Big 12 Championships
2009-Vacanti went 2-2 at the conference tournament to finish fourth. He won a 7-2 decision over Missouri’s Todd Schavrien in the pigtail round, but lost to No. 7 Nick Fanthorpe of Iowa State, 5-3, in the first round. Schavrien beat Vacanti 3-2 in the rematch, but the Husker claimed a 5-4 sudden victory over Oklahoma’s Brian Shelton in the challenge match.
2009-Vacanti wrestled to a 20-16 overall record and 8-8 dual mark in 2008-09, collecting four pins and three major decisions. He opened with a third-place showing at the Daktronics Open on Nov. 8, before wrestling in the Kaufman-Brand Open on Nov. 22 and splitting a pair of dual appearances on Nov. 28.
Vacanti asserted himself with a 6-3 record to place eighth at the Las Vegas Invitational on Dec. 6, picking up four bonus-point wins. Vacanti went 0-3 in his next three dual appearances, but rebounded to go 5-1 over his next six matches. He helped the Huskers pick up dual wins against South Dakota State, Maryland, Penn and Virginia Tech, while his 20-11 major decision over Missouri’s Taylor Crain gave the Huskers a 16-15 dual win against the Tigers. Vacanti also picked up dual wins against UNC Greensboro and North Carolina.
2008-Vacanti suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee early in the fall that put him out for the 2007-08 season.
2007-Vacanti was named NU’s Redshirt of the Year after a 17-2 season where he earned two individual championships and finished in the top-three twice.
In his first college tournament, Vacanti wrestled to a 6-1 record at the Harold Nichols Open on Nov. 11. Vacanti opened his career with a 13-3 major decision over Matt Chustz of William Penn.
Before Nebraska-Vacanti was the 13th four-time state champion in the history of Nebraska high school wrestling at Papillion-LaVista High School for Coach Jeff Kupfer. Vacanti wrestled to a 128-1 career record for the Monarchs and was ranked third among the nation’s 140-pounders by InterMat. In his 35-0 junior season, Vacanti pinned all 35 opponents he faced. Vacanti was named the 2006 Dave Schultz Award winner for the state of Nebraska.
The son of Chris and Lisa Vacanti, Matt was born in Omaha, Neb., on Sept. 1, 1988. He has one brother, Ryan and five sisters, Corey, Brooke, Katie, Lacey and Jacey. He is a sociology major at Nebraska.