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The Daily Tar Heel

Maryland edges Tar Heels in home debut

Gymnast Evans leads UNC again

History repeated itself when the North Carolina gymnastics team took on Maryland in Carmichael Arena on Saturday.

The team’s season opener was marked by individual triumphs, but the Tar Heels eventually fell to the Terrapins, losing the meet 193-192.6.

Last season, UNC held its first home meet against the Terrapins and lost by less than half a point.

Despite the loss, head coach Derek Galvin was pleased with the team’s progress.

“The level of performances was higher than what we’ve done up to this point,” Galvin said.

Junior Morgan Evans continued her reign as the Tar Heels’ top performer and won her fourth consecutive All-Around title with a score of 38.85. Evans has taken the top spot in each meet the team has competed in this season. Junior Krista Jasper also earned a personal-best All-Around score, and placed second with a 38.775.

North Carolina started strong on the vault, gathering a team score of 48.7. Jasper and freshman Kristin Aloi upgraded their difficulty on the vault. Both performed Yurchenko layout fulls instead of the Yurchenko layouts they had competed earlier in the season.

“I was really nervous, but excited at the same time because I know I’m capable of doing that,” Jasper said. “I proved to myself that I can do it under pressure.”

The Tar Heels excelled on the uneven bars, and a missed release move by Maryland’s Abigail Adams gave the Tar Heels the opening they needed to claim the event.

The bright spot of the night for UNC was redshirt senior Teri Diamond’s performance on the uneven bars. With near-perfect execution and an original dismount, she took first on the event with a 9.775.

The winning routine was Diamond’s first since coming back from an ankle injury she sustained two years ago.

“It was great to see Teri back on the bars. And I know the team is very excited for her,” Galvin said.

After the second rotation, the Tar Heels led the Terrapins 97.3 to 96.75.

But it was déjà vu for the Tar Heels, as the team struggled on the balance beam, an event that proved challenging for UNC last season. In last February’s meet, the Tar Heels earned 47.575 to the Terrapins’ 48.125.

Several falls from the beam gave the Terrapins a chance to close the gap, and North Carolina’s miscues were magnified when the scores were released at the end of the third rotation. The Terrapins used their solid performance on the floor exercise to pull ahead going into the final rotation.

Despite the results on the beam, the Tar Heels looked confident on the floor exercise. Aloi and Jasper tied for first on the event with scores of 9.8.

But the solid floor performances weren’t enough to regain the lead, especially with Maryland’s steady beam rotation.

Contact the Sports Editor at sports@dailytarheel.com.

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