For the Tar Heels, freshman Corey Mock and senior Thomas Scotton continued their early-season successes, while redshirt sophomore team captain Nick Shields appeared in his first dual meet since suffering a season-ending injury early last season.
While UNC fared worse at Rutgers, Mock was pleased with the effort he saw against a team that sent four ranked wrestlers to the mat on Sunday.
“Today I felt like we wrestled actually pretty well,” Mock said. “All of our guys wrestled for seven minutes, and they wrestled hard. We just wrestled a much better team than we are, and we got beat by the better team.”
A bright spot for UNC was freshman Antonio Giorgio’s performance. Giorgio picked up a 9-3 decision in the 184-pound match.
“He’s fun to watch,” Scotton said. “For a big guy, he can do some moves where I’m like, ‘Man, I can’t believe he moves like that.’ He’s knocking on the door. He’ll definitely progress as the season moves forward.”
The win for Giorgio came a day after he secured a technical fall against Hofstra in the first 197-pound match of his career. The freshman has compiled a 14-9 record thus far.
The only other Tar Heel decision came immediately after Giorgio’s win. Redshirt freshman Zac Bennett won his 197-pound bout against Michael Wagner, 3-1.
The Tar Heels (4-4) will have a shot at redemption Saturday when they host No. 12 Virginia Tech and Clarion at Carmichael Arena.
“We need to work hard this week,” Giorgio said. “We’re putting in way too much time to not be winning these matches.”
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