The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Tuesday March 28th

UNC drops first home gymnastics meet on Senior Day

The North Carolina gymnastics team was home. And when the Tar Heels are home, they don’t lose — at least they hadn’t until Friday.

The Tar Heels were 3-0 at home this season entering Friday’s matchup with Towson at Carmichael Arena. The last time North Carolina competed at home, it knocked off then-undefeated Pittsburgh behind its highest score of the season.

Away from the comfort of Carmichael Arena, though, the story has been the exact opposite. UNC has yet to win on the road this season, posting both of its season-low scores away from Chapel Hill.

So when the Tar Heels fell to Towson on Friday 193.100-193.050, marring their undefeated home record, coach Derek Galvin was surprised to say the least.

“Towson’s got a good team, they’re gutsy kids, they fight hard, but quite honestly, we should have won this meet,” Galvin said. “We didn’t do what we needed to do.

“This team could have ended the season undefeated at home very easily.”

UNC started the night poorly on the vault with a score of 48.050, the team’s lowest total at home this season. However, the Tar Heels bounced back on the uneven bars with a 48.975, good enough for second-best this season.

What ultimately cost North Carolina the meet was its uncharacteristically bad performance on the floor exercise. UNC scored a 47.450 on Friday, which was almost a full point lower than any home score so far this year.

“I thought after the way they performed on bars and beam that floor was just going to flow, but we just had some falls that I still don’t understand,” Galvin said.

After Senior Night celebrations that saw the Tar Heels say goodbye to Michelle Ikoma, Meredith Magjuka and student assistant Emily Cornwell, the night eventually turned out more bitter than sweet. The loss, UNC’s fourth straight, also marked another night without regular contributions from Ikoma and Christina Pheil, who has been out since Jan. 26.

With no more home meets this season, UNC will be looking to score its first road win in the coming weeks.

“I think we’re capable of posting really great scores away, but certainly at home it makes it that much easier just because you’re excited to compete here and it’s a familiar place,” Ikoma said.

For now though, Galvin is left searching for answers as to what went wrong and how his team fell short of an undefeated home record.

“We had the right atmosphere for a great team performance, we just didn’t quite deliver.”

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