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LIVE: Pitt in Third Place at ACC Wrestling Championships, Three Finalists and Six NCAA Auto Bids



RALEIGH, N.C. — Pitt is wrestling at the ACC Wrestling Championships on Sunday, March 5 at Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh, N.C.

After the conclusion of the Semifinals, here is the current team standings.

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1. NC State-87.5
2. Virginia Tech-72.0
3. Pitt-54.0
4. North Carolina-36.0
5. Virginia-32.0
6. Duke-14.0

125 Pounds

No. 4 Pitt redshirt junior Colton Camacho won a 11-2 major decision over No. 5 Virginia fifth year Patrick McCormick in the First Round. Camacho also defeated McCormick in a 14-1 major decision on Jan. 20.

Camacho lost to No. 1 NC State redshirt junior Jarrett Trombley in the ACC Semifinals in a 9-5 decision. Trombley broke the deadlock at 3-3 in the second period with a reversal and four back points.

The loss means that Camacho misses out on the automatic qualifying spot for the NCAA Championships, but he could still possibly earn one of the four at-large bids at 125 pounds.

Camacho easily handled No. 6 Duke first-year Ethan Grimminger in the Consolation Semifinals, winning a 17-3 major decision.

He took on No. 3 North Carolina graduate Jack Wagner in the Third Place match. Both wrestlers found themselves deadlocked at 1-1 in the third period, until Camacho made an important takedown in the third period. Wagner got an escape late and threatened to score, but Camacho held on for the Third Place victory. Camacho got revenge on Wagner, who defeated him in sudden victory, 10-8, on Feb. 3. 

133 pounds 

No. 1 Pitt redshirt senior Micky Phillippi earned a First Round bye faced off against No. 5 Virginia sophomore Marlon Yarbrough in the Semifinals.

Phillippi defeated Yarbrough in a 5-2 decision off two takedowns and an escape to move onto the Final. With the win, Phillippi became the second Panther to clinch an automatic qualifier spot at the NCAA Championships, making it his fifth time doing so.

Phillippi will wrestle No. 3 NC State redshirt sophomore Kai Orine in that Final match. Orine won in tiebreakers, 2-1 over Phillippi on Feb. 10. 

141 pounds

No. 1 Pitt redshirt senior Cole Matthews earned a First Round bye wrestled No. 4 Virginia Tech first-year Tom Crook in the Semifinals.

Matthews, like Phillippi, used two takedowns and an escape to defeat Crook and move on to the Final. The win also earns Matthews an automatic qualifier spot at the NCAA Championships, joining Phillippi and Reece Heller.

Matthews will wrestle No. 2 NC State sophomore Ryan Jack in that Final match. Matthews won a 4-2 decision over Jack on Feb. 10. 

149 pounds

No. 4 Pitt redshirt sophomore Tyler Badgett lost a 7-2 decision to No. 5 North Carolina graduate Zach Sherman in the First Round.

Badgett wrestled No. 3 Virginia graduate Jarod Verkleeren in the Consolations Semifinals. He lost a close, 3-2 decision to Verkeleeren, ending his day.

He missed his opportunity to earn an automatic qualifier spot for NCAA Championships, as there are only three for his weight class.

157 pounds

No. 4 Pitt senior Dazjon Casto lost a 5-4 decision after riding time to No. 5 Virginia graduate Jake Keating in the First Round. Keating got revenge on Casto, after Casto defeated him in a 14-8 decision on Jan. 20. 

Casto headed to the Consolation Semifinals, where he faced off against No. 3 NC State sophomore Ed Scott. Casto kept it much more close than their first matchup, which saw Scott win a 19-3 technical fall decision against Casto on Feb. 10.  

Scott stayed on the defensive and held Casto scoreless, winning a 4-0 decision. The loss ends Casto’s day and his chance at an automatic NCAA qualifier spot, as there are only three at his weight class.

165 pounds

No. 1 Pitt redshirt senior Holden Heller earned a First Round bye and wrestled  No. 4 Virginia Tech redshirt sophomore Connor Brady in the Semifinals.

Brady made two takedowns of Holden Heller and won a 7-5 decision, handing Holden Heller his first ACC loss of the season.

Holden Heller defeated No. 6 Duke redshirt senior Gabe Dinette in the Consolation Semifinals, winning a close 5-4 decision. He also won a a close 5-3 decision against Dinette on Feb. 18.

Holden Heller faced off against No. 3 NC State first-year Matthew Singleton in the Third Place Match. Holden Heller started out with an 8-1 lead after the first period, thanks to two takedowns and four back points.

Singleton came back with two back points and then four more back points to cut the lead to just 8-7 after two periods. Holden Heller managed to stay with it and got one more takedown in the third period to win Third Place on a 10-7 decision.

Winning Third Place for Holden Heller means he earns an automatic NCAA qualifier spot, joining his brother Reece Heller in Tulsa from March 16-18.

174 pounds

No. 3 Pitt redshirt first-year Luca Augustine earned a First Round bye after Duke did not put anyone at 174 pounds.

He wrestled No. 2 NC State redshirt junior Alex Faison in the Semifinals. Like in their first matchup, Faison took a close win, in a 3-2 decision over Augustine. A Faison takedown of Augustine proved to be the difference in the match in the end.

Augustine wrestled No. 5 Virginia fifth year Victor Marcelli in the Third Place match. He used a takedown and an escape to win the match, 3-1, and clinch the last automatic qualifier spot for the NCAA Wrestling Championships.

184 pounds 

No. 5 Pitt redshirt junior Reece Heller won a 12-3 major decision over No. 4 Virginia Neil Antrassian in the First Round. Reece Heller got revenge on Antrassian, who he lost to in a 7-3 decision on Jan. 20. 

Reece Heller stood no chance against No. 1 NC State redshirt junior Trent Hidlay, losing in a 23-5 technical fall decision.

He then majored No. 6 Duke junior Jack Wimmer, 12-0 in the Consolation Semifinals. This put him in the Third Place Match and also officially earned him one of the five automatic qualifying spots at his weight class for the NCAA Championships.

Wrestling against No. 2 Virginia Tech first-year Hunter Bolen in the Third Place match, he fell behind 4-2 after two periods. Reece Heller then escaped and got a takedown to take a late 5-4 lead. Bolen managed to counter this, with a reversal just before the buzzer to win the match, 7-5.

197 Pounds

No. 1 Pitt redshirt senior Nino Bonaccorsi earned a First Round bye and wrestled against No. 4 Virginia graduate Michael Battista in the Semifinals.

He controlled the match and defeated Battista in a 12-3 major decision to move onto the Final for the fourth time. He also joined Phillippi, Matthews and Reece Heller as the fourth Pitt wrestler to automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships.

Bonaccorsi takes on No. 3 NC State sophomore Isaac Trumble in the Final.


No. 4 Pitt senior Mike Slinger earned a 3-1 sudden victory over No. 5 UNC senior Brandon Whitman in the First Round.

Slinger moved on to the Semifinals to take on No. 1 Duke senior Jonah Niesenbaum. Both wrestlers kept it close, but a Niesenbaum takedown proved the difference, as he defeated Slinger, 3-2.

No. 6 Virginia senior Ethan Weatherspoon made three takedowns en route to a 7-4 decision in the Consolation Semifinals over Slinger. This loss ended Slinger’s season, as there are only three automatic qualifier spots in his weight class, and his career at Pitt.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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