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The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

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Chris Matthews poses for a photo at the Global Hub in Posvar Hall.
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Chris Matthews poses for a photo at the Global Hub in Posvar Hall.
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Pitt wrestling goes 2-1 at Navy Duals

Pitt+wrestlers+faced+off+during+the+Blue-Gold+Dual+at+the+Fitzgerald+Field+House+on+Oct.+30.
Amaya Lobato | Assistant Visual Editor
Pitt wrestlers faced off during the Blue-Gold Dual at the Fitzgerald Field House on Oct. 30.

Pitt wrestling traveled down to Annapolis, Maryland, for the Navy Duals on Sunday to make a statement and gather early momentum for the rest of the season. But the Panthers did not have the day they wanted, as they went 2-1 with a rough loss to Navy. 

The Panthers began the day with two shut-out victories, beating VMI and Morgan State 47-0 and 54-0, respectively. While the Panthers performed well against their first two opponents, they just couldn’t get the job done against Navy, losing 21-12 in a hard-fought match. 

Four Pitt wrestlers went 3-0 at the Duals — redshirt first-years Finn Soloman and Mac Stout, redshirt senior Holden Heller and redshirt sophomore Luca Augustine. This comes after both Stout and Heller posted stellar performances in the Clarion Open last weekend, as they both won their weight classes in dominant fashion. 

Pitt faced off against VMI first in the Duals. The Panthers got off to a hot start against the Keydets, as redshirt senior Colton Camacho pinned his opponent in just over two minutes at 125 pounds. 

The Panthers did not let off the gas following Camacho’s victory, winning every bout of the match to claim the 47-0 victory. Camacho and Stout were the only two Panthers to record falls in the match.

Pitt’s closest bout in its victory over VMI came at 174 pounds, as Augustine narrowly defeated sophomore Braxton Lewis 4-2. 

The Panthers followed up their win over VMI with another dominant, shut-out win against Morgan State. Five Panthers recorded falls in the match, with three more earning tech falls. Stout arguably had the most impressive victory against the Bears, pinning his opponent in just over a minute and 30 seconds. 

But things fell apart for Pitt in its final match against Navy. The match did not start off well for the Panthers, as they lost their first three bouts to fall behind 9-0. Navy junior Josh Koderhandt earned a massive upset for the Midshipmen at 141 pounds, defeating No. 7 redshirt senior Cole Matthews 5-3.

Solomon gave Pitt its first points of the match when he defeated first-year Nicholas Vafiadis 4-1 in sudden victory at 149 pounds. 

Pitt still lagged behind following Soloman’s tight win, as Navy first-year Jonathan Ley defeated redshirt first-year Jared Keslar in a sudden victory 4-1 in the following bout. 

But the Panthers managed to pull together a string of victories to claw their way back into the match. Heller, Augustine and Stout all narrowly defeated their opponents to cut Pitt’s deficit to just six with one final bout remaining in the match.

Still, the Panthers’ chances were slim coming into the final match of the day. Pitt redshirt first-year Dayton Pitzer needed to earn a six-point pin against Navy senior Grady Griess at 285 pounds.

The vastly more experienced Griess handled the pressure well against Pitzer, defeating the redshirt first-year 4-2 to secure Navy’s 21-12 victory. 

While Pitt did not fare as well as it had hoped for in Annapolis, there are still a lot of positives for the Panthers to walk away with. The Panthers’ young core did impeccably well in Annapolis, as both Soloman and Stout ended the day with perfect 3-0 records. 

The Panthers have also found more than a few reliable wrestlers who could make tournament runs later in the season. Stout, Heller and Matthews are all highly skilled wrestlers who will make a major impact in both the ACC and NCAA tournaments. 

Pitt will get another chance to prove itself in dual matches next weekend, as the Panthers face No. 23 Lehigh on the road on Nov. 19. The match is set to start at 2 p.m. 

 

About the Contributor
Brian Sherry, Sports Editor