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Pitt wrestling finishes last in ACC Tournament

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Photo used with permission of University of Pittsburgh athletics department - www.pittsburghpanthers.com

Pitt's wrestling team participated in this weekend's ACC Tournament. There were a few bright spots, but overall, the Panthers didn't have a great showing.

Pitt finished last in the team score as North Carolina State won the whole thing. Here are the full results.

Dom Forys was the star of the team as he's been for most of this year. At 133 pounds, Forys was the No. 2 seed overall and after a bye and a win, reached the final. He fell 8-4 to top-seeded George DiCamilly, however, and settled for second place. Forys' win, however was impressive. He was extremely active and scored a major decision of Virginia Tech's Dennis Gustafson.

Also having a decent showing was heavyweight Ryan Solomon. After an opening-round win, I really wanted to see him defeat Ty Walz and have a shot at facing undefeated juggernaut No. 1 Nick Gwiazdowski of NC State. No, Solomon wouldn't likely have won but it would have been interesting to see if he could pull a massive shocker by keeping things close. Solomon rebounded from a close loss against Walz and won both of his consolation matches, giving him three wins on the day and a third-place finish.

L.J. Bentley (125 pounds), Ronnie Garbinsky (157), and Cody Wiercioch (165) all won bouts (Bentley won two) and brought home fourth place finishes.

As was the case in Pitt's last dual against Clarion, the Panthers were without Mikey Racciato. A huge note here, but if you look at the team's roster, Racciato is no longer listed. And while Racciato's name is all over the media PDF document with the yearly stats, his bio looks to have been replaced with an empty page. That's obviously a pretty big development if he's no longer on the team. His loss clearly hurt the team as he was the 2015 ACC Champion at 149 pounds and could have been a serious national title contender. Last we saw him, he suffered an upset loss to Virginia's Justin VanHoose in Pitt's win against No. 20 Virginia.

Six Panthers will move on to the NCAA Championships - the five mentioned above and also Nick Bonaccorsi (197 pounds), who finished in fifth place.

Overall, it was a pretty disappointing showing. The ACC was pretty loaded this year with NC State and Virginia Tech No. 2 and No. 3 in the nation, North Carolina being ranked, and Pitt and Virginia previously being ranked. But you still hope for a better finish than last no matter how good the competition is.

I was able to watch most of the matches on ESPN3 and one thing that was an issue for the team all year was taking stalling calls - at least it seemed that way. Pitt put themselves in some pretty bad spots and need to adjust to that rule a little better to avoid getting hit with those. I also remained disappointed with several guys not being aggressive enough, IMO. Bentley, Forys, and Solomon were extremely active. But a few guys could have been more aggressive and taken a few more risks. It seemed like some guys were afraid to make a mistake and just wrestling to try to get a late win.

Next up for Pitt - the NCAA Tournament.

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