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Pitt beats Bucknell, improves winning streak to three

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Pitt beats Bucknell, improves winning streak to three

By Chris Puzia / Sports Editor

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After a big win over a top-10 Edinboro team, some might have worried that the Pitt wrestling team would suffer a letdown loss against Bucknell.

But Max Thomusseit, ranked No. 5 in the nation, and the rest of the No. 14 (3-0, 0-0 ACC) Panthers made sure that didn’t happen as they beat Bucknell 22-11 in their home opener on Saturday.

Five Pitt wrestlers, including Thomusseit, remain undefeated in their matchups this season. The redshirt senior won the 184-pound bout over Tom Sleigh of Bucknell, 18-6.

Although Bucknell shot out to an 8-6 lead in the match, Pitt won the next five bouts to make Pitt heavyweight John Rizzo’s loss in the final matchup irrelevant.

The first match to begin the streak came in the 149-pound bout when No. 16 sophomore Mikey Racciato beat Victor Lopez of Bucknell 6-4.

Pitt only dropped three bouts in the match, and two came to ranked Bucknell wrestlers — No. 20 Paul Petrov and No. 13 Joe Stolfi at the 125-pound and 285-pound bouts, respectively.

Petrov’s victory over Pitt wrestler Dom Forys gave the freshman his first loss in his Pitt career, and Petrov won the bout 8-6.

Pitt’s biggest individual loss came in the 141-pound bout, when Tyler Smith of the Bison defeated Ben Ross by technical fall, 18-3. Because of the 15-point differential, Bucknell received five team points, instead of the usual three team points for a victory.

Pitt’s tandem of consecutive individually ranked wrestlers in Thomusseit and No. 7 Nick Bonaccorsi has now won back-to-back victories in every match this season. The two late individual decisions pushed Pitt’s lead out of reach ahead of the heavyweight bout.

Pitt also beat Bucknell last season 30-12. This season’s loss drops Bucknell to 0-1 on the season, as Pitt was its season-opening match.

The Panthers won their first three matches last season before they lost to Penn State. Pitt hosts No. 1 Penn State this season on Friday, Nov. 21.

First, the team hosts No. 15 Lehigh on Saturday at 7 p.m.

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Pitt beats Bucknell, improves winning streak to three