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Wrestling: #21 Virginia falls in regular-season finale at #14 North Carolina

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(© Michael Chamberlin – stock.adobe.com)

Virginia closed out the regular season with a 25-9 loss at #14 North Carolina on Saturday.

The 21st-ranked Cavaliers (3-3, 2-3 ACC) got wins in three weight classes as Justin McCoy (New Paris, Pa.) won at 157 pounds, Jake Keating (Naperville, Ill.) won at 165 pounds and Jay Aiello (Chantilly, Va.) won at 197 pounds.

All three wrestlers are ranked in the top 20 of their weight classes and Aiello and Keating both posted wins over nationally-ranked opponents.
The dual started at 133 pounds, and North Carolina (5-2, 3-2 ACC) built the early lead with three straight wins, including a major decision from the top-ranked wrestler at 149 pounds, before Virginia would pick up the back-to-back wins from McCoy and Keating.
The Tar Heels then used two more wins, including a pin at 184 pounds, to break open the overall score. Aiello then took his win at 197 pounds, but North Carolina won the final two bouts to lock up the dual victory.

No. 14 North Carolina 25 , No. 21 Virginia 9

  • 133: Joe Heilmann (UNC) dec. No. 10 Louie Hayes, 2-0 | UNC 3, UVA 0
  • 141: No. 10 Zach Sherman (UNC) dec. No. 16 Brian Courtney, 5-4 | UNC 6, UVA 0
  • 149: No. 1 Austin O’Connor (UNC) major dec. Denton Spencer, 19-5 | UNC 10, UVA 0
  • 157: No. 17 Justin McCoy dec. Josh McClure (UNC), 8-2 | UNC 10, UVA 3
  • 165: No. 13 Jake Keating dec. No. 11 Kennedy Monday (UNC), 18-15 | UNC 10, UVA 6
  • 174: No. 18 Clay Lautt (UNC) dec. Vic Marcelli, 7-1 | UNC 13, UVA 6
  • 184: Devin Kane (UNC) pinned Robby Patrick, 3:36 | UNC 19, UVA 6
  • 197: No. 8 Jay Aiello dec. No. 19 Max Shaw (UNC), 9-2 | UNC 19, UVA 9
  • HWT: Andrew Gunning (UNC) dec. Ethan Weatherspoon, 7-4 | UNC 22, UVA 9
  • 125: Will Guida (UNC) dec. Josiah Encarnacion, 11-4 | UNC 25, UVA 9

Additional Matches

  • 157: Will MacDonald (UNC) dec. Justin Phillips, 3-2
  • 157: Nic Sansone dec. Nick Lirette (UNC), 7-6
  • 184: Krystian Kinsey dec. Sawyer Davidson (UNC), 11-7
  • 184: Hudson Stewart major dec. Ethan Hoffman (UNC), 13-5
  • 197: Ethan Weatherspoon dec. Mark Chaid (UNC), 7-3

Notes

  • Justin McCoy won his fourth consecutive match in ACC duals to finish the regular season at 4-1 in the ACC.
  • Jake Keating rallied from an 11-3 deficit to take his 18-15 decision over No. 11 Kennedy Monday at 165 pounds.
  • Jay Aiello picked up his fourth eighth win of the season and fourth in ACC competition, beating No. 19 Max Shaw.
  • Aiello and McCoy both finish the regular season at 4-1 in ACC competition and 8-1 overall on the year.
  • In extra matches following the dual, the Cavaliers won four-of-five contests to close the night strong.

Comments: UVA coach Steve Garland

“It’s been a really hard week. We faced a lot of adversity coming into this match tonight. As much as it stunk to go through it, and as much as tonight hurts, I know it’s good for us. I’ve said it before, but we are refined in the fire. I’m anticipating a lot of good fruit coming out of this.”


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