LEWISBURG, Pa. – Facing its fourth straight ranked opponent, the Bucknell wrestling team opened its home schedule Saturday evening in Davis Gym against No. 12 Pittsburgh in front of a strong crowd of more than 600 fans. The Bison came away with three victories, including a comeback win by 125-pounder Paul Petrov over a nationally ranked opponent to open the match, but fell to the Panthers by a 30-12 score.

Bucknell’s (2-4) other victories were posted by Rustin Barrick by decision at 165 pounds and No. 17 Joe Stolfi by pin at 285 in a swift 40 seconds.

Bison freshman Victor Lopez suffered a slim two-point loss at 149, while junior Tyler Lyster also dropped a two-point decision at 197.

Pittsburgh (4-1), whose only loss this season came to three-time defending national champion Penn State, had five bonus-point victories, including three major decisions and two falls.

Petrov opened the match – Bucknell’s first dual since Nov. 17 – with an 8-7 win over No. 11 Anthony Zanetti. He trailed by two points at the end of both the first and second periods, but a three-point near fall in the third period gave him his first lead and the eventual victory. The win was Petrov’s first in seven career tries against a nationally ranked opponent as he improved to 11-4 on the year and claimed his sixth consecutive bout.

“Paul always shows up,” commented Bucknell head coach Dan Wirnsberger. “He has a consistent effort because of his work in the practice room. He is our most consistent competitor in practice. Now that he is healthy and has some training under his belt, he will continue to improve.”

Barrick, a sophomore, won the lowest-scoring bout of the evening, claiming a 3-2 decision over Geno Morelli. After a scoreless first period, Barrick took a 1-0 lead on a second-period escape. A third-period takedown staked him to a 3-1 lead and even after an escape by Morelli he was able to melt away the final minute with no additional points being scored by either grappler.

Stolfi closed the match in a quick and efficient manner as he won his seventh consecutive bout, six of which have been by pin. The 40 seconds it took him to pin Mike Gregory was the second-fastest of his career. Stolfi is now 18-3 in his career in bouts decided by fall with a career-best nine wins by fall this season.

“Joe is going to continue to improve,” said Wirnsberger of the junior. “I always have confidence in him. He is all in, all the time and it showed tonight.”

Bucknell will take a short holiday break before getting back to action Jan. 1-2 at the Southern Scuffle. The two-day tournament is sure to feature a number of All-Americans and nationally ranked wrestlers.

No. 12 Pittsburgh 30, Bucknell 12
125: Paul Petrov (B) dec. No. 11 Anthony Zanetta (P), 8-7.
133: No. 12 Shelton Mack (P) maj. dec. Grim Gonzalez (B), 12-2.
141: Edgar Bright (P) maj. dec. Connor Lapresi (B), 10-2.
149: Mikey Racciato (P) dec. Victor Lopez (B), 11-9.
157: Cole Sheptock (P) fall Brenan McAllister (B), 4:45.
165: Rustin Barrick (B) dec. Geno Morelli (P), 3-2.
174: No. 7 Tyler Wilps (P) maj. dec. Joey Krulock (B), 10-2.
184: Eric Nutter (P) fall Tyler Greene (B), 4:28.
197: Nick Bonaccorsi (P) dec. Tyler Lyster (B), 4-2.
285: No. 17 Joe Stolfi (B) fall Mike Gregory (P), 0:40.
Attendance: 621