It was a tough weekend for Nebraska wrestling, and a good one for the state of North Carolina.
After losing to North Carolina State 29-3 Friday night, No. 12 Nebraska (2-2) dropped its second dual of the weekend, this time against the unranked North Carolina Tar Heels, 22-14 Sunday afternoon at the Devaney Center.
After the loss, coach Mark Manning said his squad has a lot to work on with both mechanics and mentally.
“Lot of young guys doing a lot of dumb stuff that they thought works in high school and doesn’t work here,” Manning said. “We got to fix their heads first. Some of them are hard-headed, which is great, but if you don’t fix mechanics of what you’re doing, you’re not going to win at the highest level.”
The Tar Heels won six of the 10 matches, including the final two to close out the dual victory.
North Carolina took an early 6-0 lead, earning decisions in the first two matches.
At 141 pounds, Nebraska’s redshirt freshman Chad Red Jr. picked up bonus points with a 16-1 technical fall against A.C. Headlee of North Carolina.
The Tar Heels answered with two bonus-point victories of their own, including a fall from redshirt freshman Kennedy Monday at 157 pounds. Monday pinned No. 7 Tyler Berger of Nebraska in 1:31 to give North Carolina a 16-5 lead.
Monday scored a takedown against Berger early in the first period. Berger tried to roll out of it, but Monday stopped Berger on his back.
“He knows better than to roll,” Manning said. “You don’t do that. You don’t do those things.”
Monday’s win against Berger avenged a 7-5 sudden-victory loss he suffered in the first round of the Cliff Keen Invitational tournament earlier this December.
Trailing by nine points with five matches remaining, Nebraska won three matches in a row to cut the deficit to 16-14.
After a decision win by No. 10 Isaiah White at 165 pounds, redshirt freshmen Beau Breske and No. 6 Taylor Venz each earned victories of their own in overtime.
At 174 pounds, Breske trailed Adis Radoncic of North Carolina 2-1 after the first 30-second session of tiebreaker-1. Needing a point to stay alive, Breske scored a reversal in the final seconds for the win.
At 184 pounds, Venz scored a takedown in the opening seconds of the sudden-victory-1 period to defeat No. 20 Chip Ness of North Carolina.
The Tar Heels put a stop to the Huskers’ rally by winning the final two matches and the dual.
Manning said his team had a few struggles at the Cliff Keen Invitational earlier this month, but this weekend’s were “more glaring.”
Despite the team and individual losses, Manning is confident in the process his squad is going through.
“The guys will buy in,” Manning said. “We’ll reach their goals in March. We’re in a process of teaching and developing—teaching them how to win at this level. Sometimes it comes down to a point, takedowns, ride outs, and we have to figure it out. You got to work harder. That’s what it basically gets down to.”
Nebraska now enters the Big Ten dual season with its next match coming at Illinois on Jan. 5. Manning is eager for the conference season.
“Our sport’s unique,” Manning said in regards to the Big Ten being arguably the best wrestling conference in the country. “We have a chance to do some great things in the Big Ten. We made a lot of mistakes here, so we got a lot to build off of.”
125: James Szymanski (UNC) dec. Mitchell Maginnis (NEB), 5-3 (UNC 3, NEB 0)
133: No. 19 Zach Sherman (UNC) SV-1 Zak Hensley (NEB), 3-1 (UNC 6, NEB 0)
141: No. 8 Chad Red Jr. (NEB) tech. fall A.C. Headlee (NEB), 16-1 (UNC 6, NEB 5)
149: No. 4 Troy Heilmann (UNC) major dec. No. 8 Colton McCrystal (NEB) (UNC 10, NEB 5)
157: Kennedy Monday (UNC) pin No. 7 Tyler Berger (NEB), 1:31 (UNC 16, NEB 5)
165: No. 10 Isaiah White (NEB) dec. Clay Lautt (UNC), 10-4 (UNC 16, NEB 8)
174: Beau Breske (NEB) TB-1 Adis Radoncic (UNC), 3-2 (UNC 16, NEB 11)
184: Taylor Venz (NEB) SV-1 No. 20 Chip Ness (UNC), 13-11 (UNC 16, NEB 14)
197: Danny Chaid (UNC) dec. Eric Schultz (NEB), 6-2 (UNC 19, NEB 14)
HWT: Cory Daniel (UNC) dec. David Jensen (NEB), 3-2 (UNC 22, NEB 14)