After numerous noteworthy performances last week, Pitt Athletics selected a record seven Office Depot/Supra Student-Athletes of the Week, Pitt Athletics announced Monday, March 1st.
Among those seven honorees were top-seeded wrestlers Jake Wentzel (165) and Nino Bonaccorsi (197). Both grapplers won their respective weight classes at the 2021 ACC Championships in Raleigh, North Carolina, Sunday, Feb. 28.
For Wentzel, the conference crown was his second in a row at 165 pounds. For Bonaccorsi, this was his first time atop the podium at the ACC Championships after a runner-up finish at 184 pounds last year.
With the title-winning performances, both Wentzel and Bonaccorsi have earned automatic qualification to the national tournament later this month. The pair will be joined in St. Louis by teammates Micky Phillippi (133) and Cole Matthews (141). Phillippi fell just shy of capturing his third straight conference championship. The 133-pounder was a runner-up to Virginia Tech’s Korbin Myers. Cole Matthews battled to a third-place finish.
In Raleigh, Wentzel was 2-0 with wins over FloWrestling’s then-No.12 Kennedy Monday (North Carolina). and Flo’s then-No. 10 Jake Keating (Virginia). Wentzel’s performance was dominant to say the least.
Jake Wentzel became the first wrestler since 2016 to win an @ACCWrestling title without conceding a point.
— Pitt Wrestling (@Pitt_WRES) March 2, 2021
With the wins, the South Park, Pennsylvania native is now 9-1 on the year, his lone loss, a 4-3 decision, coming to Thomas Bullard of NC State during Pitt’s dual meet with the Wolfpack in January.
Bonaccorsi, who also went 2-0 en route to his first conference championship, took out a pair of two-time NCAA qualifiers in Nick Reenan (NC State) and Jay Aiello (Virginia). Bonaccorsi beat Reenan 8-2 ,then bested the 2020 197-pound ACC champ Aiello, 10-4, in the finals. The Pitt-197-pounder is now 9-1 on the year. Bonaccorsi’s only loss this season is to Reenan’s teammate and fellow 197-pounder, Isaac Trumble.
On Sunday, Nino Bonaccorsi became Pitt’s first wrestler to win an @ACCWrestling title at 197 🏆
— Pitt Wrestling (@Pitt_WRES) March 3, 2021
Wentzel and Bonaccorsi were both guests on Jacob Hewgley’s Mat Geeks podcast following the ACC Championships. Check out the episode here.
Looking ahead, Pitt has more than two weeks off before traveling to St. Louis, Missouri for the 2021 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championship, March 18-20.
The Division I Wrestling Committee will meet to select the remaining at-large qualifiers to fill out the 33-man bracket in each weight class, which will be announced March 10, via NCAA livestream while brackets and seeding will be announced on NCAA.com at 4 p.m. March 11.