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Pitt Wrestling

PSN’s Dominic Campbell to Provide Coverage of Pitt Wrestling from NCAA Championships in Tulsa



Pitt is sending six wrestlers to Tulsa, Okla. for the NCAA Championships from March 16-18, in hopes of a National Champion and a solid team finish.

Pittsburgh Sports Now is sending me, Dominic Campbell, out to Tulsa as well, to provide round-the-clock coverage on the Panthers at the Championships for the next three days.

Pitt wrestling coverage on Pittsburgh Sports Now is sponsored by the Pittsburgh Wrestling Club.
Pittsburgh Wrestling Club

The program has not had an individual National Champion since current head coach Keith Gavin did as a wrestler at Pitt in 2008 at 174 pounds.

Three wrestlers for the Panthers have a great chance to achieve that feat, which would be the first for Gavin in his six seasons as head coach.

The first of these wrestlers is none other than redshirt senior Nino Bonaccorsi. Bonaccorsi is a local product out of Bethel Park High School and is currently undefeated on the year with a 19-0 record at 197 pounds, earning him the No. 1 seed at the Championships.

Bonaccorsi has had success before at the NCAA Championships, making it to the 197 pounds Final in 2021 as the No. 6 seed, before losing to No. 4 A.J. Ferrari of Oklahoma State. With this being his fifth consecutive time at the NCAA Championships, Bonaccorsi has a great chance to finish his career as the country’s best in his weight class.

Redshirt senior Cole Matthews is another Pitt wrestler that has a great opportunity to win a National Title. Matthews had a great season as he accrued a record of 19-1 and earned the No. 3 seed at the Championships at 141 pounds.

Matthews finished in Fifth Place last year and his ability to catch opponents off guard and make takedowns is his best strength. He has some great competition that he’ll likely face in the later rounds, like No. 1 Iowa senior Real Woods (16-0) and No. 2 Northern Colorado junior Andrew Alirez (23-0) who are fantastic wrestlers themselves.

Redshirt senior Micky Phillippi, like his best friend Bonaccorsi, has one last shot for a National Title. Phillippi had a 13-3 record this season  at 133 pounds and is a great defensive wrestler, as he makes it extremely difficult for his opponents to defeat him.

His one weakness is that he doesn’t attack as well as some of the best in his weight class. No. 5 NC State redshirt sophomore Kai Orine (15-5) defeated Phillippi twice, a 3-1 sudden victory for the ACC Title on March 5 and 2-1 on tiebreakers in a duel match on Feb. 10. Orine managed to make important and decisive moves on Phillippi late in close matches that gave him the victory.

Phillippi’s defensive ability gives him the chance to defeat any opponent, but he’ll need to make crucial attacks to win a National Title at the No. 9 seed.

Gavin used the transfer portal to great success in the offseason and brought brothers in No. 16 redshirt junior Reece Heller (18-8) at 184 pounds and No. 20 redshirt senior Holden Heller (14-6) at 165 pounds from Hofstra.

The brothers aren’t likely to win a National Title, but still have the opportunity to place high. They are both strong when it comes to scrambling, which allows them to get out of tough positions and prevents opponents from pinning them or scoring as many points as they would like.

No. 28 redshirt first-year Luca Augustine (15-9) is the lowest seed of any Pitt wrestler. Augustine is a strong wrestler at 174 pounds and is making his first appearance at the NCAA Championships. He did great wrestling for the USA last summer by becoming the U20 Freestyle National Champion and the U20 Pan-American Freestyle Champion.

Stay tuned for further coverage from me as I spend the next three days in Tulsa covering these talented group of wrestlers. Here is the schedule below, all in eastern standard time.

Pittsburgh Sports Now will be in Tulsa providing coverage on the NCAA Wrestling Championships this week around the clock, so make sure to get your Pitt wrestling coverage here. The schedule for NCAA Wrestling Championships looks like this. All times are in the eastern standard time zone.

Thursday, March 16

Session 1 – 12:00 pm (Preliminaries & First Round)

Session 2 – 7:00 pm (Sweet 16 & Consolations)

Friday, March 17

Session 3 – 12:00 pm (Quarterfinals & Consolations)

Session 4 – 8:00 pm (Championship Semifinals & Round of 12)

Saturday, March 18

Session 5 – 11:00 am (Placing Matches)

Session 6 – 7:00 pm (Championship Finals)

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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