After finishing second behind No. 25 North Carolina State (7-2) just a few days ago, the No. 23 North Carolina gymnastics team (4-1) took revenge against the Wolfpack on Friday, defeating them 195.300-195.025 in Carmichael Arena.
On the first rotation of the meet, the Tar Heels started out on vault, while the Wolfpack began on the uneven parallel bars. Both teams entered the competition headfirst with strong performances in their respective events. UNC was very polished throughout the rotation, not having a single score out of the six drop below 9.650. Redshirt first-year Hallie Thompson led North Carolina with a score of 9.825 in the event, but N.C. State’s podium sweep of 9.875, 9.875 and 9.900 on the bars gave them a 0.375 lead by the end of the rotation, the overall score being 49.050 to 48.675.
On the second rotation of the meet, the teams switched events, with the Tar Heels moving to bars and the Wolfpack moving to vault. The two teams continued to record strong performances, with 9.650 still being the lowest score any Tar Heel received. Led by the performances of sophomores Sophie Silverstein and Elizabeth Culton, a score of 48.650 was recorded, but it trailed the score of opposing N.C. State by 0.100 points. The overall score of the meet through the halfway mark was 97.800 for N.C. State to North Carolina’s 97.325 — a 0.475 deficit.
In the third rotation of the meet the Tar Heels performed on the balance beam while the Wolfpack performed on the floor. With strong performances all around the board, North Carolina was able to turn the tide and gain a lead after the event was finished. The score of the rotation was 49.125 for North Carolina, and 48.350 for NC State, a 0.775 difference. The Tar Heels found themselves in a 0.300 lead when it mattered most, with an overall score of 146.450 to 146.150.
In the fourth rotation, the two teams switched events for the final time, with the Tar Heels moving to floor exercise and the Wolfpack moving to the balance beam. The Tar Heels continued their consistency throughout the meet, posting a low of only 9.625. Sophomores Hannah Nam and Brianna Greenlow led North Carolina with a score of 9.875, helping the Tar Heels stay atop N.C. State to win and split the season series 1-1. The Wolfpack finished the rotation with a score of 48.875 to North Carolina’s 48.850, but that only made up for 0.025 of their 0.300 point deficit. The final score in the Tar Heel victory was 195.300 for North Carolina, and 195.025 for NC State.
Who stood out?
Culton and Thompson posted phenomenal numbers in multiple events. Culton led the Tar Heels in both the bars and the beam, while Thompson led the team in the vault and tied with Nam on the beam, both barely trailing Culton.
When was it decided?
The meet was not decided until the end of the final rotation, with both teams putting up similar numbers throughout the event.
Why does it matter?
The meet counts as North Carolina’s third conference matchup in the Eastern Atlantic Gymnastics League (EAGL), in which they were already tied for first. With the win over N.C. State, they are now alone in first place.
When do they play next?
The Tar Heels travel to Towson, Md. on Feb. 19, where there will compete in a quad meet against LIU Brooklyn, Pittsburgh, and Towson starting at 6 p.m.
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