WVU Loses Dual Meet to No. 9 Pitt

By Brian Kuppelweiser
WVU Sports Information Office

February 4, 2012

MORGANTOWN, W. Va. – In its final home dual meet of the season, the West Virginia University wrestling team was defeated on "Senior Night" by Eastern Wrestling League rival No. 9 Pitt, 26-12.

“We had seven weights that could have gone either way for us tonight,” said coach Craig Turnbull.

“It was pretty easy to see heading into the match that it was going to play out that way, but we just didn’t take any of those matches.”

The Panthers (12-1, 5-0 EWL) took the opening match of the bout, as No. 16 Anthony Zanetta was able to earn a 2-0 victory over No. 26 Shane Young. Zanetta’s two points came off of an escape point to begin the second and a riding time point.

No. 24 Nathan Pennesi, who was riding a five-match winning streak, looked to turn the tables in favor of WVU, but he was defeated by No. 20 Shelton Mack. Pennesi fell behind 7-2 in the first period, but was able to bring the match to 8-5 with under a minute remaining. Mack was called for stalling, then Pennesi nearly converted a takedown within the final 10 seconds that would have tied the match.

“We needed to take two of those three or three of the three if we wanted to win,” Turnbull said. “We were capable of doing it. At 125 pounds, we didn’t start putting energy in until the final minute of the third period. Give them credit at 133 pounds, that was a match that was critical. If I was giving a gold star, I would give it to Pitt’s 133 pounder this evening.”

Sophomore Michael Morales did give the Mountaineers a big boost, as he brought the crowd of 1,399 to their feet with a pin at the 2:11 mark of the first period. Morales reversed Travis Shaffer and was able to get the fall.

“That was a big match for me because it was against our main rival Pitt,” Morales said. “I knew I had to make up for the lost points from Shane and Nate’s matches.”

Redshirt freshman Brutus Scheffel nearly kept the crowd on their feet as he almost pulled the upset over No. 13 Tyler Nauman. Scheffel was defeated by Nauman 1-0, but he carried the pace throughout the match and was the aggressor.

Following a 4-2 sudden victory at 165 pounds by Pitt’s Donnie Tasser, the Panthers put the match out of reach after the 174-pound match.

No. 26 Ethan Headlee majored WVU’s Lance Bryson, 12-2, to put the Panthers up 20-6.

Redshirt senior Matt Ryan, who is ranked No. 17, was able to win his match at 184 pounds for the Mountaineers, as he won a tight bout against No. 32 Andy Vaughan.

“Matt Ryan had to work hard for his win tonight,” Turnbull said. “That is good for him to get a tough match as we head into the final stretch run of the season.

A forfeit by WVU at 197 pounds stretched Pitt’s lead to 26-9.

No. 18 Brandon Williamson won the final match of the meet and stretched his winning streak to seven matches. Williamson took a decision victory from Joel Yahner, 7-2.

“I was really proud of Brandon tonight because he was very sick this morning,” Turnbull said. “He called our trainer around 5 a.m. this morning from the hospital after he contracted some type of flu. I tried to convince him not to wrestle, but he was adamant about wanting to wrestle on Senior Night.”

The victory was the Panthers 17th straight victory in EWL action.

The Mountaineers (7-3, 2-2 EWL) will return to the mat on Friday, Feb. 10, as they will take on Ohio in Athens, Ohio at 7 p.m.

125: Anthony Zanetta (UP) def. Shane Young (WVU), 2-0
133: Shelton Mack (UP) def. Nathan Pennesi (WVU), 8-6
141: Michael Morales (WVU) Travis Shaffer (UP), pin 2:11
149: Tyler Nauman (UP)Brutus Scheffel (WVU), 1-0
157: Donnie Tasser (UP) def. Dominic Prezzia (WVU), 8-0
165: Tyler Wilps (UP) def. Kyle Eason (WVU), 4-2 SV
174: Ethan Headlee (UP) def. Lance Bryson (WVU), 12-2
184: Matt Ryan (WVU) def. Andy Vaughan (UP), 3-1
197: Matt Wilps def. WVU, forfeit
HWT: Brandon Williamson (WVU) def. Joel Yahner (UP), 7-2

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