No. 8 North Carolina tops No. 9 Pitt in ACC battle in Chapel Hill

By Pitt Athletics, UNC Athletics | Feb. 14, 2020, 10:06 p.m. (ET)
Photo of Clay Lautt of North Carolina by Jeffrey A. Camarati, UNC Athletics

UNC press release

CHAPEL HILL --- Kennedy Monday's upset of No. 12 Jake Wentzel helped lead No. 8 North Carolina to a 22-14 home victory over No. 9 Pittsburgh in Carmichael Arena on Friday night. No. 3 Austin O'Connor won his 20th match of the year with a second-period pin to help UNC to another conference win.

The Tar Heels (12-2, 3-1 ACC) gained early momentum courtesy of Joey Melendez at 125 pounds. The redshirt freshman was taken down early against Pittsburgh's Louis Newell but capitalized late to take a 7-3 decision.

After Pittsburgh's No. 6 Micky Phillippi notched a 3-0 decision over Jaime Hernandez, No. 11 Zach Sherman won a tight 3-2 match over Cole Matthews to help UNC take the lead in the team score, one it wouldn't lose the rest of the night.

With a 2-0 lead, O'Connor turned Pittsburgh's Dallas Bulsak in the second period and put him to his back for a fall, advancing UNC's lead to 12-3. That moved O'Connor's season dual meet record to 10-0.

After No. 16 A.C. Headlee earned an impressive 10-4 win over Taleb Rahmani, No. 15 Monday knocked off Wentzel in an on-paper upset to pile on more momentum for Carolina. At the end of the first period, he scored a takedown and put Wentzel to his back for four near-fall points to open up a 6-0 lead. Monday's 12th dual meet win of the year ended an 8-5 decision.

At the upperweights, Clay Lautt scored a major decision to put away the dual for the Tar Heels, a 15-5 major decision over Pittsburgh's Hunter Kernan. The Panthers took the final three bouts of the evening, but North Carolina's early dominance earned the home team a 22-14 win.

UNC travels to Ithaca this Sunday to wrestle Cornell. The dual meet is set for 1 p.m. EST.

No. 8 North Carolina 22, No. 9 Pittsburgh 14

125: Joey Melendez (UNC) dec. Louis Newell (PITT), 7-3 – UNC leads, 3-0
133: #6 Micky Phillippi (PITT) dec. Jaime Hernandez (UNC), 3-0 – Tied, 3-3
141: #11 Zach Sherman (UNC) dec. Cole Matthews (PITT), 3-2 – UNC leads, 6-3
149: #3 Austin O'Connor (UNC) pinned Dallas Bulsak (PITT), 3:18 – UNC leads, 12-3
157: #16 A.C. Headlee (UNC) dec. Taleb Rahmani (PITT), 10-4 – UNC leads, 15-3
165: #15 Kennedy Monday (UNC) dec. #12 Jake Wentzel (PITT), 8-5 – UNC leads, 18-3
174: Clay Lautt (UNC) maj. dec. Hunter Kernan (PITT), 15-5 – UNC leads, 22-3
184: #7 Nino Bonaccorsi (PITT) maj. dec. Joey Mazzara (UNC), 16-8 – UNC leads, 22-7
197: Kellan Stout (PITT) dec. Brandon Whitman (UNC), 6-1 – UNC leads, 22-10
285: #8 Demetrius Thomas (PITT) maj. dec. Andrew Gunning (UNC), 12-4 – UNC wins, 22-14

#9 Panthers Fall to #8 North Carolina Friday Night
Pitt Drops 22-14 Decision to Tar Heels
by Julie Jurich, Pitt

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The ninth-ranked University of Pittsburgh wrestling team dropped a 22-14 decision to No. 8 North Carolina Friday night at Carmichael Arena.

With the loss, the Panthers move to 9-4 overall and 2-1 against conference foes. The Tar Heels improve to 12-2 and 4-1 against ACC opponents.

“We lost the key matchups tonight,” said head coach Keith Gavin. “Some good performances but overall we need to continue to get better a little more efficient.”

Pitt captured wins at four weight classes, including the final three bouts, but it wouldn’t be enough to secure the team win.

Redshirt sophomore Micky Phillippi recorded his 22nd win of the season at 133 pounds tonight as he shutout No. 33 Jaime Hernandez, 3-0.

North Carolina then captured wins at the following five weight classes.

Redshirt sophomore Nino Bonaccorsi picked up his 10th major decision of the year at 184 pounds tonight. Bonaccorsi downed Joe Mazzarra, 16-8. The win was Bonaccorsi’s 19th of the year.

At 197 pounds, redshirt senior Kellan Stout picked up his ninth win of the year after defeating Brandon Whitman in a 6-1 decision.

In the final bout of the night, senior Demetrius Thomas heavyweight recorded his eighth major decision of the season after outlasting No. 29 Andrew Gunning, 12-4. The win marked Thomas’ 18th on the year and boosted the Panthers’ team score to 14.

Pitt concludes the regular season Saturday, Feb. 22 when it hosts Virginia Tech at the Fitzgerald Field House.