The No. 25 North Carolina wrestling team entered Friday’s match against Virginia on a two-match losing streak, including a close 18-17 loss to Rutgers last week. The Tar Heels turned around their recent struggles in the ACC opener.
After a late comeback, the Tar Heels (7-8, 1-0 ACC) were able to come away with a 24-15 victory over the Cavaliers (3-6, 0-1 ACC).
UNC struggled in the first two matches, going down 12-0 to the Cavaliers. UNC finally put points on the board in the 141-pound group with a victory by No. 18 A.C. Headlee. No. 5 Troy Heilmann followed his teammate with a victory in the 149-pound class, making the score 12-6. No. 17 Kennedy Monday also won by decision in the 157-pound weight class to cut the deficit to just three points.
The Cavaliers struck back with a 5-1 win from Andrew Atkinson in the 165-pound weight class to make the score 15-9. Those points would be the last that the Cavaliers would score the rest of the meet as the Tar Heels strung off four straight match wins. The biggest Tar Heel wins were a 14-5 major decision from No. 13 Ethan Ramos in the 174-pound class and a 17-2 tech fall from No. 18 Chip Ness in the 184-pound class. No. 17 Danny Chaid and Cory Daniel won the last two matches in the 197- and 285-pound classes, respectively.
Who stood out?
It was the experienced trio of Ramos, Ness and Chaid that helped the Tar Heels make a late push to overcome an early deficit. It was Ramos' first match after missing six weeks due to an injury. His major decision victory was enough to swing the momentum of the match to help his team earn the win.