#ACCWrestle Championship Blog

Colin Sisk brings you updates throughout the 2015 #ACCWrestle Championship in Pittsburgh, Pa.




125: In a match marked with a lot of offensive chances and only a few times to capitalize, Joey Dance of Virginia Tech was able to make just enough offense happen, and recorded a 6-2 victory, marking his first ACC Championship. 




133: Though the Cavaliers fell in their first championship bout, George DiCamillo of Virginia reversed that trend with authority. The now 2-time ACC champion was able to be aggressive on offense and dictate the pace throughout much of the match, leading to a 12-6 victory over the upset-minded 6-seed Mitch Finesilver. 




141: Devin Carter entered today's championship as a 3-time ACC champion. He leaves today as only the 9th student-athlete to be a 4-time ACC Wrestling champion, as he won a commanding 11-3 major decision against Joey Ward of North Carolina. A match marked by tons of offensive output, Carter was able to put on a takedown clinic of sorts as he got his 4th crown.




 149: In the first of four finals matches that would feature a Pitt wrestler, the battle between Pitt's Mikey Racciato and North Carolina's Christian Barber did not dissappoint. Needing sudden victory to settle a tied score, Racciato was able to sneak in on a leg and convert to win his first-ever ACC Championship, and give the home crowd something to cheer about, winning by a final score of 3-1. 




 157: To win one conference title is challenging, to win two is a serious feat. To consider a third is mind-boggling, but that is just what Virginia Tech's Nick Brascetta did. Facing off against the third-seeded Andrew Atkinson of Virginia, Brascetta set the pace early on in the match, and proved that at 157 pounds the best wrestler in the commonwealth of Virginia resided in Blacksburg, not Charlottesville. With a 8-4 explosion of offense in the third period, Brascetta won by a 13-4 major decision and claimed his third ACC championship.




 165:Having faced off on February 7th, Virginia's Nick Sulzer and North Carolina's Ethan Ramos were familiar with achother. They were so evenly matched, in fact, that the match just a month ago went to sudden victory, where Ramos came away with the win. Tonight would turn out differently, however, as Sulzer was able to turn an early 2-1 lead into an eventual 5-2 victory. The win gave Sulzer his second consecutive ACC Championship.





 174: Earlier this season Virginia's Blaise Butler and Pitt's Tyler Wilps faced off in a dual that featured two top-ten wrestlers, a dual that Wilps won 6-2. This time around the result was a bit smaller in magnitude, but Wilps was able to walk away with the 3-1 victory and his second consecutive ACC championship. He is the first Pitt wrestler to win two ACC Championships, and was able to hold off a late flurry of offense from Butler to retain his crown.






184: In another rematch from an earlier dual, Pitt's Max Thomusseit and Duke's Jacob Kasper faced off as the Panthers sought their third ACC championship in as many matches tonight. After a hotly contested first period that ended with a video review that confirmed a non-score for Kasper, Thomusseit was able to finish the match on an offensive tear, winning by major decision, 14-6. With the win, the Panthers secured ACC Championships from all three of their top-seeded wrestlers, a feat matched on this night only by Virginia Tech. 





 197: This matchup featured another rematch from dual season, as Duke's Connor Hartmann defeated Virginia's Zach Nye by a mark of 5-3 on January 16th. In a closely contested battle that saw scrambles, tons of offensive chances, and a late flurry scores to help Hartmann win his first ACC Championship by a 6-5 margin. Hartmann became the 1st champion for Duke since 2010, and became the 30th in their program's history. 





285: 49-0. That was the run that NC State's Nick Gwiazdowski was on prior to stepping on the mat for the 285 pound championship bout against Pitt's Ryan Solomon. That run included the 2014 ACC Championship and the 2014 NCAA Championship at 285, and nothing was going to change this night. Using a wide array of offensive skills Gwiazdowski cruised to a 13-3 major decision, although Solomon was the first opponent in ACC competition that Gwiazdowski did not pin (he had previously pinned Solomon in 1:56 on February 14). Gwiazdowski brought NC State its only championship of the night, and solidified his position entering the NCAA Championships.









