First-year Joe Heilmann was the first to hit the mat for the Tar Heels. After a scoreless first period, Heilmann dominated the second and third periods and earned a 4-0 win.
Next on the mat for the Tar Heels was redshirt senior Gary Wayne Harding, who secured a victory of his own using a couple of takedowns in the third period. Harding won his match 10-2 by major decision.
North Carolina redshirt first-year Jaime Hernandez started off fast with an impressive first period, scoring on two takedowns. He didn't stop there, securing another takedown in the second period and winning the match, 6-4.
Redshirt first-year No. 4 Austin O’Connor followed that up with a win of his own, his 24th of the season, to give North Carolina a convincing 16-0 lead.
Next up for the Tar Heels was redshirt sophomore Josh McClure, who faced Bucknell's No. 10 Zach Hartman. As time expired in the second period, McClure was able to grab a takedown and fight until the final whistle to beat Hartman, 3-1.
Bucknell would respond with a win in the 165-pound match, its first of the day. Bucknell’s D.J. Hollingshead defeated North Carolina’s Sawyer Davidson, 7-2.
Still, there would be no Bucknell comeback. Both redshirt sophomore Devin Kane and No. 14 Chip Ness secured victories for the Tar Heels. Kane beat his opponent 4-0, while Ness won by pinning his opponent with just one second left in the second period.
Though Bucknell’s Drew Phipps defeated North Carolina’s Brandon Whitman, 5-4, it was too little, too late for the Bison. Redshirt senior Cory Daniel capped the night for the Tar Heels, winning his match 16-6. That brought the final score to 31-6 – a decisive victory for the Tar Heels.
North Carolina vs. Pittsburgh
Heading into this match-up, North Carolina beat Pittsburgh in their last 3 duals. To start the competition, North Carolina’s Heilmann breezed to a 12-3 victory to start the day off right for the Tar Heels.
Next up was Harding, who faced No. 5 Micky Phillippi. Harding was able to take a 4-3 lead after the second period, but went on to lose the match, 8-4.
Following Harding was Hernandez, who lost his match, 8-2. That win gave Pittsburgh an early 7-4 lead.
O’Connor was up next. In the second period, he finished the match by pinning his opponent to secure the win.
Next on the mat was McClure, who fell to No. 12 Taleb Rahmani, 5-3. At the intermission, the two teams were deadlocked at 10 points apiece.
Next, Davidson was able to win a hard-fought match, 9-4. He was followed by Kane, who secured a victory of his own, 7-4. Next up was Ness, who lost to No.12 Nino Bonaccorsi, 7-5.
With one match left, both teams were tied, 16-16. In order for the Tar Heels to secure the victory, Daniel needed to beat No.13 Demetrius Thomas. After a scoreless first period, fans were on the edge of their seats.
At the start of the third period, Thomas led, 5-1. Daniel bounced back and tied the match at 5, and head into overtime. In overtime, Daniel overpowered his opponent and secured the take down to win the match, 7-5. With that, North Carolina won the hard-fought dual, 19-16.
Who stood out?
Redshirt-senior Daniel stood out, winning both of his matches this weekend. On Saturday, Daniel tied his match in the third period, and forced overtime. In extra time, Daniel was able to take down his opponent, and secure the win for his team.
When was it decided?
The Tar Heels started off fast against Bucknell in the Friday match. After North Carolina’s McClure defeated Hartman, it seemed that the Tar Heels had all of the momentum. Although Bucknell won two of the next five, the Tar Heels rolled to a 31-6 victory.
Conversely, the dual between the Tar Heels and Panthers was not decided until the very end. With the teams tied at 16, Daniel was able to beat his opponent in overtime and secure the UNC victory, 19-16.
Why does it matter?
North Carolina was able to beat another ranked ACC opponent. This was the Tar Heels second ACC dual of the season. With this win, they are undefeated in conference duals and boast impressive wins over two ranked opponents: No. 13 Pittsburgh, and No. 25 Virginia.
When do they play next?
The Tar Heels will return home and dual No. 12 Virginia Tech on Friday in Carmichael Arena.
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