Despite having one of its best seasons in 20 years, the No. 8 North Carolina wrestling team cut itself no slack on Sunday after a loss to No. 5 Arizona State in its last dual meet of the season.
A year that saw 14 dual-meet victories for the Tar Heels — the highest tally since 2002 — was capped off with a 22-9 defeat at the hands of the Sun Devils at Carmichael Arena. The Tar Heels were coming off a three-meet win streak that included victories against top-25 teams against Pittsburgh and Cornell, as well as avoiding a potential upset loss to Virginia just two days before Sunday’s meet.
The fans might forgive the team for a tough loss against a top-five opponent after a week like that. The only people that won’t forgive them? Themselves.
“Our fight and our effort wasn’t there like it had been all year,” head coach Coleman Scott said. “It’s a team that wasn’t doing much late in the matches and giving up a lot of ground.”
After dropping the first match of the meet, the Tar Heels went on a hot streak, winning the next three straight matches. A big victory came in the 141-pound match, where No. 12 Zach Sherman scored a huge leg-sweep takedown and a late escape to win the match, 4-2. Even with his own success, Sherman said he was focused on the group's performance as a whole.