UNC redshirt senior A.C. Headlee pulled out an upset victory against No. 10 Will Lewan to give North Carolina a 5-2 victory. The bout was tied after both the first and second periods, with Headlee scoring a late takedown as the buzzer sounded, giving him an important 5-2 victory and the Tar Heels a 10-7 lead going into intermission.
Redshirt junior Kennedy Monday widened the gap between the two teams when he secured a 10-3 victory. No. 16 Monday led after each period and gave North Carolina an overall lead of 13-7 heading into the 174-pound bout.
Lautt scored a first-period pin against the Wolverines’ Reece Hughes to earn North Carolina a pivotal 19-7 lead going into the final three matches of the night.
Lautt’s pin would prove decisive for the Tar Heels, who would go on to win despite losing their final three matches. The 19-17 victory for the Tar Heels was decided in the final bout of the night, where No. 5 Mason Parris from Michigan narrowly defeated No. 20 Andrew Gunning, a redshirt junior for the Tar Heels. With Gunning staying on his feet in the 285-pound match, UNC secured its first victory of the season.
Who stood out?
Lautt’s victory proved to be key in determining the final outcome for North Carolina. Had he not secured a pin, and the six points that came with it, UNC may have left Ann Arbor with an 0-1 record. The meet was projected to be tightly contested from the start, and Lautt’s pin gave the Tar Heels the extra points they needed to separate them from their opponents.
When was it decided?
Outside of Lautt’s pin in the 174-pound bout, an earlier victory from Headlee set off a three-match winning streak for the Tar Heels that led to a 12-point separation in UNC’s favor. With a 3-2 lead late in the third period of his match, Headlee’s defensive efforts and late takedown of his opponent provided a major shift in the momentum during the meet, giving North Carolina a lead they would never lose.
Why does it matter?
Coming off of the program’s best NCAA finish since 1995, North Carolina will look to continue its development this year. Having success in an early road meet against an opponent of Michigan’s caliber should point towards even more improvement for the Tar Heels this season.
When do they play next?
North Carolina will be on the road again for a dual meet at Stanford on Saturday, Nov. 16, at 5 p.m.