North Carolina will meet East Atlantic Gymnastics League rival NC State for the first time this season as the Wolfpack host the Sweetheart Invitational Saturday at 7 p.m. Also competing will be George Washington, William and Mary, Pittsburgh and Bowling Green.
The Tar Heels are 1-2 versus the Colonials and 2-0 against the Tribe, but have yet to face Pittsburgh and Bowling Green. UNC's most recent competition was a tri-meet with George Washington and William and Mary in which Carolina placed second with a 193.275.
Head coach Derek Galvin expects his team to rebound from Monday night's performance with an increased competitiveness going into Reynolds Coliseum.
"We had a little bit of a letdown this past week at GW," said Galvin. "We didn't do as well as the team expected to, but we're going into this week with a sharper focus than we may have had Monday."
As the season reaches its midway point, Galvin knows how important it is for the Tar Heels to stay focused.
"The excitement of the beginning of the year has worn off, and we're at that point where we're in the grind. This is where you really have to be mentally tough."
This weekend's meet, Galvin added, will be a great test for the team's toughness.
"This is a good opportunity for us to renew the rivalry we have with State in gymnastics and so many of our sports," said Galvin. "Regardless of rankings, whenever NC State and Carolina meet, it's always exciting. So we're looking forward to that."
The meet will be broadcasted on ESPN3 and live stats will be updated throughout the competition.
The Tar Heels will be back in Carmichael to host the Wolfpack Feb. 22 at 7 p.m.