The No. 17 North Carolina wrestling team won its first dual meet of the season against No. 19 Michigan, 19-17, on Friday in Ann Arbor, Mich. With the meet coming down to just two points, a pin from 174-pounder Clay Lautt played a decisive role in separating the two ranked opponents.
North Carolina fell to a quick 4-0 deficit after the first bout of the night in the 125-pound division, with No. 19 Joey Melendez, a redshirt first-year, falling to Michigan redshirt sophomore Jack Medley in a major decision, 10-2.
The Tar Heels wouldn’t let that deficit last long, storming back to tie the meet with the second major decision of the night. Redshirt sophomore Jaime Hernandez dominated his match in the 133-pound division, 20-7, to draw UNC even with its opponent.
The 141- and 149-pound bouts did little to separate the score, with the two sides exchanging close victories. 141-pound redshirt sophomore Zach Sherman scored a 9-3 victory to give North Carolina the lead before Michigan came rumbling back to tie the dual with a victory in the 149-pound matchup. In another match that ended 9-3, redshirt sophomore Gino Esposito was on the losing side, drawing the match even heading into the 157-pound bout.