Place School Points Finalists
1 Virginia 85.5 6
2 Pitt 71.0 4
3 Virginia Tech 59.5 3
4 Duke 44.0 3
5 North Carolina 42.0 3
6 NC State 31.0 1


 Most Outstanding Wrestler: Tyler Wilps, Pittsburgh 174 lbs.




125: Needing sudden victory to finish it off, Pitt's Dom Forys was able to get a takedown and nearfall points in the first session to notch an 11-7 victory and earn his first career trip to the NCAA Championships over Joe Deangelo of NC State.

133: In a match that was back and forth throughout, riding time points helped to seal the victory for North Carolina's Troy Heilmann over Virginia Tech's Kevin Norstrem, 3-2. It will be his first trip to the NCAA Championships.

141: In a high-scoring matchup, Joe Spisak of Virginia earned the 9-7 victory over NC State's Kevin Jack, and with that his third trip to the NCAA Championships.

149: A fast-paced, aggressive match led to the only fall of the consolation finals, Duke's Marcus Cain avenged an earlier 8-3 loss to TJ Miller of Virginia in the opening round today earning the fall in 3:20. It marks Cain's first trip to the NCAA Championships.

157: This match featured another home crowd favorite rising to the occasion, as Pitt's Ronnie Garbinsky earned a 5-1 decision over Duke's Immanuel Kerr-Brown. While the weight class features only 2 automatic qualifying bids for the ACC, the match was a high-energy affair throughout.

165: The Panthers kept their momentum rolling as this time it was Troy Reaghard of Pitt who was able to earn a 6-2 victory over Jake Faust of Duke. The win for Reaghard marks the first time that the redshirt senior will be at the NCAA Championships.

174: In a match where both wrestlers were assured NCAA qualifier status, Virginia Tech's Zach Epperly was able to create just enough offense to have a 3-1 decision over John Michael Staudenmayer of North Carolina. In the fifth-place match to determine the final qualifier from the ACC out of this weight division, Peter Renda of NC State was able to build an early lead and cruise to a 6-0 victory over Trey Adamson of Duke, giving Renda a trip to St. Louis.

184: There are only 2 NCAA allocations from the ACC at 184 pounds, so this match was purely for third place in the ACC. North Carolina's Scott Marmoll was able to use some early offense to his advantage, and grinded his way to an 8-5 victory over Virginia's Tyler Askey.

197: With a win here, Pitt had the chance to go 4-4 in the consolation finals, and Nick Bonaccorsi proved worthy of the challenge. In a match that went to double overtime, Bonaccorsi was able to ride his opponent out in the end to secure a 3-2 victory over Jared Haught of Virginia Tech. However, Bonaccorsi was not rewarded with an NCAA bid, because there are only 2 bids for the ACC at 197.

285: At heavyweight, Ty Walz did not have the chance to win his way into the NCAA Championship as an automatic qualifier. That did not stop him, however, from avenging an earlier last-second upset by Pitt's Ryan Solomon, as he was attacking early and often. That attack led to an eventual 12-6 decision and win for Walz over Virginia's Patrick Gillen, giving Tech bragging rights in the commonwealth at the heavyweight class.


Next up...FINALS!

Place School Points Finalists
1 Virginia 79.5 6
2 Pitt 61.0 4
3 Virginia Tech 48.5 3
4 North Carolina 43.0 3
5 Duke 41.0 3
6 NC State 27.0 1
















5:00 Update

We're officially into the consolation finals.

197: In the 197 consolation semis, Jared Haught of Virginia Tech came back after an overtime bout earlier to get an 8-3 victory over Chip Ness of North Carolina, while Nick Bonaccorsi battled to a 4-1 victory over Michael Boykin of NC State. 

285: After two tough regulation semifinals, the consolation semifinals gave the high seeds a chance to rectify their losses, and they did. Ty Walz of Virginia Tech earned a 11-4 decision over Frank Abbondanza of North Carolina, while Patrick Gillen of Virginia won a 6-1 decision over Brendan Walsh of Duke.


