The No. 13 North Carolina wrestling team suffered a crushing loss in its last home match this season, falling 29-5 to No. 9 Cornell on Saturday at Carmichael Arena. With a number of competitive losses, the Tar Heels were unable to finish strong in several close matches.
After Friday night’s 20-14 loss to No. 10 N.C. State, the Tar Heels could not come away with a win against a tough Cornell team on Alumni Weekend. While Tar Heel wrestling legends were honored at Carmichael Arena on Saturday night, the North Carolina team on the floor lacked an edge that was evident after the first match of the night.
The lone bright spot for the Tar Heels was No. 4 Austin O’Connor, who started off strong for UNC in the 149-pound match. The redshirt first-year earned his 28th win of the season with a dominant 23-8 win over Cornell’s Will Koll to start the night.
Yet in a similar start to the night before against N.C. State, North Carolina suffered several defeats after O’Connor’s victory, one that couldn’t quite bring enough momentum for the other Tar Heel wrestlers.
No. 20 Josh McClure and Sawyer Davidson were the first to fall short in their classes in back-to-back 3-2 losses.
After two periods and a 3-1 lead for Cornell’s Adam Santoro, a McClure escape in the final period could have given UNC a second straight win to start the night in the 157-pound weight class, but Santoro was able to hold on for a 3-2 decision win.
North Carolina faltered in the 165-pound matchup, when Davidson, a redshirt sophomore, dropped a match that gave the Big Red an early 6-5 lead.
Coming off of an 11-0 loss against N.C. State, redshirt sophomore Devin Kane was again limited in a 4-1 decision loss against No. 14 Brandon Womack.
It looked like No. 14 Chip Ness would have the opportunity to give the Tar Heels a much-needed win in his 184-pound bout. He led 2-0 thanks to three stalling calls on No. 13 Max Dean after the first period.