PA Natives Hidlay, Renda, and Boykin Lead N.C. State Past Pitt, 23-9

PITTSBURGH, PA – Fourth-ranked North Carolina State showed its strength with a dominating win over Keith Gavin’s Pitt Panthers in front of a packed Fitzgerald Fieldhouse. Pennsylvania natives Hayden Hidlay (Mifflin County), Pete Renda Brandywine Heights), and Michael Boykin (Coatesville) all posted wins for the Wolfpack while Pitt’s wins came from Zach Bruce, LJ Bentley, and Dom Forys.

With the win, N.C. State improves to 13-1 while Pitt falls to 2-8 on the season.

The dual started at 149 and the Wolfpack got off to a hot start, winning five bouts to build a 17-0 lead going into the break. Pennsylvania native Hayden Hidlay was dominant in a 17-7 win over Pitt’s Taleb Rahmani, the defending 157 lb ACC champion.

“I felt like I wrestled well and kept my pace high throughout the match,” Hidlay said. “I knew that he’s funky and does some different things, so I just tried to keep my attacks clean and not give him a chance to create a scramble. I definitely made some mistakes but they weren’t mistakes that came from a lack of effort or anything like that. I was a little being over-aggressive at times and that’s something that we can easily fix in the room.”

Brandywine Heights alum Pete Renda picked up a solid 5-2 win over Gregg Harvey at 184 before Zach Bruce got Pitt on the board with a 5-0 win over Timmy Johnson at 197. Michael Boykin, a Coatesville native, swung the momentum back in N.C. State’s favor with a 5-3 win over #19 Ryan Solomon.

“I felt good out there, just a little tired,” Boykin said. “I think I just need to keep moving forward and stay on my offense more against good guys like Ryan. We came up north into the cold weather so my lungs got hit a little harder, but it was a good win for me and the team and we’re excited for the last stretch of the season.”

Pitt picked up back to back wins at 125 and 133 from LJ Bentley and Dom Forys, respectively. Forys won a wild, back and forth affair with #13 Tariq Wilson that saw each wrestler hold a lead at different points in the match. In the end, Forys had too much offense on his feet and was able to secure a 7-5 win to make the team score 20-9 in favor of the Wolfpack.

With the dual meet clinched, N.C. State chose to sit #2 Kevin Jack in favor of backup Jamel Morris against Pitt’s Nick Zanetta. Morris controlled the first two periods and looked to be on his way to an easy win, but Zanetta’s high pace paid some dividends as he was able to score three straight takedowns in a matter of 45 seconds to cut the deficit to 10-8 with 15 seconds left. Zanetta’s comeback bid fell just short, however, as Morris defended a desperation throw attempt by Zanetta in the final seconds that made the final bout score 12-8 and the final team score 23-9 in favor of the Wolfpack.

Pitt will be back in action next Friday at home against South Dakota State, while North Carolina State will next wrestle at home against North Carolina next Friday.

Final Results

149 – Donahue wbd (5-4) over Lee  – Team Score: NCSU 3, Pitt 0

157 –  Hidlay wbmd (17-7) over Rahmani – Team Score: NCSU 7, Pitt 0

165 – Hamann wbd (7-5) over Wentzel – Team Score: NCSU 10, Pitt 0

174 – Bullard wbmd (9-0) over O’Brien – Team Score: NCSU 14, Pitt 0

184 – Renda wbd (5-2) over Harvey – Team Score: NCSU 17, Pitt 0

197 – Bruce wbd (5-0) over Johnson – Team Score: NCSU 17, Pitt 3

285 – Michael Boykin wbd (5-3) over Solomon – Team Score: NCSU 20, Pitt 3

125 – Bentley wbd (4-3) over Cox – Team Score: NCSU 20, Pitt 6

133 – Forys wbd (7-5) over Wilson – Team Score: NCSU 20, Pitt 9

141 – Morris wbd (12-8) over Zanetta – Team Score: NCSU 23, Pitt 9

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