After two consecutive wins against ranked opponents (then No. 22 Appalachian State and then No. 5 NC State Wolfpack) the No. 7 Virginia Tech Hokies struggled against the No. 24 Pittsburgh Panthers. With a team score of 26-12, Pitt halted VT’s four-game winning streak during the Panther’s visit to Cassel Coliseum this past Friday. Three of VT’s five top ten grapplers found victory during their matchups. No. 9 Caleb Henson (149 lbs.), No. 5 Bruce Andonian (157 lbs.), and No. 3 Mekhi Lewis (174 lbs.) all won, but those three were all for the Hokies. No. 5 Sam Latona (133 lbs.) lost to the Panthers’ No. 7 Micky Phillippi, and No. 7 Hunter Bolen (184 lbs.) was upset by Pitt’s No. 19 Reece Heller. The Panthers had four wrestlers ranked in the top ten. Eight of the night’s ten bouts featured ranked athletes against one another.
Virginia Tech has had a tough schedule this year. Six out of the Hokies’ first ten dual matchups have featured Top-25 opponents. Like the Cornell Big Red, the last team to beat the Hokies in Blacksburg, the Pittsburgh Panthers appear to be much more talented than their national ranking seems to indicate. The Hokies overall record is now 7-3 and 1-1 in the conference. VT is 3-3 against ranked opponents. This Friday Virginia Tech travels to Durham to take on the Duke Blue Devils.