DURHAM, N.C.—Duke University senior Jacob Kasper picked up his 30th win of the season and the 99th of his career as the Blue Devils fell to Pittsburgh, 23-10, in a hard-fought ACC wrestling dual in Cameron Indoor Stadium Sunday afternoon.
Kasper avenged his regular season loss to Pittsburgh heavyweight Ryan Solomon with a 5-1 decision. The Blue Devil veteran led 1-0 after two periods and finished with a bang in the third as he was able to score nearfall points early in the period and tacked on two more at the end for the victory. He is now just the second Duke wrestler to posted a pair of 30-win seasons and he remains on pace to break the single-season record of 36 held by John Barone.
Duke falls to 6-6 overall and 1-3 against ACC foes, while the Panthers improve to 3-10 and 1-3 in league action. The loss stops a three-match win streak for the Blue Devils as they head into their ACC finale at rival UNC Feb. 14.
Pittsburgh jumped out to a big 14-3 lead with victories in four of the first five bouts. The Panthers notched bonus points with major decisions at 133 and 149 to bolster their scoring.
Redshirt junior Mitch Finesilver put the Blue Devils on the scoreboard with a tough 3-1 decision over Taleb Rahmani at 157. The nation’s No. 11-ranked wrestler scored a takedown early in the first, but quality defense from Taleb Rahmani kept Mitch from extending his lead. The victory was his 24th of the season and pushes him to 3-1 in ACC action.
Matt Finesilver added four points to the team score for the Blue Devils, picking up his ninth straight victory with a 12-3 major decision over Tommy O’Brien. Matt controlled the bout throughout and cruised to his 22nd win of the year as Duke cut into Pitt’s lead at 14-7.
The match at 184 was action packed as Duke rookie Kaden Russell came out of the gates fast and built a first-period lead against Gregg Harvey. The Pitt redshirt freshman and Russell traded scores over the final four minutes, but a strong third period for Harvey proved to be the difference in a 15-8 win for the Panthers.
With three matches left and Duke within striking distance of a team victory, Alec Schenk looked to get points up for the Blue Devils at 197. It was a close match until the end as Schenk went on the attack in the final period, but came up just short in the 4-2 decision and iced the win for Pitt despite two matches remaining.
Duke closes out ACC action Wednesday, Feb. 14 at No. 24 North Carolina. The first bout is set for 7 p.m., at Memorial Hall.
Pittsburgh 23, Duke 10
133: No. 11 Dom Forys (Pitt) major dec. Josh Finesilver (Duke), 16-6 [Pitt 4, Duke 0]
141: Nick Zanetta (Pitt) dec. Jeremiah Reitz (Duke), 4-1 [Pitt 7, Duke 0]
149: Robert Lee (Pitt) major dec. Brandon Leynaud (Duke), 9-0 [Pitt 11, Duke 0]
157: No. 11 Mitch Finesilver (Duke) dec. Taleb Rahmani (Pitt), 3-1 [Pitt 11, Duke 3]
165: Jake Wentzel (Pitt) dec. Zach Finesilver (Duke), 8-2 [Pitt 14, Duke 3]
174: Matt Finesilver (Duke) major dec. Tommy O’Brien (Pitt), 12-3 [Pitt 14, Duke 7]
184: Gregg Harvey (Pitt) decision Kaden Russell (Duke), 15-8 [Pitt 17, Duke 7]
197: Kellan Stout (Pitt) decision Alec Schenk (Duke), 4-2 [Pitt 20, Duke 7]
285: No. 4 Jacob Kasper (Duke) decision Ryan Solomon (Duke), 5-1 [Pitt 20, Duke 10]
125: LJ Bentley (Pitt) decision Thayer Atkins (Duke), 4-2 [Pitt 23, Duke 10]