Gymnastics, swimming and diving take home big wins

The+Pitt+Gymnastics+team+earned+its+first+victory+of+the+season+Sunday+afternoon+by+narrowly+beating+out+NC+State+and+Towson+with+a+final+score+of+195.700.+

Thomas Yang | Senior Staff Photographer

The Pitt Gymnastics team earned its first victory of the season Sunday afternoon by narrowly beating out NC State and Towson with a final score of 195.700.

By Henry Jackson, Staff Writer

The weekend was a mixed bag for Pitt sports teams. The high-powered wrestling team continued to struggle in a tight loss against Virginia, even as the track and field team finished last at the Notre Dame invitational. Nevertheless, Pitt swimming and diving furthered its unprecedented success in a dual meet sweep, and the gymnastics team earned its first win of the season.

Wrestling

After last week’s lopsided defeat against NC State, Pitt wrestling was poised to make a strong return Friday night against Virginia. Unfortunately, the Panthers were unable to hold onto their early lead and lost the meet 17-16 in a heartbreaking final bout.

Although UVA and Pitt both won five bouts each, the deciding point came in the 10th bout. With the Cavaliers down 16-13 going into that matchup, it fell to sophomore heavyweight Jake Slinger to secure the Pitt win. He was unable to do so, and Virginia managed to capture the go-ahead bonus point.

Still, individual victories for Pitt take some of the sting out of the loss. Redshirt junior Nino Bonaccorsi pulled off a shocking upset in his bout, utilizing relentless attacks to bring down Virginia’s undefeated Jay Aiello in comeback fashion. Additionally, redshirt junior Micky Phillippi and redshirt senior Jake Wentzel won ranked matchups against favored opponents.

Swimming and Diving

Pitt swimming and diving earned a decisive sweep Saturday over Army West Point to cap an emotionally charged senior day dual meet. Ceremonies honoring the seven Pitt seniors swimming their final home meet gave the event a bittersweet feeling.

Pitt ends its season in markedly better shape as a program than it began.

The Pitt men’s team were ranked No. 22 in the nation by the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America this week. Its performance Saturday only furthered such rising expectations, with the Panther men obliterating the Golden Knights 203.5-80.5.

Not to be outdone by the men’s team, however, the Pitt women’s team countered with an equally impressive 186-99 victory. Furthering the sweep, Pitt diving prevented Army from even placing in any of the diving events.

Track and Field

Pitt track and field placed last in the Notre Dame invitational meet, losing to both Louisville and the Irish. While the Panthers finished last in the meet, it should be noted the team did not compete in several events including the long jump, men’s pole vault and men’s 800-meter run.

In fact, Pitt did quite well in specific events. Seniors Ade Jones-Roundtree and Nikki Scherer took the men’s and women’s 400-meter run, respectively, and the women’s 4×400 relay team won its event.

Gymnastics

Pitt gymnastics earned its first victory of the season Sunday afternoon by narrowly beating out NC State and Towson with a final score of 195.700. The tri-meet proved to be Pitt’s best performance of the season so far, and showed a well-roundedness the team has lacked thus far.

Despite graduate student Katrina Coca being the only Pitt gymnast to win an event outright by scoring an impressive 9.875 on the uneven parallel bars, the Panthers’ depth proved the deciding factor. NC State and Towson were simply unable to match Pitt’s balanced performance across all four events, and a near perfect team score of 49.075 on the bars sealed the win.

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