The Daily Tar Heel

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Tuesday November 29th

No. 14 UNC wrestling loses on the road to No. 10 Nebraska, 27-6

Redshirt-senior Austin O'Connor wrestles Queens graduate student Jacob Balmas at the wrestling match against Queens University. UNC won 48-0.
Buy Photos Redshirt-senior Austin O'Connor wrestles Queens graduate student Jacob Balmas at the wrestling match against Queens University. UNC won 48-0.

The No. 14 North Carolina wrestling team (2-2) lost 27-6 to No. 10 Nebraska (3-0) on Wednesday night in Lincoln, Neb.

What happened?

After facing Ohio State in a top-10 matchup on Nov. 7, the Tar Heels headed to Nebraska to face another highly-ranked foe.

Only two Tar Heels were victorious against the Cornhuskers, one being No. 10 Jaime Hernandez who scored three takedowns, one escape and one reversal. He beat No. 33 Alex Thomsen with a 10-4 decision.

The other was graduate student No. 12 Kizhan Clarke, who picked up a win against No. 5 Chad Red Jr. in the 141-pound matchup. Clarke scored a takedown to secure the victory in a 3-1 decision.

The rest of the matches were dominated by Nebraska. In the 125-weight class, first-year Spencer Moore lost to No. 17 Liam Cronin, 3-1.

When the 149-weight class wrestled, redshirt senior Zach Sherman lost a close duel against No. 14 Ridge Lovett, 4-3.

Redshirt senior No. 2 Austin O’Connor — the defending national champion — unexpectedly lost to No. 16 Peyton Robb, 5-2, which left the Cornhuskers brimming with confidence

In the 165-weight class, redshirt first-year Sonny Santiago lost to No. 22 Bubba Wilson with a score of 3-2. Similarly, graduate student No. 22 Clay Lautt was defeated by Nebraska’s No. 3 Mikey Labriola by another 3-2 loss.

In the 184-weight class, Redshirt senior Hunter Queen fell to No. 10 Taylor Venz. 15-2. Redshirt junior Mark Chaid lost in another duel, 16-3, to No. 12 Erin Schultz.

The 285 weight-class was another loss for the Tar Heels. Senior Brandon Whitman lost to No. 13 Christian Lance with a score of 17-6.

Who stood out?

Hernandez and Clarke were the only two wrestlers that were victorious for the Tar Heels, as both wrestlers continued their impressive starts to the season.

They also beat their opponents at Ohio State, showing they can compete against some of the nation’s premier teams.

When was it decided?

After O’Connor lost his matchup, the Tar Heels’ backs were against the wall. The defending champion’s loss was the first he has had in two seasons, which stymied any chance of UNC making a comeback.

Why does it matter?

The Tar Heels were looking for a victory against a solid opponent to demonstrate they are one of the top teams in the nation. Although the team lost consecutive bouts against top-10 teams, UNC will look to improve against two ranked teams — Wisconsin and Rutgers — on Nov. 27.

When do they play next?

The Tar Heels will look to get back on track when they come back to Chapel Hill to face Campbell on Sunday at 7 p.m. in Carmichael Arena.  

@dthsports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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