UNC women’s gymnastics took home their second-consecutive home win of the season over UW-Stout and Yale at the Carolina Tri-Meet.
In standard home meet fashion, the Tar Heels kicked off the Carolina Tri-Meet on vault. Junior Kate Greene set the tone for UNC with a 9.650 as the first competitor, and the team heated up from there. Julia Knower, Kaya Forbes, and Lali Dekanoidze wrapped up vault for North Carolina and served as the team’s top performers in the event, each putting up a 9.825. At the end of the first rotation, UNC was in the lead with 48.000 points, .225 above second-place Yale.
Bars was up next for UNC and junior Jamie Shearer was first in the lineup with a 9.825, just .025 shy of her record. Dekanoidze put up the team’s top-score of 9.975, tying her record. The second rotation was the most successful of the night for the Tar Heels with a team total of 49.350 that allowed them to increase their lead to .850.
Senior Hannah Nam put up a 9.775 as the first beam competitor for UNC, an event that was highlighted by a 9.900 by senior Elizabeth Culton. A consistent performance with no score under 9.725 resulted in a 49.125 score in the third rotation for North Carolina that widened the gap between the Tar Heels and the Bulldogs to 1.500, with the Blue Devils behind by 3.850.
When the final rotation of floor came around, Greene once again did her job of serving as the first competitor with a 9.725. UNC put up 49.000 points in the rotation and were led by first-year Forbes, who scored a 9.875.
The Tar Heels won by 2.025 points with a score of 196.275, beating out their home-opener score by .050.
Who stood out?
Dekanoidze served as a major contributor on both vault and bars, the two events she is currently competing in at this stage in her recovery from a knee injury. Her 9.975 was the highest Tar Heel score in any event of the day.
Culton was right behind her for top score with a 9.900 on beam. This combined with strong performances on bar and floor that earned her a 9.850 and 9.800 respectively made Culton an essential piece of this UNC win.
Knower was the only North Carolina gymnast to compete all-around on Saturday and won all-around with a 39.175.
When was it decided?
Leading after the first rotation was a strong start for North Carolina, but it was still anyone’s meet at that point. After the second rotation ended, signaling the half-way point for the meet, the Tar Heels had a more comfortable lead, while UW-Stout slipped behind, trailing by 2.750. Yale held their ground, but when the Tar Heels had a whole-number lead of 1.500 heading into the final rotation, their dominance in the meet was clear.
Why does it matter?
The Tar Heels posted a conference win and the highest home-opener score in program history when they kicked off competition at Carmichael Arena two weeks ago. Early in the season, another high-scoring meet in their home gym and a second-consecutive home win was a significant achievement for the Tar Heels. This victory provides momentum for the team as they prepare to face an EAGL opponent at Carmichael this weekend.
When do they play next?
North Carolina will face off against EAGL competitor George Washington in Saturday’s Mental Health Awareness Meet.
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