4:30 Update


The consolations continue and the team leaderboard is shaking up again.

157:  Tightly contested semis result in a Pitt/Duke final. Immanuel Kerr-Brown of Duke defeated Christopher Mears of North Carolina in a 6-4 decision, while Ronnie Garbinsky of Pitt edged out Chad Pyke of NC State by a 2-1 margin. Both wrestlers will fight for the last NCAA slot at 157.

165:The Panthers and Blue Devils will meet again in the 165 consolation finals, as Jake Faust of Duke and Troy Reaghard both defeated their consolation semi opponents by 4-3 margins. Faust held off Chad Strube of Virginia Tech, while Reaghard knocked off the fifth-seeded Max Rohskopf of NC State. 

174: At 174 the third and fourth seeds will compete for the consolation final. Zach Epperly of Virginia Tech defeated Peter Renda of NC State by a 4-2 margin, while John Michael Staudenmayer racked up a major decision by a mark of 12-3 over Trey Adamson of Duke. 

184: North Carolina and Virginia will each send a wrestler to the consolation finals. Scott Marmoll of UNC defeated Nicky Hall of NC State by a 3-1 decision, while Tyler Askey of Virginia ran up a 18-7 major decision against Antavian Leary of Virginia Tech. 



Place School Points Finalists
1 Virginia 71.5 6
2 Pitt 50.0 4
3 Virginia Tech 39.5 3
4 Duke 37.0 3
5 North Carolina 36.0 3
6 NC State 27.0 1








4:00 Update

We're deep into the consolation semifinals, and two wrestlers have already punched their tickets to St. Louis

125: In the two consolation semifinals, Joe Deangelo (21-5 technical fall) defeated Thayer Atkins to reach the third-place bout, while the host Panthers had Dom Forys (Fall, 2:55) pin Cody Karns of North Carolina to advance to the last match of the weight class prior to the championship bout tonight. The Deangelo/Forys matchup will determine the third and final ACC representative at 125 pounds in the NCAA Championships.

133: Two tightly contested matches helped set up a UNC/Virginia Tech consolation final to determine the final 133 pounder to represent the ACC in St. Louis. Nick Heilmann got a late takedown on Pitt's Nick Zanetta to force overtime, and then got a second takedown in sudden victory to earn the 5-3 win, while in the other semifinal Kevin Norstrem also earned a late takedown to gain the 6-4 final advantage over Bryce Meredith of NC State. 

141: In two matches that would decide NCAA qualifiers, NC State and Virginia earned 2 more national qualifiers to their rosters. Kevin Jack of NC State racked up a 15-0 victory over Duke's Evan Botwin, while Joe Spisak of Virginia pinned Pitt's Ben Ross in 4:21. With 4 bids from 141 to the NCAAs, both consolation finalists have punched their tickets, and will now battle for bragging rights and 3rd place in the ACC tonight.

149: Another upset riled the bracket, with Virginia Tech's Sal Mastriani (#11 Intermat) being pinned by Virginia's TJ Miller in 2:39. In the other consolation semi, Marcus Cain of Duke earned a 10-0 major decision against Sam Speno of NC Stae, setting up the Duke/Virginia matchup in the 3rd place bout to determine the final NCAA slot for that weight class.





Place School Points Finalists
1 Virginia 66.5 6
2 Pitt 44.5 4
3 Virginia Tech 37 3
4 North Carolina 32.5 3
5 Duke 31.5 3
6 NC State 27 1



3:00 Update

We are officially through the semifinals, and the drama was at incredible heights over the last three weight classes.

184: We'll have a 1-2 final at 184, as Max Thomusseit of Pitt (#2 Intermat) racked up a 19-8 major decision against Tyler Askey of Virginia, and Jacob Kasper of Duke earned a tight 6-4 decision against Nicky Hall of NC State. It marks the 4th time in Thomusseit's career tat he has earned a trip to the NCAA championships. 

