No. 17 Pitt Attempts to Clinch ACC Regular Season Title with win over No. 7 NC State
No. 17 Pitt comes off a great weekend of wrestling that showcased the best of their wrestlers. They defeated North Carolina at the Petersen Events Center on Friday, Feb. 3 to take top spot in the ACC with a 3-0 record. Pitt also battled with No. 3 Iowa State on Saturday, Feb. 4 at Fitzgerald Field House and only lost on criteria points after both teams won five matches each on decision.
The schedule continues to provide Pitt with another challenge this weekend, as they travel to Raleigh, N.C. to take on No. 6 NC State on Friday, Feb. 10 at 7 p.m.
The Wolfpack have a 12-1 overall record and a 2-1 conference record, with a loss on the road to the then ranked No. 8 Virginia Tech Hokies on Jan. 20. They easily defeated Duke, 46-3, at home on Jan. 27 and took care of Virginia, 34-4, last Friday.
A victory for Pitt against NC State would not only be the first in the series since 2019, but also would clinch the ACC regular season title, their first since 2014. NC State leads the all-time series against Pitt, 7-2.
The probable matchups look like this:
Weight Class-Pitt wrestler vs. NC State wrestler.
125-No. 32 redshirt junior Colton Camacho vs. No. 27 redshirt junior Jarrett Trombley
133-No. 6 redshirt senior Micky Phillippi vs. No. 20 redshirt sophomore Kai Orine
141-No. 3 redshirt senior Cole Matthews vs. No. 4 sophomore Ryan Jack
149-No. 28 redshirt sophomore Tyler Badgett vs. No. 17 first-year Jack Arrington
157-First-year Jared Keslar OR senior Dazjon Casto vs. No. 7 sophomore Ed Scott
165-No. 24 redshirt senior Holden Heller vs. No. 26 first-year Matthew Singleton OR redshirt first-year Derek Fields
174-Redshirt first-year Luca Augustine vs. No. 29 redshirt junior Alex Faison
184-No. 17 redshirt junior Reece Heller vs. No. 3 redshirt junior Trent Hidlay
197-No. 1 redshirt senior Nino Bonaccorsi vs. No. 8 sophomore Isaac Trumble
Heavyweight-No. 10 first-year Dayton Pitzer or senior Jake Slinger vs. No. 12 redshirt sophomore Owen Trephan
The obvious matchup that most fans around the country will focus on is Matthews (15-1) vs. Jack (18-1) at 141 pounds. Matthews defeated Jack in 2022 in a 3-1 decision and will attempt to do the same to stay at the top of the rankings/help Pitt win this match.
Phillippi (11-1) and Orine (10-4) also wrestled each other least year, with Phillippi winning in a 4-1 decision. Setting the tone early is important for both squads and the winner will play a big part in doing so.
Pitzer (7-2), who has proven himself against some of the best in the country in the heavyweight class this season, lost a tough matchup late to then ranked No. 10 Iowa State graduate Sam Schuyler in a 4-3 decision. He comes up against a great opponent again in Trephan (15-3), which will likely serve as his final matchup of the season, if Panthers head coach Keith Gavin chooses to redshirt him. Slinger (8-6) could also wrestle at heavyweight for Pitt.
Bonaccorsi (12-0) earned the No. 1 ranking at 197 pounds after earning a late, dramatic win over No. 5 Iowa State junior Yonger Bastida last Saturday in a 6-4 decision. He takes on Trumble (16-2), who defeated him last year in a close, 2-0 decision.
Reece Heller (15-5) comes off two losses against great opponents in Iowa State No. 4 graduate Marcus Coleman and North Carolina No. 13 junior Gavin Kane last weekend. It gets even harder for him on Friday as he takes on Hidlay (16-1), who has won the previous two ACC titles at 184 pounds.
Camacho (14-7) faces a solid opponent in Trombley (10-6) at 125 pounds. His performance will play a large part in the match for the Panthers, as matches generally start at that weight.
Badgett (15-9) and Arrington (17-6) at 149 pounds should be one of the better bouts in this matchup. Holden Heller (10-5) and Singleton (8-4) at 165 pounds should also feature two evenly matched wrestlers. Fields (6-6) is also probable at 165 pounds for the Wolfpack.
Augustine (12-7) comes off two wins last weekend, including an upset on tie breakers against over UNC No. 8 graduate Clay Lautt, which earned him ACC Wrestler of the Week honors. He will attempt to extend his winning streak with a victory over Faison (12-5) to help his team win the ACC title.
Keslar (11-4) wrestled twice last weekend in place of the injured Casto (5-6) at 157 pounds, losing twice to North Carolina No. 3 graduate Austin O’Connor and Iowa State No. 27 senior Jason Kraisser.
If Casto is healthy, he will wrestle, but if not, Keslar will take his place this time out as Scott (13-5) comes out as the large favorite in either matchup.