With a 12-3 lead over Virginia, it looked like the North Carolina wrestling team was finally going to put it all together. A win would have given UNC two straight conference wins with a favorable match against Duke coming up. The middling program was poised to take a step forward.
But at the first sign of adversity, the Tar Heels (6-6, 1-3 ACC) folded and lost, 22-15, to the Cavaliers (9-5, 1-2 ACC) on Saturday even though they appeared to have the more talented side. The skill may have been there, but the focus, discipline and toughness were lacking.
“Talent is nothing in this sport,” head coach Coleman Scott said. “We didn’t deserve to win that match and we didn’t earn anything.”
In the first five bouts, North Carolina churned out four decisive victories. First-year Devin Kane set the tone right away with a near fall and dominated his match at 165 pounds, while sophomore Cory Daniel secured a winning decision with a takedown in the final period of the 285-pound match.
While it was a strong start, Scott was upset that his team left points on the board.