Tigers sneak past UNC Tar Heels
By only half of a tenth of a point, the Tigers pulled ahead of the North Carolina Tar Heels on Friday evening at Carmichael Auditorium in Chapel Hill earning a seasonal high score of 193.100.
“We had no idea we were that close to UNC,” Head Coach Vicki Chliszczyk said. “We knew they had a couple of falls on floor but really didn’t know what the scores were all along. Once I found out I didn’t tell the girls, I let it be announced so it was quite a shock to them.”
The Tar Heels trailed behind the Tigers finishing the meet with an overall score of 193.050.
“I was very surprised when I found out we beat UNC by half of a tenth,” freshman Bailey Gallagher said. “When the announcers called second place and it wasn’t us, our faces were priceless, but it showed us that
if we go out and hit all 21 of our routines, you never know what the outcome is going to be.”
During their first rotation on the uneven parallel bars, Towson struggled putting up a 48.100 event score behind North Carolina’s 48.975.
The Tar Heels Megan Marenghi placed first with a 9.850 and Haley Watts with a 9.800.
Towson junior Samantha Lutz tied for third with three other competitors all putting up a 9.775. Senior Macalla Curtis followed behind Lutz in fifth posting a 9.650.
Both teams posted the same event score on vault with a 48.050, but Gallagher secured first place by posting a 9.750 for the Tigers. Junior Lauren Ross contributed to the overall event score with a 9.650 and
junior Nicolette Vignola with a 9.600.
“We came out with really good energy,” Chliszczyk said. “We have been building confidence in different areas and want to be able to go out there and not have some of that doubt they’ve had in the past.”
With two events left, the Tigers gave an impressive floor routine, posting their highest overall event score of the competition with a 48.750 to top the Tar Heels 47.450.
Senior Alexa Davis led the Tigers with a 9.800 score putting her into third place behind Tar Heels Kristin Aloi and Haley Watts both who posted a 9.850.
Behind Davis followed Ross and Vignola with a 9.775, Lutz and Gallagher with a 9.700 and freshman Bayleigh Fobes with a 9.575.
This was a career high score on floor for Vignola.
“Our teams confidence going into floor was really boosted because we had hit bars and vault before it,” Vignola said. With it being an event that we can really attack and have fun on, the team was ready to keep the ball rolling. We just kept our heads in the game and our minds focused and did what we know how to do.”
Going into the last event, the Tigers trailed behind the Tar Heels by 0.7 points.
Fortunately, the Tigers posted their second highest event score of the competition on beam with a 48.200 and were led by freshman Bridget Steffen and Ross who tied for second with a 9.725.
North Carolina had the top three spots for beam, but were unable to pull ahead of the Tigers after deductions where taken off its overall floor score.
“We were able to go in and put together everything just like we knew we were capable of but hadn’t done yet this season,” sophomore Vicki Vesecky said. “We figured out how to get into competition mode while staying calm and confident. This allowed us to really trust in our gymnastics and show everyone what we’ve been capable of all along.”
In the all-around competition, Ross and Gallagher led the Tigers, finishing first and second. Ross edged Gallagher to win the first all-around title of her career, posting a 38.700 overall score.
Behind Ross, Gallagher posted a career high all-around score of 38.625 while teammate Lutz tied for second with a score of 38.600 with Watts.
“It felt awesome finishing second all-around with my teammates Lauren and Sammy beside me,” Gallagher said. “I was finally able to hit all four events and the result was great.”
Towson returns to competition Saturday, March 8 as it travels to Piscataway, N.J. to compete with host Rutgers, Central Michigan, Yale and Southern Connecticut.
The meet is scheduled to start at 1 p.m at the Livingston Gymnasium.