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No. 17 Pitt Bounces Back with 21-12 Win over No. 13 Lehigh



PITTSBURGH — No. 17 Pitt took down in-state rival No. 13 Lehigh, 21-12, in front of a crowd of 1,048 at Fitzgerald Field House Saturday night.

The Panthers’ (2-1) win over the Mountain Hawks (3-2) is the first over a ranked team since defeating then No. 6 Arizona State in January 2022. It is a bounce back win for the Panthers after a loss to the Maryland Terrapins Friday night and after a loss to the Mountain Hawks last season.

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Pitt redshirt senior Nino Bonaccorsi said that it was tough to lose to Maryland Friday night, even with his big win. He liked his the resilience of his team and that it showed in the victory against Lehigh.

“I think we’re really resilient and I think our focus was, taking it out of our individual match and just getting together as a team, wrestle how we wrestle,” Bonaccorsi said. “Wrestling each match to the best of our ability. That paid off tonight as we got a good team win.”

Redshirt junior Colton Camacho (6-2) suffered a pin against Maryland on Friday night. He found himself in a difficult match against redshirt first-year No. 16 Carter Bailey (2-3) in the 125 pound weight class and needed to put in a great match.

He used a takedown and an escape to take a 3-0 lead into the third period. Bailey took Camacho down, but Camacho escaped and won the first duel, 4-2.

Panthers redshirt senior No. 8 Micky Phillippi (2-1) faced off against Mountain Hawks redshirt junior No. 22 Connor McGonagle (4-1) in the 133 pound weight class in the first of four matches with both wrestlers ranked.

McGonagle got an escape and takedown on Phillippi to take a 3-0 lead. Phillippi responded with a takedown and escape of his own, but McGonagle escaped again and used riding time to win the duel, 5-3.

Redshirt junior No. 1 Cole Matthews (3-0) defeated first-year Owen Reinsel (2-3), 8-2, in the 141 pound weight class. Matthews used two takedowns, two stalling warnings and a reversal to take down Reinsel and put Pitt back up in the match.

Panthers Redshirt sophomore Tyler Badgett (5-3) wrestled a close duel with Mountain Hawks sophomore Max Brignola (3-0) in the 149 pound weight class. Brignola took the lead, 4-1, off a takedown and a reversal, but Badgett came back and took the lead, 5-4, off three escapes and a takedown. Brignola managed to win the match off a takedown and used riding time to break the tie after Badgett escaped, 7-6.

Another highly anticipated duel saw Pitt senior No. 11 Dazjon Casto (1-2) vs. Lehigh redshirt senior No. 9 Josh Humphreys (5-0) wrestle at the 157 pound weight class.

Casto stared off with a takedown, but Humphreys responded with an escape and a takedown to lead 3-2. Humphreys used a reversal and then pinned Casto (3:47) to take six points for Lehigh, putting them up 12-6.

Pitt redshirt junior No. 14 Holden Heller (3-0) easily took down Lehigh redshirt senior Brian Meyer (1-4) in the 165 pound weight class, 6-0.

Panthers redshirt first-year Luca Augustine (2-1) upset Mountain Hawks No. 31 redshirt junior Jake Logan (2-3), 12-6. Augustine used three escapes and two takedowns en route to an impressive win to tie the match at 12.

Redshirt sophomore No. 24 Reece Heller (5-1) started out with a takedown and a near fall for Pitt against Lehigh No. 14 senior Tate Samuelson (3-2) for a four point lead. Heller used three escapes to finish off Samuelson, 7-6, who got two takedowns and escape himself to make it a match, allowing Pitt to take the lead in the match.

The biggest match of the night saw Pitt No. 9 redshirt senior Nino Bonaccorsi (3-0) vs. No. 8 redshirt junior Michael Beard (4-1). Bonaccorsi absolutely dominated the duel with four takedowns and won it 10-4.

The final duel of the night featured Panthers first-year Daton Pitzer (1-0) in his first duel match against Mountain Hawks No. 17 redshirt first-year Nathan Taylor (2-2). Pitzer took control throughout the entire duel, wowing the crowd and earning a major decision against Taylor, 10-1.

Pitzer said that the win from the upper weights gave him confidence and that it is easy to come after a performance like Bonaccorsi’s.

“It felt really good,” Pitzer said on his win. “I was excited I had the opportunity to go out and wrestle and I just love wrestling. Just felt good to get out there and let it fly. At the end of the day it’s just a wrestling match. I didn’t want to think too much about it. I just wanted to go out there, have fun and trust my instincts.”

Prior to the match, Pitt honored two Hall of Fame inductees from wrestling. Those two people were Lehigh head coach Pat Santoro, who won two national titles at 142 pounds wrestling at Pitt, and legendary Pitt head coach, the late Rande Stottlemyer.

Stottlemyer spent 34 seasons as head coach of Pitt, retiring as the winningest head coach in program history with 304 wins.

Panthers head coach, Keith Gavin, wrestled under Stottlemyer and won the 2008 national championship at 174 pounds.

“Rande was the one who gave me the chance to come here and wrestle,” Gavin said about the importance of his former coach. “To be honest, I wasn’t very good when I first got here and you would’ve never known by the way he treated me. That’s just the way he was though. He never gave up on people. If I didn’t have somebody like that, I don’t know if I would be in this situation right now.”

Pitt travels to take on Illinois in their next match on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 4 p.m.



Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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