Clemson celebrating

LIVE BLOG: No. 46 North Carolina at No. 24 Clemson

Hello, friends! Tonight, we are live from Littlejohn Coliseum as the UNC Tar Heels visit the Clemson Tigers. This will be their second matchup this season. Tonight will also be both teams’ last ACC matchup before the conference championships in March. Tonight’s meet is a pink meet in support of breast cancer awareness. The Tigers are dedicating this meet to Robyn Easlick, the owner of Easley Gymnastics. The Tigers trained at Easley while their training facility was being built. Unfortunately, Easlick lost her battle to breast cancer before the Tigers got the new facility, and never got to see what she helped build.

The Tar Heels had a rough go of things for a couple of weeks. However, last week they looked really good. Posting a 196.650, the Tar Heels earned a season-high at home against the Pittsburgh Panthers. Lali Dekanoidze, Isabelle Schaefer, Gwen Fink, and Julia Knower are some names that helped propel them to victory last week. This team has been on the rise for the past few years and looks hungry for a conference road win tonight.

The Tigers have been solid all season but unfortunately fell to NC State last week as the Wolfpack clinched ACC regular season champs. Despite having to count two falls last week, the Tigers still looked good. Clemson has been balancing lineups the past few weeks to help combat some illnesses that have impacted some of the main contributing gymnasts such as Brie Clark and Lauren Rutherford. Hopefully, this week the Tigers will have a healthy team and have a great night at home.

Last time these two teams met, the Tigers took home the win at UNC. However, the Tar Heels are coming off of a conference win. Will the Tigers sweep the Tar Heels or will the Tar Heels take home another conference win? Tonight’s meet is going to be a fun one to watch, especially with the atmosphere the fans in Littlejohn create!

Rotation 1: Clemson VT, UNC UB

Wells (CU): Yurchenko full, small hop backward. 9.800

Shearer (UNC): Nice high straddle Jaeger. Pretty bail to handstand. Beautiful double layout, stuck. 9.725

Jackson (CU): Yurchenko full, looked a little slow in the air, small step out of bounds. 9.800

Knower (UNC): Piked Tkatchev, small form in air. Bail to handstand, small leg separation. Huge full-twisting double back, looked like she missed her grab in the air but lands nicely. 9.825

Brown (CU): Nice Yurchenko full, small step. 9.875

Forbes (UNC): Maloney to Pak, huge form break in the transition. Looks a little tired personally. Double layout, a little low, takes a step forward. 9.175

Arnold (CU): Huge Yurchenko 1.5, small hop backward. 9.800

Fink (UNC): Pretty straddle Jaeger. Nice bail to handstand. Beautiful double layout, stuck. 9.850

Rutherford (CU): Beautiful Yurchenko 1.5, slight slide to the side. 9.925

Schaefer (UNC): Huge straddle Jaeger. Nice bail to handstand. Blind full to double back, small hop. 9.825

Bryant (CU): Slight lineup change but we have a debut!!! Pretty Yurchenko full, tried to fight for the stick but steps forward. 9.750

Dekanoidze (UNC): Maloney to immediate bail to handstand. Huge stuck double layout. 9.925

After 1: Clemson 49.200 UNC 49.150

Both teams looked great during the first rotation. UNC showed great control and consistency in each routine. Clemson looked equally as consistent and controlled. For those who know the significance, DJ Sha is in the house!!!! Littlejohn is always a great atmosphere!

Rotation 2: Clemson UB, UNC VT

Fink (UNC): Yurchenko full, small hop backward. 9.825

Wells (CU): Huge Tkatchev to immediate bail. Nice and aggressive throughout. Nice double layout, stuck. 9.850

Shinohara (UNC): Nice Yurchenko full, small step. 9.800

Jackson (CU): Nice Jaeger to start. Bail to handstand. Huge full-twisting double back, stuck. 9.900

Prejean (UNC): Yurchenko full, small hop backward. 9.750

Lippeatt (CU): Pretty Tkatchev to immediate bail. Aggressive handstands throughout. Blind full to double back, small hop forward. 9.825

Knower (UNC): Yurchenko 1.5, missed her block a little and ends up short, takes a few steps back. 9.550

DeGuzman (CU): Beautiful straddle Jaeger to immediate bail. Nice double layout, almost gets the stick. She’s such a pretty bar worker. 9.725

Dekanoidze (UNC): Nice Yurchenko full, small hop. 9.875

Rutherford (CU): Beautiful Ray. Bail to handstand, small form on top of the low bar. Pretty double layout, small hop forward. 9.825

Forbes (UNC): Nice Yurchenko full, slight step back. 9.900

Brown (CU): Great Maloney to Pak. Nice lines and love the aggressiveness. Huge double layout, stuck. 9.850

After 2: Clemson 98.450 UNC 98.300

The Tigers maintain a .15 lead over the Tar Heels. This was, overall, another great rotation for both teams. Some form here and there for both teams but some great gymnastics. I can definitely tell each team has been working on landings in the gym…the sticks seem to be contagious. We’re heading into the second half of the meet, lots more great gymnastics ahead!

