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Wrestling: UVA upsets #12 Pitt, 17-16

quinn miller uva wrestling
20th-ranked Quinn Miller earned a major decision win to give UVA the dramatic 17-16 win over #12 Pitt. Photo courtesy UVA Athletics.

Virginia used bonus points at two weight classes, including a major decision in the final bout of the night, to take a 17-16 win over No. 12 Pittsburgh on Friday at Memorial Gym.

Each team won five weight classes, but the Cavaliers got a pair of major decisions to only one bonus-point victory for the Panthers to rally and secure the victory. Virginia got major decisions from 15th-ranked Justin McCoy (New Paris, Pa.) at 157 pounds and 20th-ranked Quinn Miller (Lilburn, Ga.) at heavyweight.

“What a night, and what a match, with two teams fighting for every point,” UVA coach Steve Garland said. “The wins at 174 and 184 were big matches for us. That turned the dual around and put us in a position to win, especially Michael Battista at 184 pounds knocking off a nationally-ranked wrestler. And Quinn found a way, not just to win, but to get a major decision and lock up the win for us.

“We’ve been so close so many times in the last three years. Tonight there wasn’t anything about ‘this close’, the athletes found a way to get it done. Everything in life is habit forming. Finding a way to bite down, get the win and get it done hopefully becomes habit forming because it’s a war every weekend.”

Pittsburgh won the first two weight classes on the night to take the early lead and the Cavaliers played catch up down the stretch, cutting into the Pitt lead before finally pulling even with Michael Battista’s (Ashburn, Va.) upset of No. 16 Gregg Harvey at 184 pounds evened the dual score at 13-13.

Pitt move back in front with the decision at heavyweight in the battle between fifth-ranked Nino Bonacorrsi and third-ranked Jay Aiello (Chantilly, Va.), but Miller locked up the win with his bonus-point victory at heavyweight.

Virginia will close out the home portion of its schedule next Friday (Feb. 5) when the Cavaliers host Duke in a 6 p.m. dual on the ACC Network.

Virginia 17, No. 12 Pitt 16

  • 125: Colton Camacho (Pitt) dec. Patrick McCormick, 4-2 (sv-1); Pitt 3, UVA 0
  • 133: No. 4 Micky Phillippi (Pitt) dec. No. 12 Louie Hayes, 4-3; Pitt 6, UVA 0
  • 141: Brian Courtney dec. No. 14 Cole Matthews (Pitt), 3-1; Pitt 6, UVA 3
  • 149: Luke Kemerer (Pitt) dec. Denton Spencer, 4-2 (sv-1); Pitt 9, UVA 3
  • 157: No. 15 Justin McCoy major dec. Tyler Badgett (Pitt), 16-5; Pitt 9, UVA 7
  • 165: No. 7 Jake Wentzel (Pitt) major dec. No. 13 Jake Keating, 11-3; Pitt 13, UVA 7
  • 174: Vic Marcelli dec. Jared McGill (Pitt), 6-2; Pitt 13, UVA 10
  • 184: Michael Battista dec. No. 16 Gregg Harvey (Pitt), 3-2; UVA 13, Pitt 13
  • 197: No. 5 Nino Bonaccorsi (Pitt) dec. No. 3 Jay Aiello, 7-5; Pitt 16, UVA 13
  • HWT: No. 20 Quinn Miller major dec. Jake Slinger (Pitt), 10-0; UVA 17, Pitt 16

Additional Matches

  • 141: Dylan Cedeno dec. Jake Cherry (Pitt), 3-0
  • 141: Scott Kiyono dec. Ryan Michael (Pitt), 5-3 (sv-1)
  • 157: Antonio Petrucelli dec. Justin Phillips (Pitt), 6-4
  • 157: Nic Sansone vs. Tyler Badgett,
  • 165: Hunter Kernan (Pitt) pinned David Veltri, 2:53
  • 174: Robby Patrick dec. Tommy O’Brien (Pitt), 9-5
  • 174: Dane Csencsits (Pitt) dec. Channing Connors, 8-5
  • 184: Hudson Stewart dec. James Lledo (Pitt), 11-10
  • 184: Krystian Kinsey dec. Nick Meglino (Pitt), 8-1
  • 197: Austin Cooley (Pitt) major dec. Ethan Weatherspoon, 11-1
  • HWT: Jessie Knight pinned Cole Rickert (Pitt), 5:51

Match Notes

  • UVA takes the win over Pitt for the first time since the 2015 meeting – an identical 17-16 win in Charlottesville.
  • The win over the Panthers is the second in program history for the Hoos. Pitt now leads the series 7-2.
  • It’s the first win over a ranked team for Virginia since a 23-16 win over No. 16 Arizona State on Jan. 12, 2019.
  • Won all four matchups between ranked and unranked wrestlers – including decisions from Brian Courtney over No. 14 Cole Matthews (141) and Michael Battista over No. 16 Gregg Harvey (184).
  • Brian Courtney (141), Justin McCoy (157) and Quinn Miller (HWT) have won back-to-back matches to improve to 6-1 on the season and 2-1 in ACC duals. Jay Aiello (197) had a string of 24 consecutive wins in dual competition snapped dating back to Jan. 12, 2019.

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