But not to worry. The Tar Heels saved the best for last.
UNC, after a less than superb opening performance on vault, saw itself in last place.
"The vault scores in general were a little tight, but we knew if the judges were consistent, we would be OK," UNC coach Derek Galvin said.
The Tar Heels came up big in their last two events to edge Towson 194.450-194.225. Maryland and N.C. State finished third and fourth in the quad-meet, respectively.
On balance beam, UNC sophomore Natalie Halbach and senior captain Brooke Wilson dazzled throughout, tallying respective scores of 9.95 and 10.00.
Wilson's mark broke her previous best effort on beam of 9.95.
Halbach credited the score to constant practice and attention to detail.
"It's the little things like pointed toes and polishing the dance that makes a difference," Halbach said. "Taking out the tiny wobbles and hitting it rock solid instead of staying on the beam and wiggling a little bit."
UNC, after a near flawless team effort on beam, trailed Towson by .350. The Tar Heels entered floor exercise needing another stellar team effort to overtake the Tigers for the Governor's Cup.