197: The bracket may read a 1-2 final in this weight class, but it was anything but assured. Top-seeded Connor Hartmann (#7 Intermat) defeated Michael Boykin of NC State by a narrow 4-3 margin to lock up his spot in the finals and in St. Louis, while the other semifinal was highly dramatic. In an all-commonwealth semifinal, Zach Nye of Virginia defeated Jared Haught of Virginia Tech in double overtime by a final margin of 7-3, with Nye securing near-fall points in the second sudden victory and overtime segments to earn himself a trip to St. Louis.

285: Pitt found their fourth finalist of the day from the heavyweight division, with Ryan Solomon securing a takedown in the final seconds to knock off Ty Walz of Virginia Tech (#8 Intermat) by a 3-2 margin. On the other side of the bracket, Nick Gwiazdowski of NC State continued his dominance, earning a fall in 2:29, the fastest fall of the five that we've had today in Pittsburgh.


The team standings have cleared up, with Virginia and Pitt at the top of the standings

Place School Points Finalists
1 Virginia 62 6
2 Pitt 40 4
3 Virginia Tech 34 3
4 North Carolina 30 3
5 Duke 28 3
6 NC State 19














2:30 Update

The team race is coming into a more clear shape, and there will be no shortage of drama coming down the stretch.

165: The top seeds of the bracket were dominant in this weight class, as we'll have a 1 and 2 final this evening. Ethan Ramos of North Carolina (#12 Intermat) got the fall over Max Rohskopf of NC State in 5:52, while Nick Sulzer of Virginia (#4 Intermat) was able to earn a 12-2 win over Chad Strube of Virginia Tech. 9#8 I

174: The host Panthers now have two finalists for this evening, as Tyler Wilps (#8 Intermat) defeated John Michael Staudenmayer of North Carolina 6-2. He has now earned 3 consecutive NCAA appearances, and will meet Virginia's Blaise Butler (#6 Intermat), who knocked off Zach Epperly of Virginia Tech by a mark of 8-4.


Place School Points
1 Virginia 53
2 Virginia Tech 34
3 North Carolina 30
4 Pitt 22
5 Duke 10
6 NC State 8




2:00 Update

149: The top-seed from the host Panthers took care of business, as Mikey Racciato was able to defeat Marcus Cain of Duke by a 16-9 margin, earning a spot in the finals and a trip to the NCAA championship. He will face off against Christian Barber of North Carolina in the finals, who upended the second-seeded Sal Mastriani of Virginia Tech by a 6-3 margin in overtime.

157: We'll have an all-commonwealth final at this class, as Nick Brascetta of Virginia Tech and Andrew Atkinson of Virginia won their way to finals appearances. Brascetta downed Pitt's Ronnie Garbinsky 7-2, while Atkinson upset the second-seeded Immanuel Kerr-Brown of Duke by an 8-5 mark. Both victorious wrestlers have earned trips to the NCAA Championships. 







1:30 PM Update

Things are heating up both outside the "Pete" as the locals call the building we're located today and on the mats as we've reached the semifinal rounds of the ACC Chapmionships.

125: We had our third fall of the day in the first semifinal, as top-seeded Joey Dance of Virginia Tech got Pitt's Dom Forys on his back and pinned in 5:56. Dance punches his NCAA ticket and advances to the finals, where he will face off with Nick Hermann, who knocked off the second-seeded Joe Deangelo of NC State in a 12-8 overtime decision which earned him a trip to St. Louis for NCAAs. 

133: One match was fairly clear cut, with top-seed George Dicamillo of Virginia winning by major decision 15-3 over Bryce Meredith of NC State. Video review was required to in the other semifinal, as a late score in the second period was taken off the board when video showed it did not happen in time. That would matter immensely as the sixth-seed Mitch Finesilver came back to knock off the second seed Troy Heilmann of North Carolina by a 5-3 decision. Both Dicamillo and Finesilver punched tickets to the NCAA championship.

141: In a matchup of Triangle wrestlers, North Carolina's Joseph Ward earned a 6-1 decision over NC State's Kevin Jack to make his way to the finals, while Virginia Tech's Devin Carter continued his dominance with a 16-6 major decision over Virginia's Joe Spisak to lock in his finals spot. Both Ward and Carter are guaranteed trips to NCAAs with their finals appearances.








