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Cappalli Takes All-Around Title In Maryland Win
Release: 01/26/2014
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - North Carolina rebounded from last week's disappointing performance to defeat the East Atlantic Gymnastics League rival Maryland, 194.700 to 192.300, at Carmichael Arena. Sophomore Lexi Cappalli took first place in her first ever collegiate meet competing in the all-around.

A crowd of 2,887 fans gathered to watch the Tar Heels as they hosted the Terrapins in their second home meet of the season. Every athlete on the UNC roster competed to help the team as they earned their best overall score- 194.700- of the season, thus far.

"Everyone on the team did great," said Head Coach Derek Galvin, "This is our first meet this year where every single person competed officially in the lineup, and I was very pleased with the way we performed today."

The Tar Heels began the meet on vault. Cappalli, Sarah Peterson and Haley Watts each scored a 9.775 to lead. Michelle Ikoma contributed a solid 9.750, Christina Pheil earned a 9.675 and Margaret Brown a 9.400. At the end of round one, UNC lead Maryland 48.750 to 48.450.

Carolina next took to the uneven bars, where it had a stellar team performance and totaled a score of 48.950. Josselyn Mackey started for the Heels, scoring a 9.575. Acacia Cosentino and Cappalli both executed difficult routines with near perfect dismounts to earn them each a 9.850 and first place finish. Watts, too, stuck her landing and scored a 9.775 to place third overall. Megan Marenghi scored a 9.775 and Ikoma a 9.725 to add to the Tar Heels' effort.

"When we're on on bars, we're a very good team," said Galvin. "That [Bars] is an event that going into the season we were hoping we could improve and bring up to the level of floor and beam, and now it's at that same level."

In round three, UNC competed on beam. Janell Sargent and Cappalli scored the highest for the Heels, each with a 9.750 to tie for second place overall in the event. Meredith Magjuka and Watts both added a 9.725, followed by Marenghi with a 9.700 and Mackey with a 9.675. These six strong performances helped Carolina finally pull away from Maryland, who suffered three falls on beam.

The Tar Heels moved onto floor for the fourth and final round of the meet. Here, Cappalli dazzled again, scoring a 9.825 to finish first in the event. Watts secured a 9.775 to place second, and Magjuka scored a 9.725. Kristin Aloi had a solid routine that scored a 9.675, Peterson added a 9.550 and Pheil earned a 9.125, despite a tumble out of bounds.

Today's meet marked Cappalli's first time competing in all four events for Carolina, and there is no question that she stole the show. She had two first place finishes on bars and floor, a second place finish on beam and a third place finish on vault to earn an all-around score of 39.200. Watts, who is typically the only all-arounder for UNC, was consistent yet again, finishing second overall behind Cappalli with a total score of 39.050. Maryland's two all-around competitors finished third and fourth.

The Tar Heels, now 3-2, are looking ahead to this Friday, Jan. 31, when they will host the University of Pittsburgh in Carmichael Arena at 7 p.m.

UNC North Carolina Gymnastics

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