Weekend sports: Panthers experience strong starts, struggling streaks


Theo Schwartz | Senior Staff Pho

Senior Dom Forys used seven takedowns to secure a 16-6 major decision victory. (TPN file photo)

By Stephen Cuddy | For The Pitt News

While some Panthers started off seasons strong this weekend, others continued painful bouts of loss.

The softball team dominated their opening weekend in sunny California, and wrestling saw the clouds part on a four-game losing streak, the men’s basketball got drenched in another record-setting loss.


The Panthers extended their losing streak to four games Friday night against No. 12 South Dakota State, losing the meet by a score of 25-13 and moving to 2-10 on the year.

The Panthers claimed wins through junior Robert Lee, redshirt first-year Jake Wentzel, redshirt senior Ryan Solomon and junior LJ Bentley.

Lee won at 149 pounds with a score of 10-3, Wentzel took victory through a score of 12-2 by way of a majority decision at 165 pounds, Solomon won the heavyweight bout by a score of 5-2 and Bentley at 125 pounds emerged victorious with a score of 5-2.

The Panthers ended their losing streak, though, with a 23-10 win over the Blue Devils in Durham on Sunday. The team dominated on the mat and saw seven different wrestlers claim wins. This win moves the Panthers to 3-10 and 1-3 in the ACC.

No. 11 senior Dom Forys, redshirt senior Nick Zanetta, Bentley, Lee, Wentzel, redshirt sophomore Kellan Stout and redshirt first-year Gregg Harvey, all emerged victorious.

At 133 pounds, Forys used seven takedowns on the way to his 16-6 major decision victory. Zanetta, at 141 pounds, won 4-1, Lee won by major decision 9-0 at 149 pounds, Wentzel won at 165 by a score of 8-2, Harvey was victorious with a score of 15-8 at 184 pounds and Stout and Bentley both won with a score of 4-2. Bentley won at 125 pounds and Stout weighed in at 197.

They team is back in action on against Virginia Friday at the Petersen Events Center at 7 p.m. for alumni night.


The softball team opened their season at the Titan Classic in Fullerton, California. The Panthers started strong with wins over Loyola Marymount and Utah State Friday.

The 4-1 win against Loyola Marymount came from home runs by seniors McKayla Taylor and Erin Hershman. Junior Sarah Dawson and senior Kayla Harris also had a tag team effort in the circle as they held the Lions to just one run.

The Panthers had a slow start against Utah State, trailing 2-0 in the sixth inning. After consecutive home runs from senior Giorgiana Zeremenko and junior Gabrielle Fredericks, though, Pitt had it all tied up. Finishing with a walk-off RBI produced by junior Olivia Gray in the seventh, the Panthers took home the win, 3-2.

The Panthers split their Saturday, claiming victory over Rutgers and losing to Cal State Fullerton.

In the first game Saturday, the Panthers beat the Rutgers Scarlet Knights 6-2 with nine hits — junior Alexis Solak, sophomore Connor McGaffic and Gray snagging two each. First-year Hunter Levesque tallied her first hit as a Panther, hitting the only home run of the day.

Pitt lost 10-7 in a slugfest against Cal State Fullerton, committing five of the game’s six errors. Zeremenko shouldered the offensive workload, leading the team in hits, going 3-4 with a home run and a double.

Finishing the weekend, Pitt tied the Loyola Marymount Lions 0-0. They registered a mere two hits during the contest that saw extra innings, but eventually ended in a tie due to a time limit.

The Panthers are playing in the ACC Big Ten Challenge starting Friday in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Track and Field

The senior class had a dominant outing during the Kent State Qualifier Saturday, winning four individual events.

Senior Whitney Martin won the 60m dash with a time of 7.61 for her second win of the season, and senior Desiree Garland took the 200m and her first win, running a 24.16. Senior Beth Shenck had her second win of the year in the 800m, completing the event in 2:13.08.

Senior Andin Fosam also won the women’s weight throw for the third time this season and second week in a row with a toss of 20.43m.

The men’s and women’s 4x400m relay claimed gold, with the men running a 3:12.97 and the women a 3:40.39. The Panthers also had five second-place finishes, two third-places and one fourth-place.

Some members of the team were also competing at the SPIRE Division 1 Classic in nearby Geneva. Sophomore Nick Wolk and senior Billy Caldwell both placed top in the men’s mile while registering personal bests. Junior Gillian Schriever found her way onto the podium with a third-place finish in the women’s mile.

Next up for the Panthers is the USATF Indoor Championships. Events take place Feb. 22-24.


The Panthers re-established their winning ways, defeating Eastern Michigan 5-2 on Saturday in their final tune-up before opening ACC play against Louisville.

Claiming the point from doubles gave the Panthers some early momentum. Senior Callie Frey continued her undefeated run moving to 5-0 on the season as she won 6-1, 6-1. The Panthers clinched the win with a victory from first-year Claudia Bartolome, 4-6, 6-3, 6-1.

To start ACC play the Panthers fell 4-3 to Louisville in a very close match. The Cardinals took control early by winning the doubles. Pitt saw Frey move to six wins on the season by a score of 4-6, 6-3, 6-3. Bartolome won 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, and junior Gabriela Rezende won 6-1, 6-3, 6-1.

Their next match is on Sunday against Penn State at home at 11 a.m.


The gymnastics team traveled to Denton, Texas, this week to face Texas Woman’s University, NC State and Auburn in a quad meet. The day ended with the team coming in second to Auburn with a score of 196.100.

First-year Haley Brechwald continued her strong showings this season, leading the team in floor with a 9.875. Brechwald became the highest all-around scorer at the meet with an ending total of 39.325, doing so without winning any events outright.

Sophomore Deven Herbine led the team in vault with a 9.285. Sophomore Megan Tripp and junior Lucy Brett both registered a 9.825 on bars, tying Brechwald for first place on the team in that event.

Next weekend the team travels to Morgantown to face West Virginia and Maryland in a tri-meet.


Junior forward Yacine Diop (12) scored 22 points during Pitt’s 72-61 loss to Clemson Sunday. (Photo by Thomas J. Yang | Visual Editor)

Women’s basketball

The Pitt women’s basketball team slipped back into a losing rut Sunday afternoon after a loss to an evenly matched Boston College, 72-61.

In a tight game in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, the Panthers (10-15 overall, 2-10 ACC) exchanged the lead with the Eagles (7-18 overall, 2-10 ACC) throughout most of the contest, but fell behind quickly in the last quarter as BC outscored Pitt 22-12 down the stretch.

Looking back at their last game, in which they lost 66-59 to Florida State, the Panthers fell into a familiar pattern — starting off strong, but losing momentum as the clock wound down at the end of the second half.

Read the full recap here.

Men’s basketball

The last time the Pitt men’s basketball team played Louisville, Pitt head coach Kevin Stallings made headlines for yelling at a Louisville fan in the midst of a blow-out loss. This time around, Stallings stayed out of trouble — but the result was the same, as Pitt fell to Louisville 94-60.

Pitt (8-18 overall, 0-13 ACC) entered Sunday’s game against Louisville (18-8 overall, 8-5-0 ACC) riding a school-record 12-game losing streak. That streak extended to 13 as the Panthers struggled to find their shot and had no answer for a Louisville offense that shot 63 percent from the field.

Read the full recap here.

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