RALEIGH — Twenty seconds.That’s all that separated North Carolina’s Kyle Kiss from a place in the 165-pound finals of the ACC Wrestling Championships and a bid to the NCAA Tournament in Omaha.
For two weeks, coach C.D. Mock tortured the North Carolina wrestling team with practice twice a day. The wrestlers met in the morning to run sprints in Eddie Smith Field House and up the stairs of Kenan Stadium. They came back in the afternoon to practice. Then they ran some more.
People love and respect a man who rises from the ashes.Ziad Haddad first heard those words from his uncle following his freshman year. They reverberated in his head like a challenge, but one he wasn’t used to.Less than a year later, those words are his story.
In a sport as physical as wrestling, injuries are expected, not unfortunate.But even in a sport where bumps and bruises are as much a part of the game as mat burn and cutting weight, this year’s Tar Heels are unusually unlucky.“Injuries,” UNC coach C.D. Mock said. “I’ve never seen so many.”
Sophie Grabinski and Sanaz Marand, seniors on the North Carolina women’s tennis team, lost in the doubles championship match Sunday at the Freeman Memorial Tennis Championships in Las Vegas.The duo made a lengthy run, but ultimately fell in the doubles championship to Stanford’s Mallory Burdette and Stacey Tan, 8-6.
It started like most matches for Thomas Scotton.A quick shot. An early takedown.The junior 157-pound wrestler was left with the ankle of his fleeing opponent — and that was all he needed to yank Duke’s Chris Piccolella back into the circle to secure two points.
The North Carolina wrestling team settled into the newly renovated Carmichael Auditorium quite nicely Tuesday night, coasting to a 26-12 victory against Duke.“I told them before we came out here that this is our new house and we need to let them guys know this is our new house — and it’s our house,” coach C.D. Mock said.
After a three-meet trip to upstate New York failed to yield a win for the North Carolina wrestling team, the Tar Heels returned home Friday night with hopes of righting the ship in their ACC opener against Maryland.
The North Carolina wrestling team came into Sunday’s ACC Challenge missing three starters. Still, the Tar Heels managed to win dual meets against Gardner-Webb and No. 16 American University, and just barely missed a clean sweep against Bucknell in the finale.“I’m extremely pleased with the way my guys wrestled,” coach C.D. Mock said.
Athletic renovations can be seen all around campus whether it's the construction on Carmichael Auditorium or the opening of the baseball season at the newly renovated Boshamer Stadium.
The eighth loss of the season for the North Carolina wrestling team might carry the most substance moving toward the ACC Tournament. The Tar Heels fell 24-15 to No. 4 Nebraska on Saturday night in the Smith Center in a match that was closer than the score indicated.
In 2008 the North Carolina wrestling team sent two representatives to nationals. Both of them then-juniors Justin Dobies and Keegan Mueller failed to reach All-America status. This season the two seniors are looking to make it back to nationals and both are well on their way.
Youth beat experience Sunday at Fetzer Gym. Virginia Tech (17-1 2-0 ACC) took a 19-15 decision from North Carolina (10-7 3-1) while starting no one but underclassmen. The match figured to rest on the back-to-back matchups of top-25 grapplers weighing in at 141 and 149 pounds.
Vincent Ramirez was in deep trouble. Down 0-3 in the second period of Friday's matchup with Virginia's Nick Nelson Ramirez looked as though he might give up another takedown and fall further behind.
The North Carolina basketball teams weren't the only ones busy during the winter break. Several of the Tar Heels' Olympic sports travelled across the country to compete in some key match-ups.
Keegan Mueller answered any questions about his bum shoulder and banged-up knee Saturday. The senior 165-pounder shined on a dismal day for a Tar Heel team that went 0-3 against Michigan State Wisconsin and Illinois in the third annual ACC/Big Ten Clash at Eddie Smith Field House.