As underdogs in eight of its matches, UNC knew it needed to win the two opening matches to set the tone for the competition.
With a chance to seize momentum early, the Tar Heels instead fell back into old habits. UNC not only dropped both games, but it gave up two major decisions and eight crucial points.
Down more than they could handle, the Tar Heels simply couldn’t pose any threat down the stretch.
“We’ve been struggling at (1)25 and (1)33 (pounds). Somebody’s going to have to step up. We’ve got to have some ownership and some leadership if we want to get where we’re going. There’s a lot that we have to improve on.” – Coach Coleman Scott on his team’s need to improve.
The Tar Heels are now 0-2 in the ACC, but it gets easier from here. UNC had to open ACC play by visiting the two teams (Virginia Tech and N.C. State) that will likely dominate the ACC this year. UNC should have more success against less difficult opponents going forward.
Three numbers that matter
5: While UNC has struggled of late, redshirt sophomore Ethan Ramos has now won five straight matches with four major decisions in that stretch.
14: The Tar Heels have now lost both of their ACC matches by at least 14 points.
1: N.C. State heavyweight Nick Gwiadowski is ranked No. 1 in the nation and has won two straight national championships. He put salt on UNC’s wounds by scoring a technical fall in the final match of the night.
The Tar Heels compete against Virginia at 1 p.m. on Feb. 6 in Charlottesville, Va.