On Senior Night, the North Carolina gymnastics team fell to New Hampshire, 194.950 to 194.275, in Carmichael Arena on Friday.
The Tar Heels (6-5, 3-3 EAGL) started off with an impressive showing on the vault, with consistent scores across the board. Junior Khazia Hislop led the team with a 9.875. The New Hampshire Wildcats (12-2, 3-1 EAGL) performed well on the uneven bars, scoring 48.750.
Throughout the meet, the Tar Heels and the Wildcats continued to battle it out with closely-matched performances. North Carolina’s Rylie Dewhurst led her team in bars with a 9.825. She landed seamlessly at the end of her routine, receiving a deafening cheer from the home crowd.
On the balance beam, the Tar Heels struggled to maintain their excellence, making several key falls and slips that disrupted the flow of their execution. Sophomore Lily Dean struggled to find a rhythm before finishing her routine with a clean landing. Although North Carolina’s Jamie DeCicco dropped an imposing 9.850, many of her teammates found themselves in a similar slump, not able to produce a masterful showing on the beam.
New Hampshire continued to increase its margin during the beam exercise. As the starting performer, junior Riley Freehling paved the way, posting a 9.8. However, the following two Wildcats experienced numerous slip-ups, finishing with 9.2 and 9.025.
Meanwhile on the floor, New Hampshire took control of the meet. The execution in their performances, energy of the music and support from boisterous teammates helped the Wildcats to gain more confidence. To start one performance, the Wildcats even played theme music from "Harry Potter", which drew cheers from the audience. The Wildcats pulled off five solid outings on the floor.
Taking the floor, the Tar Heel began to steal back some of the momentum and energy. Despite technical difficulties, North Carolina’s Dean was able to pull off a captivating performance without music. Dean scored a 9.85 and garnered an ovation from the crowd. Dean’s successor, junior Mikayla Robinson, was just as electric, finishing with a 9.9. For her last home meet, senior Madison Hargrave put on House of Pain’s "Jump Around" before diving in her routine, finishing with a 9.825.
Despite the strong finish, the Tar Heels were not able to claw back from an early deficit, finishing with 194.275 to New Hampshire’s 194.950.
Who stood out?
Senior Danielle Mulligan of New Hampshire made her mark early, placing first overall in vault and uneven parallel bars. Mulligan also won the best All-around, finishing the night with a near-perfect 39.425 out of 40.
UNC’s Hislop scored a whopping 9.95 in her floor exercise, 0.05 from a perfect score.
When was it decided?
The Wildcats found a lead during the bars and beam, and secured the edge over North Carolina despite the Tar Heels’ best efforts.
Why does it matter?
North Carolina continues its losing streak, and drops to an overall 6-5 record in the last home meet of the season.
When do they play next?
The Tar Heels will compete against William and Mary Saturday, March 2, at the Kaplan Arena in Williamsburg, Va.
@DTHSports | firstname.lastname@example.org.
To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.