The No. 24 North Carolina gymnastics team was in Philadelphia on Sunday afternoon, where they defeated the Temple Owls by a score of 195.250-195.100. Temple’s score was the highest by an opponent in a UNC victory this season, prompting this to be the Tar Heels' most narrow margin of victory thus far.
North Carolina began the afternoon on the uneven bars, where the Tar Heels earned a collective score of 48.600. First-year Kate Greene earned the Tar Heels' highest score of the event with a 9.850. After the first rotation, UNC trailed Temple 48.950-48.600 as the Owls outscored North Carolina’s score by 0.350 with their score on the vault.
In the second rotation, North Carolina looked to chip away at Temple’s lead as they switched events. The Tar Heels did just that and then some, earning a 48.800 as a team on the vault compared to the Owls' 48.100 on the uneven bars. Junior Drew Aldridge was the Tar Heels' highest scorer with a 9.875. At the halfway point, North Carolina led Temple 97.400-97.050.
Despite a substantial lead, North Carolina had to maintain its high level of play to close out the match against the Owls.
In the third rotation, the Tar Heels received a cumulative 48.700 for their floor routines, meanwhile Temple earned a 48.750 on the balance beam. This tightened UNC’s lead to 146.100-145.800. Sophomores Hannah Nam and Brianna Greenlow tied for North Carolina’s highest score in the penultimate rotation, each scoring a 9.775.
Each team saved its best for last, as both North Carolina and Temple earned the highest scores in their final events, but for Temple, its efforts proved to be too little too late.
The Tar Heels scored a 49.150 on the balance beam, while the Owls earned a 49.300 for their floor routines — the latter being the highest single event score for either team during the match. It was during this final rotation that sophomore Elizabeth Culton earned the highest individual score of the match with a 9.950.
Who stood out?
In addition to receiving the highest score of the match, Culton earned a 9.750 on the floor, showing why she was the 2020 EAGL Rookie of the Year. Notably, Culton was the only Tar Heel to perform in all four events.
Greenlow brought a solid performance with a shared team-best score on the floor and second best score on the uneven bars.
When was it decided?
Once Temple received a match-low event score of 48.100 on the uneven bars, North Carolina’s lead proved to be insurmountable, though Temple did put up a strong fight in what remained of the match.
Why does it matter?
The Tar Heels improved their overall record to 8-1, while their EAGL record remains undefeated at 6-0. This ensures that UNC will have an undefeated conference record going into the EAGL Championships — an event that they will host on March 20 in Carmichael Arena.
When do they play next?
North Carolina will travel to Williamsburg, Virginia, for a non-conference match against William & Mary on Saturday, March 6, its final tune-up before the conference championships.
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