UNC gymnastics falls by a slim margin to Maryland

For a North Carolina gymnastics team that lost four top seniors from last year, coach Derek Galvin said his current squad is not far from where it needs to be.

But after a loss by less than one point to Maryland Saturday night, he said his team does need to continue to hone in on the little things.

“I think our floor and beam have come along really well, and we focused on those two events this past week,” he said. “We just need to get in a little more vaulting training and bars as well.”

The Tar Heels defeated the Terrapins in both the floor exercise and balance beam, but Galvin and senior co-captain Elizabeth Durkac agreed that a weaker vaulting performance made the difference in Maryland’s close victory.

“They had a great start,” Durkac said. “We had a great finish so if we had just started with the intensity that we finished with, then I definitely think the score would have been much more narrow.”

With the top three vaulters from last year having graduated, Galvin said his group is still strong, but not as consistent as it was last year.

“We weren’t as sharp on vaulting,” Galvin said. “Really the difference is vaulting. Maryland is very strong on that. They’ve got two vaulters that are among the best in the country.

“In order for us to stay with them we needed to have a solid performance from everyone in our lineup.”

Durkac said she thought the team was more focused on making the vaults than it was paying attention to precise details. But after the team completed the vault, its second event of the evening, Galvin got his gymnasts back on track.

“Derek (Galvin) really talked to us about working on the details that we have been working on to make the second half better — and that’s what we did,” Durkac said.

Galvin said freshman Lexi Cappalli had her highest score on bars thus far and that Meredith Magjuka and Haley Watts had their best floor routines of their college careers.

Durkac, the East Atlantic Gymnastics League Gymnast of the Week, would go on to take the first place all-around finish for the second time this season.

Though Durkac claimed it was not her strongest performance, Galvin said he was pleased with his most consistent returning gymnast.

Teammate Maura Masatsugu said it was yet another performance from Durkac that her teammates enjoyed watching.

“She’s usually in the end of our lineup in pretty much every event,” Masatsugu said.

“She is so much fun to watch, her bars are amazing. I don’t know if you’ve really seen anything like it in college.”

Contact the desk editor at sports@dailytarheel.com.

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