CHAPEL HILL -- Kennedy Monday's upset of No. 12 Jake Wentzel helped lead No. 8 North Carolina to a 22-14 home victory over No. 9 Pittsburgh in Carmichael Arena on Friday night. No. 3 Austin O'Connor won his 20th match of the year with a second-period pin to help UNC to another conference win.
The Tar Heels (12-2, 3-1 ACC) gained early momentum courtesy of Joey Melendez at 125 pounds. The redshirt freshman was taken down early against Pittsburgh's Louis Newell but capitalized late to take a 7-3 decision.
After Pittsburgh's No. 6 Micky Phillippi notched a 3-0 decision over Jaime Hernandez, No. 11 Zach Sherman won a tight 3-2 match over Cole Matthews to help UNC take the lead in the team score, one it wouldn't lose the rest of the night.
With a 2-0 lead, O'Connor turned Pittsburgh's Dallas Bulsak in the second period and put him to his back for a fall, advancing UNC's lead to 12-3. That moved O'Connor's season dual meet record to 10-0.
After No. 16 A.C. Headlee earned an impressive 10-4 win over Taleb Rahmani, No. 15 Monday knocked off Wentzel in an on-paper upset to pile on more momentum for Carolina. At the end of the first period, he scored a takedown and put Wentzel to his back for four near-fall points to open up a 6-0 lead. Monday's 12th dual meet win of the year ended an 8-5 decision.
At the upperweights, Clay Lautt scored a major decision to put away the dual for the Tar Heels, a 15-5 major decision over Pittsburgh's Hunter Kernan. The Panthers took the final three bouts of the evening, but North Carolina's early dominance earned the home team a 22-14 win.
UNC travels to Ithaca this Sunday to wrestle Cornell. The dual meet is set for 1 p.m. EST.
125: Joey Melendez (UNC) dec. Louis Newell (PITT), 7-3 - UNC leads, 3-0
133: #6 Micky Phillippi (PITT) dec. Jaime Hernandez (UNC), 3-0 - Tied, 3-3
141: #11 Zach Sherman (UNC) dec. Cole Matthews (PITT), 3-2 - UNC leads, 6-3
149: #3 Austin O'Connor (UNC) pinned Dallas Bulsak (PITT), 3:18 - UNC leads, 12-3
157: #16 A.C. Headlee (UNC) dec. Taleb Rahmani (PITT), 10-4 - UNC leads, 15-3
165: #15 Kennedy Monday (UNC) dec. #12 Jake Wentzel (PITT), 8-5 - UNC leads, 18-3
174: Clay Lautt (UNC) maj. dec. Hunter Kernan (PITT), 15-5 - UNC leads, 22-3
184: #7 Nino Bonaccorsi (PITT) maj. dec. Joey Mazzara (UNC), 16-8 - UNC leads, 22-7
197: Kellan Stout (PITT) dec. Brandon Whitman (UNC), 6-1 - UNC leads, 22-10
285: #8 Demetrius Thomas (PITT) maj. dec. Andrew Gunning (UNC), 12-4 - UNC wins, 22-14