LIVE BLOG: No. 48 North Carolina at No. 56 Pittsburgh

North Carolina and Pittsburgh are the two ACC teams that have not lived up to expectations to this point in the season. Both teams have been dealing with injuries to key contributors and the lack of high quality depth has hurt the scoring potential from both teams. This meet brings an opportunity to turn the page to the middle of the season against similar level competition with NQS season looming.

While there are injuries to stars, there are still plenty of routines to look out for. Pittsburgh freshmen Emily Todd has scored 9.9 on bars already this season and has a great jaeger to keep a lookout for. Todd’s fellow Great Britain native Hallie Copperwheat is still working back from offseason surgery, but her beam is still the routine to watch. For the Tar Heels, Kaya Forbes has had some better landings on her Yurchenko one and a half this season and it could be the highlight vault tonight. Julia Knower is hitting her stride on floor, which is her strongest event,  and will be the last to go in the third rotation.

Rotation 1: Pittsburgh vault, North Carolina bars

Madsø (PIT): Leg separation and pike in the hips on her Yfull. Landed with her chest down and took a step on the landing. 9.725

Knower (UNC): Big leg separation on the geinger and smaller one on the bail. Hit the last handstand and took a step forward on the FTDT dismount. 9.7

Todd (PIT): Front tuck half vault with not a lot of distance, flexed feet in the air and a large step backward. 9.675

Shearer (UNC): High straddled jaeger, a little close. Leg separation on the bail and a bit short of handstand. Floated the double layout with some feet and a small step back. 9.625

Simons (PIT): Bigger vault than the last two with her Yfull. She had a small pike in the hips but had good leg form and a step back. 9.825

Fink (UNC): Flexed the feet and caught the bar close on the jaeger, but good height. Legs together on her bail and held her body shape in the double layout with a small hop back on the landing. 9.675

Ward (PIT): Great body position on her Yfull with the best dynamics so far. Some bent knees on the table but only the smallest step in place. 9.875

Schaefer (UNC): Not as high in her jaeger, but a cleaner catch and toe point. Her left arm collapsed under her on the bail and she comes off the bar. She ends with a step back on her FTDB dismount. 9.050

Duke (PIT): Not as high as Ward, but really open hips on her Yfull and she had a small side step on the landing. 9.775

Dekanoidze (UNC): Legs glued on the toe on to Maloney to bail. Nails the last handstand. Takes a good size step forward on the double layout dismount. 9.825

Bedminster (PIT): Sticks her Yfull. Biggest one of the bunch. Starts turning a little early off the table, but great body position and dynamics. 9.95

Forbes (UNC): Small leg separations on the Maloney to pak combination. Has that separation on her FTDB dismount as well and sticks the dismount. 9.775

After 1: Pittsburgh 49.150, North Carolina 48.600

There are naturally a bunch of form issues in the North Carolina bars lineup, but having Schaefer who has some of the cleanest form fall, as well as the lack of stuck landings contributed to a lower score than what the Tar Heels were looking for. Pittsburgh will be thrilled with that opening rotation. The judging was on the loose side, but the landing control was there in the back half of the lineup.

Rotation 2: North Carolina vault, Pittsburgh bars

E. King (UNC): Clean body position in the air, not the most dynamic yfull, and had a small hop back. 9.7

Madsø (PIT): Leg separation on both the Maloney and the bail. Short on the last handstand. Looks to just have a step back on the landing of the double tuck out of the stalder, but the judge was standing in the way. 9.725

Shinohara (UNC): Leg separation on the table and had a decent size pike down on her full. Low chest on the landing and hops forward. It looks like her hand slid on the table. 9.525

Lerro (PIT): Kept the legs together on the Maloney to shootover. Hit the giant half and stuck the double front dismount. Did not have a cowboy in that and kept her toes pointed. 9.725

Knower (UNC): Big yfull with an open body position in the air. She landed over the line on the mat so the direction was off. Hop back. 9.75

Simons (PIT): High Ray, soft feet, not the farthest from the bar, but connects it directly to the shootover. Hits the blind full and connects to a stuck double tuck. 9.825

