The Daily Tar Heel

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Tuesday March 21st

UNC gymnastics falls to Pittsburgh

The highest away meet score of the season was not enough to vault the North Carolina gymnastics team past the Pittsburgh Panthers in Pennsylvania Saturday night.

The Tar Heels scored 195.600, but the Panthers’ 196.175 sealed the Tar Heels’ second place finish in the dual meet.

Regardless of the score, senior Elizabeth Durkac was able to see the positive aspects of the team’s outing.

“Even though we got second, the team was really happy with our score and our performance,” Durkac said. “We were very focused and brought energy to each event.”

While North Carolina as a team was not able to top Pittsburgh, Durkac and sophomore Haley Watts were able to place first and second, respectively, in the all-around. Durkac’s 39.325 was a personal high and was enough to earn her a fifth all-around title of the season.

Despite a nagging foot pain that has limited her practices, Durkac has stood out this season, and her coach is noticing.

“In addition to being just a very talented athlete, she’s got poise and grace in the way she competes too,” Galvin said. “She has an artistic quality and a way of performing skills that is just much more appealing to the judges.”

Durkac has taken five all-around crowns in the eight meets thus far this season, and while she feels that her consistency may not be at its peak, she recognizes the impact that she has on her team.

“I actually feel like I was more consistent last year, but I think that I’ve become a stronger performer this year,” Durkac said. “The coaches have really harped (on) paying attention to the details, and I feel like that’s what I’ve done, and it’s helped the team, so that’s great.”

That lack of consistency has been a problem for the whole team.

“We know that we can still become more consistent, Galvin said. “We’ve had some lapses in the meets that aren’t consistent in the way they’ve been performing in practice.”

But Durkac said she thinks that the three meets the Tar Heels have remaining — two of which are at home — will provide a much-needed opportunity to work on minimizing faults.

“We had some mistakes throughout the meet, but we still have a few more meets to fix all of those and to get it right in one meet,” Durkac said. “Which is not going to be hard for us.”

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