Stephanie Giameo won the all-around for the third consecutive meet as the Maryland gymnastics team defeated North Carolina, 194.925 to 194.425, Friday night at Comcast Center. This was the second meeting between the teams this season and they have now each won one.
Maryland (7-3, 4-2 EAGL) extended its undefeated home record to 7-0. This was the Terps’ ‘Pride’ meet in which they wore leotards with the state flag on them and were fueled with a desire to make the school proud.
“It’s all about Maryland pride,” head coach Brett Nelligan said. “This school’s doing a great job with these pride games. It’s a lot of fun. They take it really serious to wear the Maryland flag and compete. It means everything for them. They weren’t going to leave with anything but a win.”
Giameo’s 39.125 total earned her the all-around title. She had first-place finishes on vault and beam.
“She’s a competitor,” Nelligan said. “She loves competing. She loves winning. If it’s in her control to do it, she’ll do it. She’ll put everything on the line for the team to get the win.”
Giameo’s 9.725 on vault gave her the victory in the first rotation. Carolina’s Haley Watts also scored a 9.725 to tie for first. The judges’ standards were set high on the event and vault was the lowest team score for both Maryland and North Carolina.
The Terps trailed entering the second rotation as they swapped events with the Tar Heels and went to bars. Senior Jessie Black hit a nearly flawless routine to notch a career-high 9.875 for first place. Black has not consistently been in the lineup on bars this season.
“I’m so proud of her in her senior year,” Nelligan said. “She was struggling with that dismount early in the year and that’s why she wasn’t in. She nailed it tonight. It was a great moment for her. We needed it. She was the spark for bars tonight.”
Sarah Faller also hit a personal best on bars with a 9.800 to tie with Kathy Tang for fifth place. Karen Tang finished third with a 9.825. The strong rotation for the Terps gave them the lead entering the third rotation.
On beam, Giameo anchored for the Terps and nailed her routine with a 9.875 for first place. Ebony Walters’ powerful routine earned her a 9.800 for a fourth-place finish.
In the final rotation, Karen Tang scored a 9.900 on the event and tied her personal-best mark on floor. Walters was close behind with 9.875 for second.
The Terps hope to take this momentum with them on the road where they have not yet seen a victory. Maryland will take on NC State, Pittsburgh and William & Mary on Feb. 28 in Raleigh, N.C.
“The key for us is to take this confidence and this energy from the last three weeks and bring it with us on the road,” Nelligan said.