The Daily Tar Heel

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Tuesday March 21st

Injuries plague UNC gymnastics against William & Mary

We won!
Buy Photos We won!

There was something missing.

The North Carolina gymnastics team had not fallen to William & Mary in its three meets this season — not until Saturday night in Kaplan Arena, where the Tribe barely outscored the Tar Heels in a 192.450-192.225 victory. 

North Carolina had been lacking something this meet. They had been lacking something this season. Several of the gymnasts have had past injuries that continue to flare up, preventing them from performing.

“Right now, we just need more depth,” Coach Derek Galvin said. 

Every event counts. Every fall and uneven landing counts against the Tar Heels' score.

Although a reoccurring ankle injury from high school limited sophomore Kaitlynn Hedelund to two events Saturday, she was able to notch scores consistent with the previous meet against Rutgers — scoring 9.800 and 9.750 on the uneven bars and balance beam, respectively. She tied for first place on the bars and second on the balance beam in overall competition. 

Senior Sarah Peterson was not able to compete in any of the events due to injury. But her teammates tried to pick up the slack. 

Sophomore Lauren Weisel scored a season-best 9.650 on the vault, while senior Lexi Cappalli excelled on the beam with a season-best score of 9.725. Both senior Josselyn Mackey and junior Christina Pheil earned season-best marks on the bars, with scores of 9.800 and 9.700, respectively. 

But it was Morgan Lane who stole the show. The sophomore dominated the vault, beam, bars and floor competitions to finish first in the all-around results. 

Lane tied for first on the vault and took first on the floor and beam — continuing to be a strong competitor for her team. 

“I just kind of remind myself that I do it in practice every day,” she said. “I try to get kind of in my own little zone.”

But despite Lane and her teammates' efforts to dominate without that depth, the Tar Heels fell second to William & Mary.

“At this point in the season, (we) know how to do the skills,” Lane said.

They just have to execute them.

Quotable

“That big meet is coming for us. I can feel it.” — Cappalli on her expectations for the rest of the season. 

Notable

Galvin said his team is anticipating a large incoming first-year class this offseason, which will help with the depth issues the team has dealt with this season.

Three numbers that matter

5: Because of injuries, the Tar Heels competed with just five gymnasts in three of the four rotations. 

39.300: Lane's all-around score of 39.300 was a career best for the sophomore. 

6: Six Tar Heels set season-best scores in Saturday’s meet. 

What’s next?

The Tar Heels will travel to Gainesville, Fla., to face Florida at 7 p.m. on Friday. 

@niaeverette

sports@dailytarheel.com

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