Rotation 3: Clemson BB, UNC FX

Lippeatt (CU): Front aerial to bhs swing-down, little hesitant in the connection but pretty. Nice switch leap split jump. Pretty full turn. Split half from the side of the beam, solid. Front gainer full, stuck. 9.850

Wozniak (UNC): Ro bhs double back, huge height but seemed a little low on landing. Great height and extension in leaps. Nice wolf full wolf half. Ro bhs double pike, steps out of bounds. 9.625

Clark (CU): Nice standing front tuck to huge straddle jump. Bhs loso, solid. Full turn, small balance check. Split jump straddle 1/4, nice amplitude. Ro 1.5 stuck. 9.775

Schulze (UNC): Great fhs front layout Rudi to open. Switch leap split half, nice lines. Standing split full, nice amplitude. Almost sits her last pass down but saves it with some steps backward. 9.575

Jackson (CU): Nice bhs loso. Switch leap, little off balance. Nice full turn. Ro 1.5, small hop forward. 9.200

Fink (UNC): Nice ro bhs double pike to open. Beautiful ro bhs 2.5. Switch leap split half, nice lines and amplitude. Huge ro bhs full to front layout. That was a beautiful routine holy cow. 9.825

Wells (CU): Nice full turn. Switch leap split 3/4, chest a little low but pretty. Nice and aggressive bhs loso. Beautiful ro double, stuck cold. I love how quick and sharp her routine is. 9.850

Miller (UNC): Huge front through to double back, has a little to much sauce and step out of bounds. Nice switch ring split full, split was a little under 180 in the jump. Ro bhs double pike, great posture and amplitude. Switch ring half to close. 9.600

McCright (CU): Pretty full turn. Bhs loso, small shuffle of her front foot. Beat jump split half, nice lines. Switch leap split jump, pretty. Nice side gainer full, stuck. 9.900

Forbes (UNC): A huge full-in to open. Tour jete half to straddle full, nice height. Ro bhs double back, chest a little low. 9.625

Church (CU): Bhs loso, great height and extension. Gorgeous beat jump split jump straddle 3/4. Side aerial to wolf jump, so so pretty. Ro back 1.5, stuck cold. I love how confident she always looks on beam. 9.925

Knower (UNC): Nice ro bhs double pike. Fhs front layout front full, great height and lines. Switch full split half, nice amplitude. Ro bhs double back, little low on juice and takes a large step forward. 9.775

After 3: Clemson 147.750 UNC 146.750

With some out-of-bounds landings and low split degrees from the Tar Heels, the Tigers have pulled their lead ahead a full point. Even though the Tar Heels had some shaky landings, they still looked solid. I loved the energy the Tar Heels had as a team through every routine.

Rotation 4: Clemson FX, UNC BB

Naranjo (UNC): Nice full turn. Pretty front aerial to bhs, small break in connection. Switch half split jump beat jump, nice lines and extension. Nice ro 1.5, small step. 9.825

Holman (CU): HUGE fhs double full, nice landing. Switch side wolf full, pretty. Ro double full loso, its always so pretty in the air. 9.825

Thompson (UNC): Bhs bhs loso, nice control. Man I love triple series. Nice leaps. Full turn, slight balance check. Ro 1.5, slight leg separation in the air and small hop back. 9.850

Jackson (CU): Huge full-in to open. Switch full wolf full, pretty. Front through to ro bhs double back, small foot adjustment. Nice tuck jump full. 9.900

Fink (UNC): Switch leap split leap, pretty. Bhs loso loso, nice power but fights to stay on and takes a step forward. Nice full turn. A fun front walkover, slight balance check. Bhs 1.5, small hop forward. 9.775

Arnold (CU): HUGE stuck full-in to open. Switch half wolf full, nice height. Ro bhs 2.5 front tuck, great amplitude and control. I love the way the crowd gets into her routine. 9.925

Knower (UNC): Super floaty bhs loso to start. Nice full turn. Piked front toss to beat jump, slight balance check during the connection. Pretty dismount, small step. 9.550

Wells (CU): Huge full-in, a little underrotated and steps forward. Nice front tuck down the middle. Switch full straddle full straddle full, great height. Ro 1.5 step out to double full to close, nice control. 9.950

Schulze (UNC): Pretty straddle full, looked like she cheated it around a bit. Bhs loso, nice lines but small wobble. Switch leap to wolf jump, slight balance check. Side aerial, back 1.5, small step. 9.650

Clark (CU): HUGE ro bhs double layout to open. She sent that double lay to the rafters. I love the student section doing her dance with her. Great punch front layout front full front tuck, stuck no step needed. That was a lights out floor routine, wow. 9.925

E. King (UNC): Nice split half. Bhs loso, solid. Switch half, back leg looked a little low but pretty. Switch leap beat jump, small balance check. Solid full turn. Ro 1.5, small hop. 9.650

Rutherford (CU): Beautiful back 2.5 punch front, stuck…wow. Pretty leaps as always. Ro bhs double tuck, small foot shuffle but solid. That was a great routine to end the Tigers on floor. 9.900

FINAL: Clemson 197.350 UNC 195.500

That was a fantastic and entertaining meet wow. Although the Tar Heels had some small mistakes here and there, they looked pretty solid. With a few honed-in landings and form, the Tar Heels look to be in a good place going into the second half of the season. The Tigers were lights out tonight. That was by far the best they’ve looked all year. I’m glad to see the Tigers were finally able to put it all together and get that 197 they’ve been reaching for. Additionally, I loved seeing Sierra’s cousin honored at the end of the meet as she is currently winning her fight with breast cancer (I was a little teary-eyed during the celebration not gonna lie). As we head toward the postseason, I’m excited to see what these teams have left to show us!

VT: Lauren Rutherford (CU) 9.925
UB: Lali Dekanoidze (UNC) 9.925
BB: Sierra Church (CU) 9.925
FX: Rebecca Wells (CU) 9.950
AA: Rebecca Wells (CU) 39.450

READ THIS NEXT: Questions, Comments, Concerns: Week 7

Live blog by Jessica Brock

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