The North Carolina gymnastics team put together its best meet of the season so far on Saturday — trying to climb the ladder to success.
But it wasn't enough.
In their second straight home meet, the Tar Heels fell short to No. 8 Georgia by a score of 196.200-195.200.
“We really went for it,” freshman Kaitlynn Hedelund said. “We had little goals for each event and got the job done.”
The most impressive performances for the Tar Heels came in the beam and the floor competition. In the balance beam, UNC tied Georgia with a score 48.625.
“We really drilled beam hard this week in practice,” junior Lexi Cappalli said.
The Tar Heels finished the floor competition with a score of 49.150. But it was the only competition where UNC outscored the Bulldogs.
“To be able to stay with (Georgia) on one event and actually outscore them on another is something I want the team to draw strength from,” Coach Derek Galvin said. “Right now we have more depth on floors than we’ve had in several years.”
The Tar Heels faced a disadvantage from the outset when junior Josselyn Mackey jammed her knee on her vault attempt. She earned a score of 8.950 on the attempt, but was unable to compete in the other three events because of her injury.
“Josselyn was prepared to have a great meet, and I feel bad for her because she warmed up well and did really good,” Galvin said. “It’s unfortunate that she got hurt when she did.”
The Tar Heels came into the meet trying to avoid focusing too much on the judge’s scoring, but rather to keep improving as a team
“When we focus on the scores it really gets to us and we just kind of blocked that out for today,” Hedelund said.
The Tar Heels heads were held high after the loss. The individual highlight of UNC’s performance was the floor routine by Cappalli, who scored a career-high 9.925. She was the highest scorer in the floor competition for both teams.
The young Tar Heel team is still working toward their goal of winning the conference.
“Our goal each week is to make it better than the last week and climb that ladder towards conference,” Cappalli said.
But on Saturday, the Tar Heels didn't climb high enough.
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