ACC Gymnastics Week 5 Preview: Battles of the undefeated and winless

By Kasey Nelson | February 1, 2024
Pitt gymnastics looking for its first win in ACC gymnastics for the 2024 season.
© Pitt Athletics

Get ready for another weekend of all-conference ACC gymnastics duals to find out who will be 3-0 in the ACC and who will grab their first ACC win.

NC State travels to Clemson to face the Tigers in their first-ever matchup and what should prove to be a fight to the finish for two undefeated teams in conference play. Meanwhile, North Carolina heads to Pitt for their first meeting of the season as each seeks their first conference win of the season. 

Read on for more on these two matchups.

NC State @ #20 Clemson

Week 5 Matchup: Friday, February 2 @ 7 p.m. ET | North Carolina State @ Clemson Live Stats | Video (ESPN) |

On Friday, the Wolfpack are heading to Clemson to face the No. 20 Tigers in their first-ever matchup with Clemson. The Tigers are hosting a #NGWSD (National Girls and Women in Sports Day) celebration inside Littlejohn Coliseum. 

Although they’ve never faced each other (seeing as Clemson is a new program), this meet is expected to be an extremely close matchup since both teams have scored within 0.05 or less of each other in their last two meets. Last weekend, Clemson scored a 196.559 at North Carolina and NC State scored a 196.500 at home against Pitt. In Week 3, NC State posted a 196.225 at UNC and Clemson posted a 196.200 against Pitt. This is definitely a must-watch meet to see who will come out on top with a 3-0 record. 

NC State head coach Kim Landrus spoke on her team’s preparation to take on the Tigers:

“We have to continue working on the little things and at what’s going to be the difference maker — sticking those landings on bars and beam, and, of course, great landings on vault. They know we have to be disciplined in the details, and they’ve been doing a phenomenal job of just embracing that.”

Routines to watch:

  • Emily Shepard (NC State) all-around: Shepard earned 9.925s on bars and floor last weekend and took home four titles (vault, bars, floor, AA)  to earn ACC Gymnast of the Week. She ranks No. 1 in the all-around in the ACC.
  • Lauren Rutherford (Clemson) on vault: After a 9.925 last weekend for her stuck Yurchenko 1.5, she ranks No. 2 in the ACC on the event.
  • Chloe Negrete (NC State) on vault, beam and floor: Negrete tied with Shepard for first on vault (9.875) and floor (9.925) last week. She ranks No. 1 in the ACC on vault and is tied for No. 2 on beam. 
  • Brie Clark (Clemson) on beam and floor: She earned a 9.9 on beam and 9.925 on floor last weekend to earn ACC Specialist of the Week. She ranks No. 1 in the ACC on floor and No. 16 nationally.
  • Kielyn McCright (Clemson) on beam: She earned a 9.9 in back-to-back meets to take the event titles. She ranks No. 2 in the ACC on the event, tied with Negrete. 

North Carolina @ Pitt

Week 5 Matchup: Friday, February 2 @ 7 p.m. ET | North Carolina @ Pittsburgh Live Stats | Video (ESPN)

On Friday, the Tar Heels are heading to Pittsburgh to take on the Panthers at Fitzgerald Field House. 

Both teams are 0-2 in the ACC after falling to both NC State and Clemson. North Carolina is averaging a 194.613, and Pitt is averaging a 193.925. Last weekend, both teams struggled with counting falls — UNC on bars and Pitt on beam. The Tar Heels scored a 194.250, and the Panthers scored 194.1. Both teams will be looking to hit 6-for-6 on each event this week to come out with the win. 

Pitt head coach Casey Jo MacPherson spoke on her team’s preparations to host North Carolina:

“We’ll be focused on hitting well-executed routines with a calm and confident approach. Our team is getting stronger each week during training, and we want to apply the same quality gymnastics in our upcoming competition routines.”

Routines to watch:

  • Isabelle Schaefer (UNC) on bars: She earned a 9.925 last weekend and currently ranks No. 1 in the ACC on the event.
  • Jah’Liyah Bedminster (Pitt) on floor: She posted a career high of 9.875 last weekend.
  • Julia Knower (UNC) on floor: She earned a 9.9 last weekend. 
  • Hallie Copperwheat (Pitt) on floor: After returning to the floor lineup, she’s helped the team post 49+ in back-to-back meets. She earned a 9.85 last weekend. 


  • At the 2023 EAGL Championships, the Tar Heels came in third (196.350), and the Panthers finished eighth (194.225).
  • In February 2023, the Tar Heels won their dual meet against the Panthers (195.700-194.950).