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Pitt’s Nino Bonaccorsi Named ACC Co-Wrestler of the Year

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The ACC named redshirt senior Nino Bonaccorsi as their 2022-23 Co-Wrestler of the year on Thursday, the first Pitt wrestler to earn the award.

Bonaccorsi finished an incredible season with 21 wins and zero losses en route to a National Title at 197 pounds at the NCAA Championships on March 18. He came back to defeat No. 7 South Dakota State senior Tanner Sloan in the Final, in a 5-3 decision after riding time.

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He is the first Pitt wrestler to win a National Title and also finish undefeated since head coach Keith Gavin did it in 2008 at 174 pounds. Bonaccorsi won 15 of his 21 matches against NCAA qualifiers and only allowed two takedowns in his six matches during the Championships.

He shares this award with North Carolina graduate Austin O’Connor who also finished with a perfect season at 23-0 and won the National Title against No. 2 Penn State first-year Levi Haines at 157 pounds.

O’Connor spoke glowingly about the ACC, which has just six wrestling programs along with Virginia, Virginia Tech, NC State and Duke. He spoke post National Title match about the growth of the ACC and that they are able to compete with any other conference.

“Yeah, I honestly love the ACC,” O’Connor said. “All the teams are fantastic. We have great competition. I’d say we’re going to be starting to compete with the Big Ten here soon. We have multiple guys in the National Finals and we’ve been battling. We’d like to see some more teams added to the ACC, but I think we have the depth for what we got right now. Three kids at my weight class in the Tournament all placed so the ACC is building and I mean, we’re there ready to compete at the National Tournament with any other conference.”

The ACC Coaches chose to honor them both as the best wrestlers in the conference, as they are the first duo to win National Titles for the ACC since 1994.

Bonaccorsi also won his third ACC title at 197 pounds, defeating Isaac Trumble in the final for the second year in a row in a 2-1 decision.

He was also up for the Hodge Trophy, which goes to one of the National Champions every season, but Michigan’s Mason Parris, who had a 33-0 record as a heavyweight, won it.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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Giovanni
Giovanni
1 year ago

Bravo, Nino! Well deserved.

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