With a chance to pull off a signature conference upset on the road Saturday night at Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg, the 25th-ranked UNC wrestling team came up short in a 21-9 loss to the No. 9 Virginia Tech Hokies.

James Szymanski gave the Tar Heels (8-9, 2-1 ACC) the early lead with a 10-3 decision victory at 125 pounds, but Virginia Tech (13-2, 3-0 ACC) responded with wins in each of the next three bouts to take control of the match for good.

UNC received a 3-1 decision win midway through the dual from 16th-ranked Kennedy Monday at 157 pounds before 18th-ranked heavyweight Cory Daniel closed out the evening with a 3-2 win over No. 17 Andrew Dunn.

Virginia Tech ultimately won the match, however, by taking out the Tar Heels’ top two performers.

In the 149-pound matchup, the Hokies’ Ryan Blees–who came into the night unranked–upset No. 6 Troy Heilmann 3-1.

Later on in the 174-pound bout, another unranked Virginia Tech wrestler–Hunter Bolen–earned the home side a 15-6 major decision win over No. 13 Ethan Ramos.

Those two results kept the Tar Heels out of striking distance in regards to the team score, preventing what could have been a huge win for the team’s confidence moving forward.

Up Next:

UNC will now prepare for its annual rivalry match against NC State, which is scheduled to take place in Raleigh on Friday, Feb. 9 at 7:30 p.m.