Late surge pushes Jackrabbits past Pitt
PITTSBURGH – In a dual that went down to the wire, the South Dakota State University wrestling team extended its dual winning streak to a school-record-tying 12 matches with a 25-13 win at Pittsburgh Friday night.
The 12th-ranked Jackrabbits, who were propelled to the win by four bonus-point victories, improved to 12-2 overall. Pitt dropped to 2-10 in duals this season.
Luke Zilverberg, ranked 14th at 157 pounds, scored the first SDSU victory of the night with a 10-2 major decision over Taleb Rahmani. It was Zilverberg’s team-leading 22nd victory of the season.
After the Panthers grabbed a 7-4 lead, SDSU took the lead for good by winning the next three matches to go ahead 14-7. David Kocer, the 12th-ranked wrestler at 174 pounds, started the streak with a 15-3 major decision over Tommy O’Brien for his 99th career victory. Martin Mueller at 184 pounds and 11th-ranked Nate Rotert at 197 pounds each won by decision.
Pitt pulled to within a point at 14-13 with two bouts to go as heavyweight Ryan Solomon and 125-pounder L.J. Bentley each won by decision.
However, SDSU put an emphatic stop to the Panthers’ upset bid. What figured to be a marquee matchup between top-ranked Seth Gross and 10th-ranked Dom Forys of Pittsburgh never materialized as Gross lived up to his top billing by recording a takedown and trio of four-point near-falls in the first period for a 14-0 lead. Gross finished off his 16-0 technical fall victory with a takedown 20 seconds into the second period after a neutral start.
Needing only to avoid being pinned to win the dual, Henry Pohlmeyer trailed 1-0 entering the third period against the Panthers’ Nick Zanetta. Pohlmeyer, who rode out the entire second period from the top position, escaped early in the third period, took Zanetta down and put him to his back for a pin 35 seconds into the final stanza to seal the Jackrabbit victory.
The Jackrabbits will go for a program-record 13th consecutive dual victory Sunday afternoon at Big 12 Conference rival West Virginia. Action is set to begin at 2 p.m. Eastern Time (1 p.m. Central) at WVU Coliseum in Morgantown.
#12 South Dakota State 25, Pittsburgh 13
149: Robert Lee (Pitt) dec. Colten Carlson (SDSU), 10-3
157: #14 Luke Zilverberg (SDSU) major dec. Taleb Rahmani (Pitt), 10-2
165: Jake Wentzel (Pitt) major dec. Logan Peterson (SDSU), 12-2
174: #12 David Kocer (SDSU) major dec. Tommy O’Brien (Pitt), 15-3
184: Martin Mueller (SDSU) dec. Gregg Harvey (Pitt), 9-7
197: #11 Nate Rotert (SDSU) dec. Zach Bruce (Pitt), 4-3
285: Ryan Solomon (Pitt) dec. Alex Macki (SDSU), 7-0
125: L.J. Bentley (Pitt) dec. Connor Brown (SDSU), 5-2
133: #1 Seth Gross (SDSU) tech. fall #10 Dom Forys (Pitt), 16-0 [3:20]
141: Henry Pohlmeyer (SDSU) def. Nick Zanetta (Pitt), by fall 5:36
* Friday’s dual marked the first-ever meeting on the wrestling mat between SDSU and Pittsburgh
* The Jackrabbits previously won 12 consecutive duals during the 1985-86 and 2015-16 seasons
* Zilverberg recorded his 92nd career victory to move into a tie with Josh Sammons (1994-97) for 18th place on the SDSU career wins list
* Rotert upped his career victories total to 91 in reaching the 20-win mark for the fourth consecutive season
* Gross improved to 19-1 overall and stayed unbeaten at 133 pounds this season in recording his sixth win by technical fall during the 2017-18 campaign