Even with the bright lights and packed crowd, the North Carolina wrestling team couldn’t pull off the upset against No. 9 N.C. State (9-1, 2-0 ACC) in the “Brawl at the Hall.” While the Tar Heels (5-5, 0-2 ACC) were competitive, the Wolfpack still came away from Memorial Hall with a comfortable 19-11 victory.
Early on, neither team could take a significant advantage, as both teams split the opening four bouts. Up 9-6, N.C. State had a chance to stretch the lead, but the Wolfpack were denied when UNC junior Danny Chaid secured a takedown in overtime to defeat Michael Macchiavello in the 197-pound match to keep the Tar Heels within striking distance.
In the 285-pound match, North Carolina had a chance to take its first lead over the Wolfpack. Cory Daniel (UNC) and Mike Kosoy (N.C. State) needed two sudden-death overtime periods to decide the bout, and a takedown by Kosoy extended the Wolfpack lead to 12-8.
Down 16-8, UNC first-year Nicholas Lirette upset No. 15 Jamal Morris in the 133-pound match to narrow the deficit to 16-11 with one match remaining. But needing a pin was a tall order for No. 3 Joey Ward, as he faced No. 2 Kevin Jack in the 141-pound bout. Jack dominated Ward and put any hope of a miracle comeback to rest with his decisive victory.
Who stood out?
As Chaid’s match went into overtime, he looked fresh while his opponent was showing signs of fatigue. Chaid was the aggressor from the beginning, and he was rewarded when he brought Macchaivello down on the mat to seal the win. Chaid raised his arms on stage and sent the crowd at Memorial Hall into an absolute frenzy, and for a moment it looked like the Tar Heels might have a chance to upset the Wolfpack.