Connect with us

Pitt Wrestling

Pitt Sends Four Wrestlers into the Round of 16 at the NCAA Wrestling Championships



Pitt wrestling holden Heller

TULSA, Okla. — Pitt had a solid showing in the Round of 32 at the NCAA Wrestling Championships at the BOK Center Thursday morning, putting four wrestlers into the Round of 16.

No. 9 Pitt redshirt senior Micky Phillippi (14-3) fell behind early to No. 24 Oklahoma State’s Wyatt Henson (18-13) at 133 pounds, as Henson made a takedown on him in the first period. He came back with two escapes and then used a takedown in the third period to ensure a 4-2 decision in his favor.

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

No. 3 Panthers redshirt senior Cole Matthews (20-1) rode No. 30 Clarion’s Seth Koleno (21-10) for two minutes of riding time in the second period at 141 pounds. Matthews then made an escape, a takedown and won a 4-1 decision over Koleno.

No. 20 Pitt redshirt senior Holden Heller (15-6) found himself in many difficult positions throughout his match with rival No. 13 Penn State’s Alex Facundo (18-5). Holden Heller used his ability to scramble to make an escape and a takedown to lead through two periods.

Facundo tried to earn a takedown through the third period, but Heller flipped it on him and got a takedown on him to earn an upset with a 5-3 decision.

Holden Heller said post match that he spoke to Matthews prior to taking on Facundo. Matthews’ words of advice were that “No one can beat you” and he took that to heart into that match.

“I always try to get where I’m good,” Holden Heller said. “I’m good on [both elbows]. I’m always really good with a guy in on a leg. That was not a unique position for me. I probably get there every single day, hundreds of times honestly. I’m comfortable from there and I know what to do from there. There’s a lot of trial and error in practice, but I know what works. I ended up there in the match and it worked in my favor.”

No. 28 Pitt redshirt first-year Luca Augustine battled throughout with the heavily favored No. 5 Dustin Plott of Oklahoma State at 174 pounds .  Plott won a 3-2 decision with a takedown late, forcing Augustine into the Consolations.

No. 16 Panthers redshirt junior Reece Heller faced off against No. 17 Lehigh’s Tate Samuelson in a rematch at 184 pounds. Reece Heller won a 7-6 decision over Samuelson on Nov. 19 in a duel match at home. 

Reece Heller took a 2-1 lead into the third period, but Samuelson managed to pin him at 5:45 to get revenge from earlier in the season.

No. 1 Pitt redshirt senior Nino Bonaccorsi (17-0) easily defeated No. 32 North Carolina’s Max Shaw in a 10-1 major decision at 197 pounds. Bonaccorsi made five takedowns in the victory over Shaw, who he also beat on Feb. 3 at home in a duel match.

Pitt will wrestle again tonight at 7 p.m. EST in the Round of 32 and Consolations. Stay tuned for coverage from Pittsburgh Sports Now of Pitt wrestling for the NCAA Championships these three days.

Round of 32 

133-No. 9 Micky Phillippi vs. No. 8 Minnesota’s Aaron Nagao (19-4)

141-No. 3 Cole Matthews vs. No 14 Northern Iowa’s Cael Happel (17-6)

165-No. 20 Holden Heller vs. No. 29 Michigan State’s Caleb Fish (27-9)

197-Nino Bonaccorsi vs. No. 16 North Dakota State’s Owen Pentz (18-7)


174-No. 28 Luca Augustine vs. No. 21 Colorado’s Lennox Wolak

184-No. 16 Reece Heller vs. No. 33 West Virginia’s Anthony Carman (18-14)

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
Click to comment
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Get PSN in your inbox!

Enter your email and get all of our posts delivered straight to your inbox.

Like Pittsburgh Sports Now on Facebook!
Send this to a friend