Coming off its conference win over Virginia last week, the No. 25 North Carolina wrestling team faced off against Pittsburgh in Carmichael Arena on Friday night. Although the Tar Heels started slow, they were able to turn the tide in the 141-pound matchup and never looked back for their second straight victory in a 26-10 win over the Panthers.
Pittsburgh started out hot with back-to-back wins from Junior L.J. Bentley and Senior Dom Forys to take an early 7-0 match lead. Then, the 141-pound division arrived on the mat and the crowd really came alive. Redshirt sophomore A.C. Headlee fought hard, holding the leg of his opponent twice in a close 2-2 matchup. The second time he was able to get ahold of the leg, he completed the takedown for the 4-2 victory in an overtime decision.
Redshirt senior Troy Heilman followed with a dominating 16-3 performance, moving the Tar Heels into a 7-7 tie in the overall match. The 157 pounders came in next, where UNC redshirt first-year Kennedy Monday won with an overtime takedown for the Tar Heels (8-8, 2-0) to hold a 10-7 lead at the intermission.
The Panthers regrouped during the break and won the next round over Clay Lautt to even up the score at 10-10. Then, redshirt senior Ethan Ramos brought the Tar Heels back into the lead with a crucial dominating pin performance that put North Carolina up by six. Redshirt junior Chip Ness followed and won a tough battle to increase the Tar Heel lead to nine and senior Danny Chaid in the 197-pound class moved UNC into a 23-10 controlling lead. In the heavyweight class, redshirt junior Cory Daniel secured the victory for the Tar Heels with an overtime takedown.