The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Saturday May 27th

UNC opens fall schedule in Virginia

The North Carolina wrestling team’s performance at the Hokie Open in Salem, Va., on Sunday, did not produce any first place finishes.

But coach C.D. Mock believes that there were a lot of positive takeaways from the tournament.

“I think it’s a really good start,” Mock said. “Our advice going in was that this is the beginning of the year, not the end. We’re not as worried about the result as we are about how get there.”

UNC sent 22 wrestlers to the fifth annual Hokie Open, an event that the Tar Heels have attended since its inception. Of the North Carolina wrestlers competing, 13 represented the Tar Heels, while nine wrestlers competed unattached.

At the Hokie Open, UNC faced a wide range of wrestling talent. Some of the competing schools, such as Indiana, Virginia Tech and Rutgers, will probably be ranked, Mock said.

A couple of the unattached freshman wrestlers fared well.

Nathan Kraisser finished fifth in the 125-pound weight class, while Joey Ward finished second in the 133-pound class.

Sophomore Evan Henderson finished third in the 141-pound weight class, and redshirt sophomore Antonio Giorgio finished second in the 197-pound weight class.

“As a whole, we’re getting there,” Henderson said. “Collectively, we have to start breaking people and making them quit. That’s how we will win matches and build our team up.”

Like several other wrestlers, Giorgio moved up a weight class — he used to wrestle in the 184-pound weight class — in the offseason, and this open was his first live action in a new weight class.

“I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect (at 197 pound),” Giorgio said. “I’m happy with my performance, but I would’ve liked to have done better.”

Mock said he felt that while there wasn’t a whole lot of success in the first-place column, the team showed a lot of improvement in the tournament.

“You don’t get better by not making mistakes,” Mock said. “You get better by making mistakes, figuring out what you’re doing wrong and then fixing it.

Even though it’s early in the season, Mock identified some of the strengths of the team for this year. He said that the team’s overall fitness and conditioning is very high, and the team is focused on dominating the opponent physically and mentally.

At the Hokie Open, the Tar Heels exhibited excitement and a fresh attitude for the season.

“We’re really hungry, Henderson said. “And we want to go out and show what we’ve got.

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