1:00 PM Update 

We're just out of the first-round bouts here from the Petersen Events Center, and the scoreboard is as tight as you could want it to be in the team race.

197:  Both higher seeds advanced in the bracket, as Jared Haught of Virginia Tech defeated Pitt's Nick Bonaccorsi 4-2, and Michael Boykin of NC State bested North Carolina's Chip Ness by the same margin. Boykin advances to face the top seed Connor Hartmann of Duke (#7 Intermat), while Haught squares off with Zach Nye of Virginia (#19 Intermat).

285: The host Panthers got a victory by 6-4 decision, as Ryan Solomon defeated Duke's Brendan Walsh to advance to the semis to face Ty Walz (#8 Intermat) of Virginia Tech. In the other bout, Patrick Gillen of Virginia bested North Carolina's Frank Abbondanza by a 9-1 mark, so Gillen will face the undefeated Nick Gwiazdowski of NC State (#1 Intermat and defending NCAA Champion) in the semis.







Scoreboard Update after the first round:

Place School Points
1 NC State 8
2 Virginia 8
3 Pittsburgh 4
4 Virginia Tech 4
5 Duke 2
6 North Carolina 2


12:30 PM Update 

The action has broadly matched the expectations of seed-lines thus far, and the team race is tightening up nicely to make for an interesting afternoon. 

174: The weight class started off in a big way, with Virginia Tech's Zach Epperly recording a 16-3 major decision over Duke's Trey Adamson to advance to the Semis. Epperly will face Virginia's Blaise Butler (#7 ranking from Intermat). On the other mat, John Michael Staudenmayer of North Carolina recorded a 3-0 victory over NC State's Peter Renda, which gives him a semi-final meeting with Pitt's Tyler Wilps (#8 Intermat ranking). 

184: NC State's Nicky Hall was able to record a major decision against Virginia Tech's Antavian Leary 11-2, and he will face Jacob Kasper of Duke in the Semis. Virginia has found their groove, as Tyler Askey notched an 8-1 decision over North Carolina's Scott Marmoll to earn the right to face top-seeded Max Thommuseit (#2 Intermat ranking).







Team Scoreboard Update Through 184 

Place School Points
1 NC State 7
2 Virginia 6
3 Pittsburgh 3
4 Virginia Tech 3
5 Duke 2
6 North Carolina 2


12:00 PM Update 

Restuls have been pouring in, as have the fans here in Pittsburgh, and the early team scoreboard is starting to take shape.

149: We've seen the top seeds advance in this weight class, as fourth seeded Marcus Cain of Duke beat TJ Miller of Virginia 8-3, and Christian Barber of North Carolina defeated Sam Speno of NC State by a 5-2 mark. Cain will face top-seeded Mikey Racciatto of Pitt, with Barber facing Virginia Tech's Sal Mastriani.

157: As we move into the middle weights, Virginia's Andrew Atkinson edged NC State's Chad Pyke by a 4-3 decision, and in the other Semi, Ronnie Garbinsky of host Pitt defeated Christopher Mears of North Carolina by a 5-2 decision. Garbinsky advances to face Virginia Tech's Nick Brascetta, while Atkinson will go up against Immanuel Kerr-Brown of Duke.

165: Pitt's Troy Reaghard put up a valiant effort, but Virginia Tech's Chad Strube was too much, as Strube advanced by a 5-3 decision. Strube will advance to face the second-seeded Nick Sulzer of Virginia (#4 in the nation at 165). In the other bout, fifth-seeded Max Rohskopf of NC State knocked off the fourth-seed Jake Faust of Duke by a 3-0 decision. Rohskopf will face top-seeded Ethan Ramos of North Carolina later today.








The team scoreboard looks like this after the first six weight classes.

Place School Points
1 NC State 5
2 Virginia 5
3 Pittsburgh 3
4 Duke 2
5 North Carolina 1
6 Virginia Tech 1


11:30 AM Update 


The action is underway, and we have already seen 2 falls and the first upset of the day! It's going to be a fast and furious day here from the Petersen Events Center if this morning has been any indication.

