WVU Overwhelmed by No. 15 Pitt
PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Despite getting the start it wanted with wins at 125 pounds and 141 pounds, the West Virginia University wrestling team was unable to control the momentum for the duration of the match, as it was defeated by No. 15 Pitt, 31-9.
“We started well,” said coach Craig Turnbull. “They have a very nice lineup – probably as nice of a lineup as they have had in a while. We really, really need Colin Johnston and Brutus Scheffel in our lineup. They give us a better chance to even things up as far as matches, and they allow us to maybe take one of the matches that we lose.”
At 125 pounds, senior Shane Young was able to energize the Mountaineers with an 8-3 decision win over the Panthers Godwin Nyama. Young held leads of 2-1 and 3-2 after the first and second periods, respectively. In the third, Young was able to open up the match and earn the win.
After a major decision win by No. 16 Shelton Mack over WVU’s Sean Fee, No. 12 Nathan Pennesi put the Mountaineers back out in front, 6-4, as he scored a win over Travis Shaffer. Following an escape point by Shaffer in the third that evened the match at one apiece, Pennesi allowed a takedown with less than 50 seconds remaining in the match. Pennesi, however, reversed the takedown and earned two nearfall points with 30 seconds left to get the win.
“When he did get that takedown, I just did what we are taught to do, and I kept moving,” said Pennesi. “We know each other’s tendencies so well, so once I was able to get the advantage and work the nearfall point, it felt really good. I was able to find his wrist once I was on top, and from there, I knew I just needed to roll him.”
“It was a little bit of a cautious match – probably a little more cautious than I would like to see out of Nathan,” Turnbull said. “It was a nice win, however, the consistency has been there for him all season.”
Following Pennesi’s win, Pitt took over the match, as it earned major decisions at 149 and 157 pounds, along with a decision win at 165 pounds.
Freshman Bubba Scheffel (174) would slow the Panther onslaught, as he was a 3-1 winner over Nick Bonaccorsi. Scheffel earned the escape point to begin the third period, and then, took down Bonaccorsi with eight seconds remaining to get the victory.
“Bubba willed his way out of a couple takedown attempts,” Turnbull said. “He is at a disadvantage because he was injured most of the year last year at Virginia Tech. He is a tremendous competitor that has a very high ceiling. We need to continue to add to his technique.”
Scheffel’s win closed the team score to 15-9 with three matches remaining.
Pitt (8-4), however, was too much for the Mountaineers down the stretch, as it was able to earn a major decision at 184 pounds and wins by fall at 197 pounds and heavyweight.
WVU (1-8, 0-3 Big 12) returns to the mat on Sunday, Feb. 10, as it takes on Ohio at the WVU Coliseum. The match is part of the Beauty and the Beast event, in which gymnastics and wrestling will compete simultaneously. Action is set to begin at 3 p.m.
125: Shane Young (WVU) dec. Godwin Nyama (UP), 8-3
133: No. 16 Shelton Mack (UP) maj. dec. Sean Fee (WVU), 14-5
141: No. 12 Nathan Pennesi (WVU) dec. Travis Shaffer (UP), 5-4
149: Ronnie Garbinsky (UP) maj. dec. Tre Miller-Scott (WVU), 11-3
157: Donnie Tasser (UP) maj. dec. Jason Luster (WVU), 11-0
165: No. 13 Tyler Wilps (UP) dec. Ross Renzi (WVU), 7-3
174: Bubba Scheffel (WVU) dec. Nick Bonaccorsi (UP), 3-1
184: No. 13 Max Thomusseit (UP) maj. dec. Lance Bryson (WVU), 9-0
197: No. 2 Matt Wilps (UP) win by fall A.J. Vizcarrondo (WVU), 6:53
HWT: No. 7 Zac Thomusseit (UP) win by fall Phil Mandzik (WVU), 2:53
Team Score: 31-9, Pitt
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