Forbes (UNC): Only the Yfull instead of the 1.5 today and she had way too much power and launched herself to the end of the mat. 9.7

Ewing (PIT): Some feet in the piked jaeger. Hit the bail. Short on the last handstand, but great finish to the giant full before sticking the double tuck. Flexed feet in the dismount. 9.825

Dekanoidze (UNC): Not the farthest from the table on her yfull, but got great height and only had a small pike down. Almost stuck the landing, but might have shuffled the feet. 9.825

Todd (PIT): Some feet on her piked jaeger too, but not as pronounced. Clean bail. Slightly short last handstand. Had a waiver on the landing of her blind full double tuck combo, but looks to have held the stick. Stupid coaches blocking the cameras. 9.8

North Carolina opting to go five up even with the 9.525 instead of having Schaefer do her tucked full.

Bedminster (PIT): Slightly short first handstand. Hit the Maloney. Clean toe on the bail. Step back on the double layout dismount. 9.75

After 2: Pittsburgh 98.075, North Carolina 97.100

There were some strong vaults from North Carolina, but I am surprised Schaefer did not go up, as she could have improved the team score here. Pittsburgh stuck half of the bars landings which contributed to the Panthers being at a 196 pace which Pittsburgh will be trying to keep up through the last two rotations.

Rotation 3: Pittsburgh beam, North Carolina floor

Todd (PIT): Falls over on her Candle mount, doesn’t actually come off the beam though. Came back well for the full turn and the switch to split combo. Good position on the switch half to beat jump. Slightest adjustments on the loso series. Small hop forward on the punch tucked front full dismount. 9.425

Wozniak (UNC): Really good amplitude on the whip to double tuck. Looked to maybe go out of bounds as she flew backwards, but the camera didn’t show that angle. Hit the switch to wolf full wolf full. Did go out of bounds on the double pike and moved the front foot. 9.7 um…. how?

Madsø (PIT): Some knees and a little underrotated on the loso series and brings the back foot forward. Under on the front tuck too, but stays on. Clean switch leap to bhs swingdown. Shoulder dip after the beat jump to ring jump. Sticks the gainer full dismount. 9.725 … again, how?

Schulze (UNC): Controls the front layout to Rudi. Some soft knees and feet. Almost made it around on the split jump 1.5. Didn’t get a rise on the layout out of the back 1.5. Hit the leap pass at the end. 9.775

Ewing (PIT): Some feet and landing adjustment on the side aerial. Hit the bhs loso series. Slow in the switch to switch half to beat jump connection, but will get it. Not the best split position on the switch half. Sticks the gainer full dismount. 9.85

Rueda (UNC): Clean landing on the double pike. Didn’t get the split position on the switch to split full. Clean air position and landing on the back 1.5 to front layout. Came in a little short on the double tuck and hops forward. Some feet in the air on that pass. 9.675

Simons (PIT): Solid on the bhs loso series. Some feet. Clean through the switch to switch to straddle quarter. Half turns out of the side aerial. Steps forward on the front full. 9.75

Forbes (UNC): Feet and leg separation on the full in to open, but controls the lunge out. Legs together on the front layout to front full. Good rotation on the leaps. Looks to have controlled the double tuck landing, but a very bad camera angle makes it hard to know for sure. 9.9

Garvey (PIT): Nice releve on the full turn. Looked a little off on the loso series, but no checks. High front tuck, but takes a step forward and leans. Clean split to stag. Could arch back more. Sticks the gainer pike dismount. 9.825

Knower (UNC): If she hits here, I doubt Miller will go. Let’s see what Knower does though. Bounce on the double pike. Might have gone out, bad angle. Got good amplitude on the back 1.5 to front layout and controlled the step out. Clean rotation on the tour jete half to split full. Good toe point and height on the double tuck. Just slid the front foot back a little. 9.85

Copperwheat (PIT): Hit her candle mount. Clean switch to split jump. Dances out of the side somi. Nails the loso series. Just a full turn today. Check on the side aerial. Sticks the back 1.5 dismount. You could tell she was annoyed about that side aerial, as it was fantastic other than that. 9.9

