The No. 19 North Carolina wrestling team suffered a 27-9 defeat at the hands of No. 11 Arizona State in a heavyweight showdown on Saturday at Carmichael Arena.
North Carolina (6-7) was looking to get back on track after dropping two of three matches on Friday in the UNC Duals, also a home event.
However, UNC did not get off the start they would have liked dropping the first three matches. In the 125-pound weight class, James Szymanski lost 6-1 to the Sun Devils’ Josh Kramer.
The next match involved a major upset as No. 19 Zach Sherman fell in a decision to ASU’s Ali Naser. And Nico Villareal followed up Nasers’ victory with one of his own to put Arizona State out to a commanding 9-0 lead.
In the marquee matchup of the afternoon, UNC’s No. 4 Troy Heilmann defeated No. 11 Josh Maruca in a nail-biter, winning 9-8 to earn the Tar Heels’ first victory of the afternoon in the 149-pound weight class. The deciding point came with under 15 seconds left in the bout.
North Carolina was hopeful that first victory of the day could have led to some momentum to finish out the last six bouts, but the day continued to be dominated by the Sun Devils as the Tar Heels only went on to drop the following four bouts.
On a positive note, UNC did win the last two bouts of the afternoon including Danny Chaid who earned his ninth victory out of his last 10 bouts. Chip Ness earned his sixth straight victory of the season after trailing 5-3 in the first period, defeating Kordell Norfleet in the 184-pound class.
In the end, Arizona State won by a resounding score of 27-9 and won seven out of the 10 bouts.
North Carolina will have to right the ship to avoid a continuous fall in the rankings and will have a chance to get back to .500 next Friday when it takes on Rutgers in Piscataway, N.J.
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