North Carolina’s season has been marked not only by a consistently high performance as a team, but also by impressive outings by individual wrestlers, with four starters now ranked in the top 25 of their respective weight classes. Three of these individuals' abilities were on full display on Saturday, with No. 4 O’Connor, No. 10 Zach Sherman and No. 17 A.C. Headlee all notching tone setting victories for the Tar Heels.
“You got individuals chasing national titles and that’s going to elevate everybody,” head coach Coleman Scott said. “We’re all gravitating towards that and that’s what our goal is as a team, so we’re getting better and better each and every time out.”
With a top-10 matchup against No. 4 N.C. State looming next Friday, the Tar Heels knows they will have to bring full energy in order to pull out a victory that would place them at the top of the ACC standings going into their final five duals of the regular season.
In the middle of the most important stretch of the regular season, with conference play in full swing, North Carolina put on a dominant performance despite the circumstance. There was never a feeling throughout eight Tar Heel victories on Saturday that there was any intention to take their feet off the gas pedal.
“We’ve got a big match coming up next week, now we can focus on N.C. State,” Scott said. “The great ones and the great teams don’t waver, they keep climbing no matter what the circumstances are.”
After earning a share of the ACC title for the first time since 2002 last year, this season’s North Carolina team is on a mission. In the mix once again for a conference title, the Tar Heels will look to gear up for yet another successful post season with four top-25 opponents remaining in their final five duals.
“There’s a lot of excitement, and we want to be the best-- we aren’t settling for anything,” Sherman said. “We just beat Virginia Tech and we want more, we want that ACC title. It’s ring season.”
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