LEWISBURG, Pa. – The Bucknell wrestling team upended Pitt, 20-16, in a hard-fought dual Sunday afternoon at Sojka Pavilion.
After ceding the Panthers (1-5) a 7-0 lead through the first two bouts, the Bison (1-4) roared back, winning six of the next seven to secure their victory before the heavyweights took the mat.
Garrett Hoffman brought the Sojka Pavilion crowd to its feet, sealing Bucknell's first ever win over Pitt by edging Kellan Stout at 197. Hoffman trailed Stout, 4-2, entering the third period but scored an immediate reversal to even the score. After picking up a point for stalling, he built a minute advantage in riding time to win by a 6-4 decision.
Tyler Smith kicked off Bucknell's roll by defeating Nick Zanetta, 5-2, in a battle between two ranked 141-pound wrestlers. Smith carried a 3-0 lead into the third period on the strength of a last-second takedown in the second period; after Zanetta drew within two with an escape, Smith scored his second takedown to build what proved to be an insurmountable 5-1 edge.
With his win over Zanetta, his second over a ranked opponent in 2017-18, Smith became the 16th Bison to win 85 bouts during his career.
Seth Hogue and D.J. Hollingshead came up big for Bucknell, each winning by major decision. Hogue defeated Alex Murray, 13-5, at 149 behind four takedowns. Bolstered by an early four-point near fall, Hollingshead dispatched Curtis Decker, 13-2, at 165.
After Hollingshead's commanding victory, Nick Stephani and Drew Phipps won tight, back-and-forth bouts to put Hoffman in position to clinch. Late in the third period of his 174 match against Austin Bell, Stephani fought off a takedown to defend his slim 6-5 lead. At the buzzer, he brought down Bell to win by an 8-5 decision. At 184, Phipps edged Gregg Harvey, who tied the match at 4-4 with an escape late in the third period, on riding time.
Pitt won the first three meetings between the teams, including the most recent during the 2014-15 campaign. The Panthers were the fourth team the Bison have faced that was ranked in the USA Today/NWCA Coaches preseason poll, checking in at No. 24.
After enjoying a break for the holidays, Bucknell returns to the mat on Sunday, Jan. 7 for a 2 p.m. dual at Navy.
125: L.J. Bentley (Pitt) dec. over Jakob Campbell (BU) 3-1
133: #11/13/10 Dom Forys (Pitt) maj. dec. over Joey Gould (BU) 14-4
141: #14/12/16 Tyler Smith (BU) dec. over #16/19/11 Nick Zanetta (Pitt) 5-2
149: Seth Hogue (BU) maj. dec. over Alex Murray (Pitt) 13-5
157: #20/-/- Taleb Rahmani (Pitt) dec. over Christian Bassolino (BU) 7-2
165: D.J. Hollingshead (BU) maj. dec. over Curtis Decker (Pitt) 13-2
174: Nick Stephani (BU) dec. over Austin Bell (Pitt) 8-5
184: Drew Phipps (BU) dec. over Gregg Harvey (Pitt) 5-4
197: Garrett Hoffman (BU) dec. over Kellan Stout (Pitt) 6-4
285: #15/13/15 Ryan Solomon (Pitt) fall over Nate Feyrer (BU) (1:46)
Note: Rankings are Intermat/The Open Mat/FloWrestling