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Pitt wrestlers struggle in ACC Semifinals

After a fast start, the day for Pitt’s wrestling team turned sour in a hurry. The Panthers had advanced seven wrestlers to the semifinals of the ACC Tournament but none were able to advance.

Most of the team had difficult matchups against No. 1-seeded wrestlers so they had a tough road and weren’t expected to advance. Taleb Rahmani came close before getting hit with two stalling calls, sending his bout to overtime where he lost to undefeated Hayden Hidlay in overtime, 6-4. Nick Zanetta and L.J. Bentley also wrestled tough matches, losing to No. 1 seeds in close bouts. Other results were mostly as expected as Jake Wentzel and Gregg Harvey were defeated relatively easily.

But the Panthers have some disappointments in addition those. The biggest upset came as top-seeded Dom Forys lost to No. 4 seed Jack Mueller of Virginia. Forys didn’t lose in an ugly fashion, particularly, but he was dominated in a 6-0 loss. As the Panthers’ best hope for an ACC title, his loss was a tough one.

Pitt also caught a bad break as heavyweight Ryan Solomon was taken down in the first period and was unable to continue with an injury during his match against Duke’s Jacob Kasper. That was disappointing because, as I wrote in the preview, Solomon has had some success against the No. 1 seed in the past, even defeating him last year. It would have been great to see if Solomon could upset Kasper again.

Pitt is now out of the running for any individual ACC titles after winning three last year. The Panthers also won’t be able to make a ton of noise from a team standpoint with no champions. All ten of the Panthers’ wrestlers will now be in the consolation round, hoping to come away with third place finishes later today. Those results will be important with limited NCAA Tournament slots and guys needing to secure at-large bids.

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