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#4 PackWrestle collects top-10 road win at Pitt, 21-12

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NCAA Division I Men’s Wrestling Championship Photo by Jay LaPrete/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

NC State faced their first real road test of the season when they traveled up to #10 Pitt on Saturday evening. The Panthers represent an up-and-coming program that has quickly found success under third-year head coach Keith Gavin. Their lineup boasts several top-10 guys and a solid group around them. Despite Gavin’s quick rebuild, Pitt didn’t have enough for the Pack. NC State took six of ten bouts and ultimately won by a final tally of 21-12.

The dual started at 197 pounds, which was probably the best-case scenario for Pitt. It offered the opportunity for them to take three of the first four matches and build some momentum going into the more closely-contested bouts. And that’s how things went for the most part. Kellan Stout took out Tyrie Houghton, who was filling in for an injured Nick Reenan, 5-3. At heavyweight, Demetrius Thomas followed it up with a narrow decision over Deonte Wilson.

Facing a 6-0 deficit out of the gate, NC State leaned on Jakob Camacho to try and stop the bleeding and he delivered with an 11-3 major decision. A clutch 4-point near fall in the final 20 seconds pushed this to an 8-point margin and earned the Pack four team points.

At 133, Jarrett Trombley wrestled a great match against #6 Micky Phillippi. He was able to slow Phillippi down and entered the third period right where he wanted to be, down 1-0 with a chance to tie it up if he could get an escape. Unfortunately, before he could do so, it appeared as if Trombley tweaked his groin and had to call for injury time. By rule, this gave Phillippi the position choice following the break, to which he picked bottom and earned a quick escape. He followed this up with a takedown, which iced the 4-0 victory.

The Pack began what would end up being a four-match winning streak when Tariq Wilson gutted out a 5-2 victory at 141. Leitten followed it up with a dominant 7-0 victory to get the Pack its first lead of the night - and they wouldn’t let it go. At 157, NC State’s crowned-jewel Hayden Hidlay came out and bulldozed a very tough opponent to make a statement and suck the air completely out of Fitzgerald Field House.

Thomas Bullard kept things rolling with a huge victory over #11 Wentzel. This is a win that will carry massive seeding implications come NCAAs, and continues to show that he has the stuff to place at this weight. Twin brother Daniel didn’t fare as well in his matchup. He and Harvey split matches last year, so it was predictably close. Bullard held a one-point lead as time wound down in the third, but surrendered a takedown in the final ten seconds to drop a 10-8 decision.

In the marquee matchup of the night, Trent Hidlay dominated a top-ten opponent in Bonaccorsi. The final ended up 6-3, but was never close. Trent won the takedown battle 2-0, and only surrendered escape points. Nothing to see here, just another top-10 victory for a Hidlay.

#5 NC State 21-12 #10 Pitt

  • 197: Kellen Stout (Pitt) dec. Tyrie Houghton (NCSU); 5-3 (0-3 Pitt)
  • 285: #10 Demetrius Thomas (Pitt) dec. Deonte Wilson (NCSU); 6-2 (0-6 Pitt)
  • 125: #18 Jakob Camacho (NCSU) major dec. Louis Newell (Pitt); 11-3 (4-6 Pitt)
  • 133: #6 Micky Phillippi (Pitt) dec. Jarrett Trombley (NCSU); 4-0 (4-9 Pitt)
  • 141: #15 Tariq Wilson (NCSU) dec. #18 Cole Matthews (Pitt); 5-2 (7-9 Pitt)
  • 149: A.J. Leitten (NCSU) dec. Luke Kemerer (Pitt); 7-0 (10-9 NCSU)
  • 157: #2 Hayden Hidlay (NCSU) tech fall Taleb Rahmani (Pitt); 16-1 (15-9 NCSU)
  • 165: #14 Thomas Bullard (NCSU) dec. #11 Jake Wentzel (Pitt); 3-1 (18-9 NCSU)
  • 174: Gregg Harvey (Pitt) dec. #15 Daniel Bullard (NCSU); 10-8 (18-12 NCSU)
  • 184: #3 Trent Hidlay (NCSU) dec. #7 Nino Bonaccorsi (Pitt); 6-3 (21-12 NCSU)

The boys took care of business up in PA to move to 12-0, and now return to Reynolds for huge Friday night duals two weeks in a row. First up is #8 Carolina, who just took out Virginia Tech last week. This could ultimately decide the ACC dual championship. I’m hoping for a big turnout for this rivalry match.