After securing a win at home against Temple University last Saturday, the North Carolina gymnastics team (9-5) traveled to Raleigh and added another win to its record after defeating the N.C. State Wolfpack (8-4) 196.625-196.350.
With North Carolina ranked first in the EAGL conference and the Wolfpack in second, this competition was kept close until the very end. In this dual meet on the road, the Tar Heels competed against the N.C. State gymnastics team in four events: floor exercise, the vault, uneven parallel bars, and balance beam.
For the first rotation, UNC started on the uneven parallel bars and finished with a score of 49.025. The highest score in this event for the Tar Heels was 9.825 from junior Elizabeth Culton’s clean performance. The Wolfpack ended their first rotation over UNC by .025 points, with a final score of 49.050 on vault.
Continuing onto the second rotation, the Tar Heels competed on vault while N.C. State moved onto the uneven parallel bars. First-year Julia Knower especially excelled and earned a new personal collegiate best of 9.875, which first-year Lali Dekanoidze also scored in this event. Although the Wolfpack brought in a score of 48.900 after a couple of falls and slip ups, UNC pulled ahead by finishing with an impressive rotation score of 49.225, bringing the total score to 98.250 over N.C. State’s 97.950.
UNC then moved onto the floor exercise for the third rotation, and did not disappoint. Junior Hannah Nam kicked off this event with a stellar score of 9.825. Dekanoidze once again brought her best and left everything on the floor by achieving a new personal collegiate best of 9.900. Still keeping this competition neck and neck, the Wolfpack received an impressive score of 49.175. By bringing in the same amount of points, however, the Tar Heels stayed on top with a total of 147.425 points, compared to N.C. State’s 147.125.
To finish the meet, North Carolina advanced to the beam and ended with a score of 49.200. Once again, Dekanoidze earned the most points in this rotation with a score of 9.900. Competing in the floor exercise for this rotation, N.C. State brought in 49.225 points, but it was not enough to defeat UNC. In the end, The Tar Heels finished on top with a score of 196.625, while the Wolfpack ended with a total score of 196.350.
Who stood out?
Many members of this North Carolina team may have given some of their best performances of the season throughout this meet, especially senior Emery Summey, who matched her personal best of 9.825 on both the vault and balance beam. Dekanoidze, last week’s EAGL gymnast of the week, is proving to be a profound leader on this team in her first year at UNC. In this meet, she not only earned a new personal best of 9.900 in the floor exercise, but she also brought in a dazzling all-around score of 39.475.
When was it decided?
With the total scores being only .3 points apart at the end of the third rotation, this meet was not decided until the final competitor of the last rotation. Although the Wolfpack barely led at the end of the first rotation, the Tar Heels dominated in every other area, winning by a just .275 points.
Why does it matter?
This first win on the road for the Tar Heels does not only help maintain their first place standing in the EAGL conference, but their final score of 196.625 is a season-high and betters the chances of qualifying for regional and national competition this year. Nationally, the qualifying score is based on the team’s six best scores, three of which must be away, so this win was imperative to their future success.
When do they play next?
After competing on the road, the Tar Heels will come back home to Carmichael Arena for their last home meet of the season to face West Virginia next Saturday at 6:45 p.m.
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