Pitt’s wrestling program has struggled this year but the Panthers posted a strong first-round performance at the ACC Tournament today.
The team won six of their first nine bouts as everyone moved on to the semi-finals, except for Tommy O’Brien (174 pounds), Kellan Stout (197), and Robert Lee (149). Not wrestling was No. 1 seed Dom Forys, who earned a first-round bye. Winners included L.J. Bentley (125 pounds), Nick Zanetta (141), Taleb Rahmani (157), Jake Wentzel (165), Gregg Harvey (184), and Ryan Solomon (Heavyweight).
The wins were particularly impressive as most of those were No. 4 vs. No. 5 matchups. Those are supposed to be the closest matches of the tournament and Pitt went 6-2 there. O’Brien was a No. 6 seed.
Pitt caught some breaks as Harvey nearly blew a big lead before holding on to win, 9-5, and, despite recording a major decision with an 18-6 win, Solomon had a big scare as he was nearly pinned earlier in the bout. The pin was actually called and then reversed.
Overall, it was a great round. Several guys had come in struggling a bit and to get wins out of Wentzel, Harvey, and Bentley, in particular, was great to see.
Semi-finals begin shortly this afternoon - you can see it on WatchESPN.