Pitt's No. 21 wrestling team took to the mat tonight against No. 11 Lehigh and there wasn't much to get excited about. The Panthers dropped the home dual, losing 28-8.
As they did in the last meet against Edinboro, the team got behind early on. The lighter weight classes looked to be a decent stronghold for the team, but that really hasn't been the case aside from No. 8 ranked Dom Forys, who continues to look impressive.
L.J. Bentley dropped another one, falling 10-2, to give Lehigh a quick 4-0. lead. And after another Forys win closed the gap to 4-3, Pitt went on a big slide, losing their next three matches. Robert Lee got the start at 141 pounds after Nick Zanetta has struggled some this year and he had a tough task facing No. 5 Randy Cruz. Lee held his own, though, and looked mostly respectable in a 3-0 loss. I'd be all for giving him another start to see what he can do against a wrestler that's not completely dominant.
Mikey Racciato dropped his bout and continues to look vulnerable. He's just not been the same since two seasons ago and is 1-3 on the year and both he and Bentley have really struggled.
After Jake Wentzel lost his match at 157 pounds (his first dual loss of the year), Teshan Campbell provided the highlight of the night in an utterly dominant technical fall win in under three minutes. He continues to look like a star and along with Forys and heavyweight Ryan Solomon, is helping to lead the way.
Campbell's win closed the gap to 13-8 in favor of Lehigh but the momentum was short-lived. Christian Dietrich, Mat Carr, and Zach Bruce all lost ugly matches and the rout was on with Lehigh up 25-8.
The final match was a good one pitting two Top 15 wrestlers in No. 14 Ryan Solomon for Pitt against No. 11 Doug Vollaro. That match went to overtime where Solomon lost on a takedown. The disconcerting thing was that he not only lost his bout, but also appeared to suffer a leg injury as well, hopping off the mat and not putting any pressure on it. We'll have to see how that goes, but not great news.
Overall, just a disappointing night. Pitt winning would have been an upset and you would have liked to see them keep things closer. But it's clear that while the Panthers have some talent, they don't have enough to be considered elite. Half of the team's starters have losing records at this point
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