PITTSBURGH, Pa. –The West Virginia University wrestling team used an 18-4 run to cruise past No. 21 Pitt by a score of 24-11 inside the Fitzgerald Field House on Sunday afternoon.
“It’s big for our program when you are wrestling a ranked opponent,” fifth-year head coach Tim Flynn said following the victory. “Forget that it’s Pitt, it’s a big win. You have a top-25 team, so I don’t care how you get it done, it’s a big win for us.”
This marks West Virginia’s first win over Pitt since the 2018 season, as well as the first over a ranked opponent since 2021 against then-No. 17 ranked Northern Colorado.
Coach Flynn also recorded his 250th career win.
The Mountaineers (6-1) jumped out to a 3-0 lead after fifth-year senior Killian Cardinale, ranked No. 7 at 125 pounds, held on for a 5-3 decision over Pitt’s Colton Camacho.
Cardinale scored the first takedown at the 1:17 mark of the first period and took a 2-1 lead into the second. He added an escape to go up by two before Comacho attempted a takedown but did not complete the move as time expired. The Bristow, Virginia, native added another takedown in the third and kept Comacho at bay to conclude the first bout of the day.
After Pitt (5-2) took a one-point lead by earning a major decision at 133 pounds, redshirt freshman Jordan Titus secured a late takedown to upset No. 2 Cole Matthews at 141 pounds, putting the Mountaineers back in front by two.
No. 24 Sam Hillegas followed up by outlasting Pitt’s Tyler Badgett at 149 pounds. After battling through a takedown attempt by Badgett early in overtime, Hillegas secured the much-needed takedown with four seconds remaining to earn a 2-0 sudden victory and increase WVU’s lead to 9-4.
Redshirt senior Alex Hornfeck added a 3-1 decision at 157 pounds to push West Virginia’s led to seven (12-4) at the halfway point of the dual, while No. 8 Peyton Hall caught Holden Heller in a cradle and sealed the pin in the opening minute of the second period at 165 pounds.
At 184 pounds, redshirt junior Anthony Carman scored WVU’s fourth victory of the contest over a ranked Panther, pulling off a 7-2 decision over No. 17 Reece Heller to clinch the team win.
Up next, WVU continues its road trip for another non-conference dual against the Chattanooga Mocs inside the Maclellan Gym on Friday, Jan. 13, at 7 p.m. ET.
125: No. 7 Killian Cardinale (WVU) dec. Colton Camacho (PITT), 5-3
133: No. 7 Micky Phillippi (PITT) major dec. Davin Rhoads (WVU), 10-2
141: Jordan Titus (WVU) dec. No. 2 Cole Matthews (PITT), 3-1
149: No. 24 Sam Hillegas (WVU) dec. HM Tyler Badgett (PITT), 3-1
157: Alex Hornfeck (WVU) dec. Dan Mancini (PITT), 3-1
165: No. 8 Peyton Hall (WVU) won by fall over HM Holden Heller (PITT), [T – 3:43]
174: Luca Augustine (PITT) dec. HM Brody Conley (WVU), 3-2
184: HM Anthony Carman (WVU) dec. No. 17 Reece Heller (PITT), 7-2
197: No. 4 Nino Bonaccorsi (PITT) major dec. Brian Finnerty (WVU), 18-4
HWT: No. 19 Michael Wolfgram (WVU) dec. Jake Slinger (PITT), 10-4