“Any time you have a guy like that who technically gives you momentum and then they go down like that, it can set your team back,” he said. “They recovered well, and, individually, each went out there and battled the best they could.”
A battle is what redshirt sophomore Christian Barber was in store for as he took the mat against Justin Van Hoose in the 149-pound match subsequent to Henderson’s loss .
Barber managed to pull off an escape in the third period to tie the score 1-1 at the end of regulation. The match then proceeded to two 30-second tiebreaker periods in which Barber was able to execute a reversal in the second period to walk away with a 4-3 win.
“It was definitely very tiring, but I still felt confident in the overtime matches,” Barber said. “I felt like I was in good shape, and I pulled out the win.”
Barber’s victory was one of three on the night for UNC as junior Alex Utley and sophomore Nathan Kraisser were able to maintain their recent success — both winning by decision.
Outside of the victories, the rest of the Tar Heels were able to grind it out in their matches to avoid giving up any bonus points.
Barber said the team wasn’t concerning itself with wins or losses in this match against a tough Cavalier squad, but it was instead looking to improve for the upcoming road ahead.
“It’s an end of the season match, so everyone’s trying to get prepared for ACCs and nationals,” Barber said. “Virginia is a tough team, and we had to go out there and just keep working, getting better.”
Separating the team from those postseason matches are four final dual meets — most notably a showdown on Tuesday against a rival Duke team the Tar Heels will be looking to extend a nine-game win streak against.
As to whether or not the inconsistency that has plagued the Tar Heels will rear its ugly head against their rival, Henderson said it wouldn’t.
“We’re going to beat them,” he said emphatically before a single question was asked.
“We don’t lose to Duke.”