UNC tops Virginia

CHAPEL HILL -- Chip Ness won his 11th straight home match Arena and redshirt freshman Jaime Hernandez picked up his second major decision of the year to help No. 17 North Carolina beat No. 25 Virginia, 22-13, Saturday night at Carmichael Arena.

After Virginia's No. 5 Jack Mueller won via major decision against Joe Heilmann, the Tar Heels responded with three straight majors to take command of the team score. Things started with redshirt senior Gary Wayne Harding, who beat UVA's Louie Hayes in a dominant 9-0 match at 133 pounds. That was followed by a standout performance from Hernandez, who wrestled for the first time since beating Arizona State's Cory Crooks in November.

Hernandez started strong early against Virginia's Gray Hart and never looked back. With a handful of takedowns in both the second and third periods, he collected a dominant 20-6 win. No. 4 Austin O'Connor followed with a strong performance of his own at 149, a 22-9 major decision win that gave the Tar Heels a 12-4 lead after the first four matches of the night.

Virginia was able to string together a pair of wins at 157 and 165, but Devin Kane got Carolina back on track at 174. He used two takedowns in the third period to boost his lead over UVA's Robby Patrick. Helped by a riding time point, Kane won with a 10-2 major decision, advancing UNC's lead to 16-10.

Chip Ness carried Carolina's momentum against Chance McClure at 184 pounds. Ness began the rivalry with a takedown in the first period, but McClure kept things tight through the final seconds. It was a 3-1 match through the middle of the third period, but a late Ness takedown locked up riding time for a 6-1 decision.

The All-American from Duluth, Georgia, is now 11-0 in his last 11 matches in Chapel Hill.

True freshman Brandon Whitman made his UNC debut at 197 pounds, dropping a hard-fought 7-2 match against Virginia's No. 8 Jay Aiello. Whitman scored the match's first points with a takedown in the first 20 seconds, but Aiello stormed back for the win.

In the final match of the night, Cory Daniel cruised to a 6-1 win to cap off the night for North Carolina.

The Tar Heels will hit the road next week for a pair of duals in Pennsylvania. Carolina will face Bucknell on Friday, Feb. 1, at 7 p.m. before continuing the ACC schedule Saturday, Feb. 2, at 2 p.m. against No. 14 Pittsburgh.

125: #5 Jack Mueller (UVA) maj. dec. Joe Heilmann (UNC), 11-2 - UVA leads 4-0
133: Gary Wayne Harding (UNC) maj. dec. Louie Hayes (UVA), 9-0 - Tied 4-4
141: Jaime Hernandez (UNC) maj. dec. Gray Hart (UVA), 20-6 - UNC leads 8-4
149: #4 Austin O'Connor (UNC) maj. dec. Michael Murphy (UVA), 22-9 - UNC leads 12-4
157: Jake Keating (UVA) dec. Josh McClure (UNC), 11-5 - UNC leads 12-7
165: Cam Coy (UVA) dec. Sawyer Davidson (UNC), 4-0 - UNC leads 12-10
174: Devin Kane (UNC) maj. dec. Robby Patrick (UVA), 10-2 - UNC leads 16-10
184: #14 Chip Ness (UNC) dec. Chance McClure (UVA), 6-1 - UNC leads 19-10
197: #8 Jay Aiello (UVA) dec. Brandon Whitman (UNC), 7-2 - UNC leads 19-13
285: Cory Daniel (UNC) dec. Tyler Love (UVA), 9-4 - UNC wins 22-13


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