In what has been a season of inconsistency, the Virginia team couldn’t right the ship in its last ACC dual of the season against Pittsburgh Friday night, coming up empty on wins in conference play.
Coming off an inspiring performance against a ranked Virginia Tech team, Virginia (4-10, 0-5 ACC) carried some momentum into their final ACC matchup, hungry for their first victory.
Pittsburgh (4-11, 2-3 ACC) achieved the Cavaliers’ hopes of picking up a conference win, however, with a dominant showing at home. The Panthers won 28-9, victorious in all but three bouts.
The Cavaliers picked up wins in the match from their consistently strong wrestlers. Redshirt freshman Louie Hayes, ranked No. 15 nationally, won at 125 pounds, and junior Will Schany and senior Andrew Atkinson won back-to-back to bring the score to 21-9.
Lineup changes made things more difficult for Virginia on Friday, putting more inexperienced wrestlers into the mix. However, young wrestlers like freshmen Jake Keating and Sam Book will definitely benefit from the experience of ACC play.
Despite having a tough end to conference play, Virginia can take pride in the solid individual performances of several wrestlers, some of whom will be competing individually at the National Collegiate Open next Sunday.
The Cavaliers won’t compete again until the ACC championships start on March 3, giving the team plenty of time to heal up and recuperate before the most important events of the year.