With a 195.550 the Tar Heels landed in a close second place behind NC State Saturday in the Sweetheart Invitational. The Wolfpack earned a 195.675 while Pittsburgh came in third, followed by George Washington, William and Mary and Bowling Green.
UNC recorded season highs on the uneven bars and balance beam. The Tar Heels bested the competition on bars, tallying a 49.075. Carolina also tied with NC State for the highest team score on beam with 49.100.
"What we've seen over the years is anytime we face NC State, whether it is in Raleigh or Chapel Hill, it's always a good meet," said head coach Derek Galvin. "We certainly have respect for their team, but when we step out on the floor with them I want to beat them."
With six schools competing, each team had two byes in their rotation. Carolina kicked off the meet on floor exercise, where the team totaled a 48.950. Sophomore Haley Watts topped the team with a 9.850, tying her personal best. Senior and co-captain Elizabeth Durkac followed with a 9.825. With a 9.775, freshman Lexi Cappalli finished third for the Tar Heels. Redshirt juniors Michelle Ikoma and Meredith Magjuka tied with a 9.750.
Next for UNC was vault. Watts and Durkac were the leaders, both scoring a 9.725. Cappalli earned a 9.700 to rank third amongst her team. Ikoma recorded a 9.675, while freshman Sarah Peterson was close behind with a 9.600.
Durkac led the Tar Heels on the bars with the best performance of her career, earning a 9.900 and placing first overall. Ikoma tied for second with a 9.850 to set a new career best. Freshman Josselyn Mackey, junior Emily Cornwell and Cappalli each recorded a 9.775.
Sophomore Janell Sargent set a new personal best and landed in second place overall on the balance beam as she was awarded a 9.900. With a 9.850, Magjuka finished third overall. Durkac and fellow captain Maura Masatsugu followed with a 9.825. Mackey rounded out the event for the team with a 9.700.
After weeks of overcoming pain in her ankles to compete, Durkac finished first in the all-around competition for the third time this season, scoring a 39.275.
"Overall I think the team feels good about what they did tonight," said Galvin. "And I'm certainly pleased with the way they performed tonight."
Carolina will return home for a rematch with NC State Feb. 22 at 7 p.m.