The Tar Heels also got three wins each from freshman Troy Heilmann at 133 pounds, and redshirt sophomore Christian Barber at 149 pounds. Their performance, combined with that of Henderson, consistently gave UNC early leads in Sunday’s dual matches — leads they refused to relinquish.
In UNC’s match against Buffalo, the Tar Heels won early matches on the way to a 26-12 victory that put the lead out of Buffalo’s reach before the final weight class had wrestled.
The same can be said for UNC’s last match against Clarion. UNC jumped out to a huge lead with wins in each of the first four weight classes. A loss at the 157-weight class was then followed by five more UNC victories, leading to a 32-4 victory for North Carolina .
“(Heilmann) at 133 did a fantastic job,” Coach C.D. Mock said, “and Evan Henderson again pretty much dominated his opponents.”
But sandwiched between the two big victories, UNC had to squeeze out a tight win.
Against Eastern Michigan, UNC jumped out to a similar hot start, winning three of the first four weight classes, but Eastern Michigan would fight back and win four of the final six weight classes. With this match much tighter than the other two, UNC needed big wins from its heavier weight classes. With redshirt sophomore John Staudenmayer earning a victory at 165 pounds, and redshirt freshman Scott Marmoll earning a major decision at 174 pounds, UNC got just what it needed, and squeaked by Eastern Michigan by a final score of 18-16 .
“Staudenmayer, we expect him to do well and he did,” Mock said. “Marmoll continues to improve, he’s a kid that if you asked me if he’d be starting at the beginning of the year I would’ve said no.”
Staudenmayer and Marmoll would also finish their days with unblemished records, and provided the much-needed wins on the back side of UNC’s lineup that allowed the Tar Heels to come away from Pittsburgh with three dual wins, pushing their team record above .500.
“This is a real confidence booster for us,” Henderson said. “We proved we can put everything together in one day and get three good wins.”
Mock says over and over that his team isn’t a good dual meet team. But with the conference season looming, Mock said rattling off three straight dual wins has UNC in the right position moving forward.