125: We opened up at 125 pounds today, with the first fall of the day going to Nick Herrmann of Virginia at 5:54 over Cody Karns of UNC. In the other first round bout Dom Forys of Pitt won by major decision 14-4. Both will advance to the Semis (Herrmann will face Joe Deangelo of NC State while Forys gets the top-seeded Joey Dance of Virginia Tech).

133: At 133 the bouts were much closer, and we had our first upset of what might be many today. Mitch Finesilver of Duke, the 6 seed, knocked off Kevin Norstrem of Virginia 4-3 to advance to the semis, where he will face Troy Heilmann of North Carolina. In the other bout, NC State's Bryce Meredith defeated Pitt's Nick Zanetta by a 6-2 decision, and he will face George DiCamillo of Virginia in the Semis. 

141: The second fall of the day came at 141, where Kevin Jack of NC State pinned Ben Ross of Pitt in 3:21; Jack will face Joseph Ward of North Carolina in one semi-final. The other bout was closely contested, with Joe Spisak of Virginia winning over Evan Botwin 3-1. Spisak will take on top-seeded Devin Carter of Virginia Tech. 







Preview: 10:30 AM Update




The wrestlers are out on the mats warming up, and we are just about 30 minutes from the start of first round matches here at the 61st Annual ACC Wrestling Championships from the Petersen Events Center in Pittsburgh, PA. The competition will be intense as #10 Virginia Tech looks to win its third consecutive league crown, while #17 NC State, #18 Virginia and #25 Pitt all look to unseat the Hokies. 

Stacked Classes

This year's championships feature two weight classes that have three or more competitors ranked in the top 20 of Intermat rankings (141 points has 4 wrestlers, 174 pounds has 3), and three weight classes with two ranked wrestlers in that same poll (149 pounds, 165 pounds, 197 pounds, and heavyweight). 

Returning Champions and Runners-Up

This year there are four wrestlers looking to repeat as ACC Champions, with Tyler Wilps (2014 and 2015:174- Pitt), Nick Sulzer (2014 and 2015:165- Virginia), Blaise Butler (2014 and 2015: 157-Virginia Tech), and Nick Gwiazdowski (2014 and 2015: 285- NC State) all attempting to go back to back. There are also three ACC runners-up from last season looking to avenge defeats and climb to the top of the podium in Zach Nye (2014 and 2015: 197- Virginia), John Michael Staudenmayer (2014: 165/2015: 174- North Carolina), and Max Thomusseit (2014 and 2015: 184- Pitt).

Perfect Performances

There have been eight wrestlers that have made it through the gauntlet of the ACC dual schedule without a blemish to their name, and each sits as the number one seed in their respective weight classes.




ACC Points

Nick Gwiazdowski

NC State



Joey Dance

Virginia Tech



George DiCamillo




Mikey Racciato




Max Thomusseit




Ethan Ramos

North Carolina



Nick Brascetta

Virginia Tech



Conner Hartman




NCAA Allocations

Just a week ago, the NCAA announced the qualifier allocations for the 2015 Division I Wrestling Championships, to be held in St. Louis, Missouri at the Scottrade Center from March 19-21. In total, the ACC received the fourth-most qualifying slots, selected for 29 total wrestlers to be slotted across the weight classes.


























For more information on the 2015 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, visit http://www.ncaa.com/championships/wrestling/d1


Wrestlers Honored for Academic Prowess

Two wrestlers competing today were recently named recipients of a 2015 Weaver-James-Corrigan Award, which are scholarships given by the ACC to recognize student-athletes who have performed with distinction in both the classroom and their respective sport, while demonstrating exemplary conduct in the community. The award is for $5,000 and will go toward graduate education plans. Pitt's Tyler Wilps and Virginia Tech's Devin Carter were selected to join 43 other ACC student-athletes who will be pursuing graduate education after their athletic careers are completed, and named recipients of the exclusive honor.