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Pitt Dominates Virginia, 25-6, to Open ACC Play



Pitt dominated Virginia throughout their duel match to earn a 25-6 victory to open ACC play on the road Friday night.

The Panthers (7-2 overall, 1-0 ACC) defeat the Cavaliers (6-3 overall, 0-1 ACC) for the second straight year and the first time in Charlottesville, Va. since 2019. This also makes it the fourth season in a row that the Panthers started conference play with a victory.

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Pitt senior Dazjon Casto (5-5) faced off against a tough opponent in Virginia No. 33 graduate Jake Keating (3-5) at 157 pounds to start out the duel match.

The two kept it close, but Casto used a big move in the second period to earn back points and then wrestled well in the third period to earn the upset in a 14-8 decision.

Panthers No. 31 redshirt senior Holden Heller (8-4) also earned an upset, as he took down Cavaliers No. 15 Justin McCoy (12-4) in a 9-3 decision in the 165 pound weight class. Holden Heller used a takedown and a near fall to put himself up 4-0 in the first period to keep him in control the rest of the way.

Pitt redshirt first-year Luca Augustine (10-6) continues to wrestle well this year at 174 pounds, as he controlled his match with Virginia fifth year Victor Marcelli (9-9), earning a 4-1 decision.

Panthers No. 17 redshirt junior Reece Heller (14-3) fell to Cavaliers No. 20 Neil Antrassian (19-4) in the 184 pound weight class in a 7-3 decision. Antrassian used two takedowns in the second and third periods to seal the first win for the Cavaliers.

No. 2 redshirt senior Nino Bonaccorsi (9-0) got Pitt back on track with a solid, 7-4 decision over Virginia No. 24 Michael Battista (22-6) at 197 pounds.

Panthers senior Jake Slinger (8-5) controlled his heavyweight matchup against Cavaliers junior Jesse Knight (4-5) and used a takedown, escape and riding time to earn a 4-1 decision

Redshirt junior Colton Camacho (12-6) dominated his bout at 125 pounds for Pitt, winning a 14-1 major decision over Virginia fifth year Patrick McCormick (6-10).

The Panthers redshirt senior duo of No. 7 Micky Philippi (8-1) and No. 3 Cole Matthews (12-1) also kept the momentum going over the Cavaliers. Phillippi won a 7-3 decision over sophomore Marlon Yarbrough (5-6) in the 133 pound weight class and Matthews defeated No. 29 graduate Brian Courtney (2-2) in a 7-3 decision in the 141 pound weight class.

Pitt No. 29 redshirt sophomore Tyler Badgett (14-7) lost to Virginia No. 30 graduate Jarod Verkleeren (15-5) in a close 5-3 decision to finish out the duel meet.

Pitt travels again as they take on No. 8 Virginia Tech next Friday, Jan. 27 at 7 p.m., where they will look to stay undefeated in ACC play.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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