Virginia drops tight battle with No. 8 North Carolina, 19-18

Courtesy UVA Media Relations

uva wrestlingBonus points proved critical on Friday night as No. 8 North Carolina slipped past Virginia by a score of 19-18 in the regular-season finale at Memorial Gym.

The Cavaliers (8-6, 1-4 ACC) and the Tar Heels (14-2, 4-1) each won five weight classes on the night, with each team getting two bonus-point wins. North Carolina got a major decision at 141 pounds from 12th-ranked Zach Sherman and a pin at 149 pounds from third-ranked Austin O’Connor, while Virginia got a 12-4 major decision from Michael Battista at 184 pounds and a 19-1 tech fall from second-ranked Jack Mueller at 125 pounds.

Virginia also got wins from Justin McCoy at 157 pounds as he defeated No. 16 A.C. Headlee with a 3-2 decision, while Cam Coy picked up his first ACC win after returning to the mat following injury. Coy tallied a 6-3 decision over Sawyer Davidson. Jay Aiello, the eighth-ranked wrestler nationally at 197 pounds, picked up the fifth win for the Cavaliers with his 9-3 decision.

The Cavaliers also recognized seven seniors prior to the match in Senior Night ceremonies.


“It was a heck of a battle and a dual meet tonight. It was a great crowd with a lot of support. I want to thank everyone for coming out and packing the house tonight. It was as close as you can get, dropping it on one point (overall) with a bonus-point victory being the deciding factor – but we got some bonus-points as well. I’m really proud of our team.”


  • Jay Aiello improved to 25-4 on the season and went 5-0 in ACC duals for the second consecutive season.
  • Jack Mueller closed out his regular season undefeated for the second straight year, this time going 12-0.
    He went 4-0 in ACC competition, going undefeated in ACC competition for the second straight year.
  • Michael Battista picked up a major decision in his second consecutive dual match.
  • Justin McCoy picked up his third win over a nationally-ranked foe with his win over No. 16 A.C. Headlee.

Virginia will send several wrestlers to the Mat Town Open II on Sunday to compete as individuals before heading to the ACC Championships on March 8. The ACC Championships are being hosted by Pittsburgh this season at the Petersen Events Center. 

No. 8 North Carolina 19, Virginia 18

141: No. 12 Zach Sherman (UNC) major dec. Brian Courtney, 11-3 – UNC 4, UVA 0

149: No. 3 Austin O’Connor (UNC) pinned Denton Spencer, 3:20 – UNC 10, UVA 0

157: Justin McCoy dec. No. 16 A.C. Headlee (UNC), 3-2 – UNC 10, UVA 3

165: Cam Coy dec. Sawyer Davidson (UNC), 6-3 – UNC 10, UVA 6

174: Clay Lautt (UNC) dec. Victor Marcelli, 3-1 – UNC 13, UVA 6

184: Michael Battista major dec. Joey Mazzara (UNC), 12-4 – UNC 13, UVA 10

197: No. 8 Jay Aiello dec. Brandon Whitman (UNC), 9-3 – UVA 13, UNC 13

HWT: Andrew Gunning (UNC) dec. Robert Scherer, 6-2 – UNC 16, UVA 13

125: No. 2 Jack Mueller tech fall Joey Melendez (UNC), 19-1 (4:30) – UVA 18, UNC 16

133: Jaime Hernandez (UNC) dec. Louie Hayes (UNC) , 8-5 – UNC 19, UVA 18


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