Duke – with a 2-0 shutout over Dylan Reynolds, a fellow PIAA state champ.
Taleb Rahmani won the most exciting match of the dual, as he secured a takedown late in the third after a wild scramble with Peter Pappas. If you weren’t there or didn’t watch at home, it was a classic “Taleb” match. In other words, the score was closer than it should have been, they got in positions they didn’t need to, the spectators witnessed something they’ve never seen before, but at the end of the seven minutes Taleb scored when he needed to and got the win.
At 165 and 184 Jake Wentzel and Nino both won similar type matches, with Wentzel coming out on top 6-1 and Nino 8-3.
Despite what looked like a huge mismatch when the two wrestlers took center mat, Jon Spaulding of ‘Boro gave Demetrius Thomas quite a match. It was 1-1 until pretty late in the third, with Spaulding successfully fending off all of Meech’s attacks. His double was too much though, as you can see near the end of the video.
— Pitt Wrestling (@Pitt_WRES) January 28, 2020
Despite the positive outcome from the lopsided win, Sunday’s match was a far cry from some of the more competitive Edinboro matches of yesteryear with the EWL title on the line. It was always a raucous environment, and usually featured fireworks from then head coach Tim Flynn. It was often decided by an upset or the heavyweight bout.
I sat in the stands with Anthony Zanetta, who recalled that the Pitt Band even came for one of the duals. With hope, Flynn will revive West Virginia’s program and Matt Hill will do the same with Edinboro, giving Pitt two backyard rivals with guaranteed nail-biter duals every year.
NC State Inbound
The 6th ranked Wolfpack will be at the Fitz on Saturday for a 7pm match up with the local favorites.
“They’re a pretty solid dual team, they don’t have any weak spots. There’s going to be a lot that are pretty close [bouts] where maybe we’re the underdog, but we can do it.”