Miller (UNC): She is going, surprised actually. Apparently, she is a citizen of three countries. Chest a little low on the opening front tuck through to double tuck, but controlled the landing. Clean switch ring to tour jete. The double pike also had a low chest. Not the best position in the switch ring half. 9.75

After 3: Pittsburgh 147.125, North Carolina 146.075

After the first skill for Pittsburgh, the rest of the routines were strong after some up and down rotations earlier this season. Copperwheat is going to want that side aerial back though. North Carolina lacked some control on landings during some routines and had great landings for others. The Tar Heels will be hoping for some of that good beam energy in the last rotation. Pittsburgh is still on a 196 pace with one event to go.

Rotation 4: North Carolina beam, Pittsburgh beam

Naranjo (UNC): Quick full turn. Smooth front aerial to bhs. Some knees on the bhs. Wobble on the switch half, but tries to disguise it and connect it to a split jump beat jump. Stuck the back 1.5 dismount. I would say she won’t get the leap series, but these judges today… 9.8 see

Ward (PIT): Very slowly rotated front full that hurt the punch into the front layout so she side stepped that landing a little. Clean switch to switch half to wolf 1.5. Good rotation on that. Slide the front foot back a little on the Rudi. 9.675

Rueda (UNC): Waiver on the full turn. Feet and knees on the loso series and falls. Clean switch to split. Fights and stays on by bouncing on one leg for the front tuck. Fun save. Bounces back on the double full dismount. 9.0

Larson (PIT): Controls the landing on the double tuck. Some feet. Switch side to straddle full. The rotation did not look cheated. The front layout to front full was a stuck first then lunge forward landing. 9.9

Thompson (UNC): Some feet and knees on the bhs bhs loso series, but solid landing. Small waiver on the switch to straddle quarter. Some leg separation and a small hop forward on the back 1.5. 9.8.

Todd (PIT): Lifts up the front foot, but stays in bounds on the double pike. Clean front layout to front full Bounces on the switch half to wolf full landing. Flexed feet on the double tuck and a hoppy landing. 9.775

Knower (UNC): Good amplitude and control on the loso series. Hesitation between the switch and split jump. Controls the full turn. Slightly off center on the piked front toss and connects it to the beat jump. Step back on the back 1.5 dismount. 9.85

Bedminster (PIT): Feet on the double tuck, but it was nice and high and controlled on the landing. Switch side half to Shushonova. Good amplitude and leg form on the back 1.5 to front layout. Clean rotation on the second leap series. 9.9

Schulze (UNC): Not fully rotated on the split full after the beat jump. Feet on the loso series, but solid landing. Clean switch leap to wolf jump. Steady full turn. Deep landing on the side aerial back 1.5 and takes a step back. 9.9

Copperwheat (PIT): Whips the double pike around on the front tuck through to double pike. Slides the front foot on the landing. Good amplitude and rotation on the triple jump combo. Very controlled double tuck. 9.825

E. King (UNC): Clean traverse split jump half. Good amplitude on the loso series. Lean on that and some knees and feet. A little checky between these leaps. Lacks amplitude on the back 1.5 dismount and has a hop to the side. 9.45

Ewing (PIT): Some knees on the back 1.5 before the front layout and a slight slide on the landing. Around on the switch half to wolf 1.5. Very high double tuck with flexed feet, but keeps the front foot down on the lunge out. 9.925

FINAL: Pittsburgh 196.525, North Carolina 194.875

North Carolina had a lot of bright spots in this meet to take to N.C. State next weekend. Bars and floors landings will make the biggest difference going forward. After a 49.325 on floor the Panthers easily eclipsed the 196 mark for the first time this season while recording the third highest team score in program history.

VT: Bedminster 9.95
UB: Dekanoidze, Simons, Ewing 9.825
BB: Copperwheat, Schulze 9.9
FX: Ewing 9.925
AA: Knower 39.15

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Live blog by Alyssa Van Auker

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