CHAPEL HILL, N.C. –The No. 25 Virginia wrestling team (11-7, 0-1 ACC) went on the road to open ACC competition, dropping a 22-13 dual to No. 17 North Carolina (8-5, 1-0 ACC) on Saturday (Jan. 26) at Carmichael Arena.
Virginia got wins from junior Jack Mueller (Dallas, Texas) at 125 pounds, sophomore Jake Keating (Naperville, Ill.) at 157 pounds, redshirt freshman Cam Coy (Jeannette, Pa.) at 165 pounds and Jay Aiello (Chantilly, Va.) at 197 pounds. Mueller, the fifth-ranked wrestler at 125 pounds, picked up a major decision for his 11th bonus-point victory in 11 matches this season.
“We won four bouts, but we could have done more,” said Virginia head coach Steve Garland. “We left a lot of points out there on the mat tonight. We were flat at a few weights, but did really well at some others. We were just inconsistent and you can’t be if you want to beat good teams. I’m proud of what we’ve been doing, but tonight wasn’t good enough. They outwrestled us and that hurts. Now, we need to do something about it.”
The dual started with Mueller picking up the major decision over North Carolina’s Joe Heilmann by a score of 11-2. It continued the trend of Mueller staking the Cavaliers to extra points to start a dual as he turned in his third major decision of the season. He also has five wins by pinfall and three by technical fall.
North Carolina then pushed out to a lead it would not relinquish behind three consecutive major decisions at 133 pounds, 141 pounds and 149 pounds.
Virginia would climb back into the dual with a decision from Keating at 157 pounds as he picked up the 11-5 victory over Josh McClure before Coy would take his 4-0 decision over Sawyer Davidson at 165 pounds.
The Tar Heels put together back-to-back wins at 174 pounds and 184 pounds, picking up bonus-points with the major decision at 174 pounds. The decision at 184 pounds came from the nation’s 14th-ranked wrestler, Chip Ness, for the Tar Heels.
Aiello, the eighth-ranked wrestler at 197 pounds, capped the scoring for the Cavaliers with his 7-2 decision over North Carolina’s Brandon Whitman.
Virginia will return home for back-to-back matches at Memorial Gym, beginning with No. 8 NC State in a 7 p.m. dual on Friday (Feb. 1). The homestand will then continue the next week with a 1 p.m. dual against Duke on February 9.
No. 25 Virginia, No. 17 North Carolina
125: No. 5 Jack Mueller major dec. Joe Heilmann (UNC), 11-2 – UVA 4, UNC 0
133: Gary Wayne Harding (UNC) major dec. Louie Hayes, 9-0 – UVA 4, UNC 4
141: Jaime Hernandez (UNC) major dec. Gray Hart, 20-6 – UNC 8, UVA 4
149: No. 4 Austin O’Connor (UNC) major dec. Michael Murphy, 21-9 – UNC 12, UVA 4
157: Jake Keating dec. Josh McClure (UNC), 11-5 – UNC 12, UVA 7
165: Cam Coy dec. Sawyer Davidson (UNC), 4-0 – UNC 12 UVA 10
174: Devin Kane (UNC) major dec. Robert Patrick, 10-2 – UNC 16, UVA 10
184: No. 14 Chip Ness (UNC) dec. Chance McClure, 6-1 – UNC 19, UVA 10
197: No. 8 Jay Aiello dec. Brandon Whitman (UNC), 7-2 – UNC 19, UVA 13
HWT: Cory Daniel (UNC) dec. Tyler Love, 9-4 – UNC 22, UVA 13