ACC Gymnastics Week 6 Recap: Wolfpack and Tigers Continue to Climb

By Kasey Nelson | February 13, 2024
NC State's Katya Edwards at the Wolfpack's meet against North Carolina.
© NC State Athletics

In Week 6, the Wolfpack rolled past the Tar Heels to become 4-0 in ACC Gymnastics with their highest team score of the season (196.725) while Clemson bounced back with a win over Pitt. 

Read on for the highlights from the two ACC gymnastics matchups in Week 6.

#23 Clemson @ Pitt

Final score: Clemson: 196.375 – Pitt: 195.900

The Panthers began their night with a 49 on vault after Kennedy Duke led off with a 9.825. Arayah Simons posted a 9.85, and Ciara Ward also added a 9.825. Anchor Jah’Liyah Bedminster highlighted the rotation for Pitt with a stuck Yurchenko full for the second week in a row, earning a 9.9 and the vault title. 

The Tigers just missed the 49 mark on bars with a 48.925. Eve Jackson posted a 9.8 followed by an uncharacteristic fall from Lilly Lippeatt’s on her Ray, but the team was able to drop her score. Kaitlin DeGuzman got the Tigers back on track with a 9.8 after displaying her Jaeger to bail and double layout dismount. 

Headed into rotation two, the Panthers led by 0.075. Clemson turned to vault, posting a 49.050. Rebecca Wells led off with 9.85 on her Yurchenko full, and freshman Kate Bryant made her debut (9.7) while filling in for Lauren Rutherford, who wasn’t feeling well. Madison Minner added a 9.8 for her tuck 1.5, and Trinity Brown anchored the Tigers with a 9.875 on her big Yurchenko full.

Pitt posted a 48.875 on bars, highlighted by Simons, who posted a 9.825 and took the event title after displaying her huge Ray to bail and blind full to stuck double back dismount. Jordyn Ewing also added a 9.8 with a blind full to stuck double back.

Through two rotations, Clemson was in the lead by one-tenth. On beam, the Panthers’ Ewing had a fall on her series, but they were able to drop her score. Simons led the Panthers again with a 9.85, Reyna Garvey added a 9.8 after a stuck gainer pike dismount, and anchor Hallie Copperwheat matched that score.

Clemson moved to their best event, floor, where they posted a 49.275 and increased their lead to 0.525. Brown showed off her tumbling with a stuck front tuck through to double back to earn a 9.825, and Wells tied her career high of 9.9 with a big full-in and 1.5 through to double full. Molly Arnold posted a 9.825 with a full-in and 2.5 to punch front, and Brie Clark posted a 9.9 after her big double layout and front layout to front full to front tuck, which earned her a tie for first with Wells and Ewing. In the anchor spot, Minner (in for Rutherford) showcased a front double full and Rudi to back layout stepout for a 9.825. 

In the final rotation, Pitt posted a 49.175 on floor. Kaylee Larson scored a 9.825, Emily Todd added a 9.8, and Bedminster built with a 9.875 for her double tuck and 1.5 to punch front layout. Copperwheat had an unfortunate fall on her double tuck, but Ewing bounced back in the anchor spot with a clutch 9.9 to tie for first.

On beam, Clemson scored a 49.125, coming back strong after last week. Lippeatt led off with a 9.825 after a stuck front gainer full, and Wells earned a 9.925 after a stuck double full dismount to tie her career high and take the event title. Kielyn McCright added a 9.825 after a stuck gainer full dismount. Clark fell on her series in the fifth spot, putting pressure on freshman Sierra Church in the anchor position, but Church delivered the clutch performance they needed by sticking her 1.5 dismount for a 9.8 to secure the win for the Tigers. Wells won the all-around title with a 39.450.

Upcoming matchups:

North Carolina @ NC State

Final score: NC State: 196.725 – UNC: 194.925

The Wolfpack started their day with a 49.100 on vault. Krista Zultevicz earned a 9.825, and Ashley Knight posted a 9.85 for her front handspring pike half. Emily Shepard added a 9.85 on her stuck Yurchenko full, and Chloe Negrete anchored with a 9.8. Both Knight and Shepard tied for first on the event. On bars, the Tar Heels’ Gwen Fink posted a 9.825 for her routine featuring a Jaeger to bail handstand and double layout dismount, and anchor Lali Dekanoidze posted the top score for UNC with a 9.85 for her routine.

After rotation one, NC State led by 0.35. On vault, UNC’s Dekanoidze and Forbes both posted 9.825s for their Yurchenko fulls. On bars, NC State posted a 48.950, just missing the 49 mark. Peyton Childs stuck her blind full. to double back for a 9.8, and sophomore Madeline Reid made her debut (9.725). Alexis Ortega added a 9.8 after displaying her big Hindorff, and Shepard anchored with a stuck full-twisting double back to earn the bars title with a 9.875.

The Wolfpack moved to beam, where they posted a huge season-high 49.400. Meg Adler led off with a 9.825, and Macy Jennings earned a career high of 9.9 after displaying her triple series of back handspring to back handspring to layout. Ortega also posted a career high of 9.925 with her back handspring to Onodi and switch leap to pike gainer to finish first. Shepard stuck her side aerial to 1.5 to earn a 9.9, and Negrete anchored the Wolfpack with a 9.85. On floor, the Tar Heels broke into the 49s, posting a 49.1. Camryn Rueda scored a career-high 9.875 with a big double pike, 1.5 to punch front layout, and double back, and Bella Miller and anchor Julia Knower both earned matching 9.85s.

Headed into the final rotation, NC State still held the lead over UNC. The Tar Heels’ Jessica Naranjo led off beam with a front aerial to back handspring and back handspring 1.5 dismount to earn a 9.825. Elly King and Hallie Thompson had back-to-back falls in the lineup, so the Tar Heels had to count Thompson’s 9.025. Fink got UNC back on track with a 9.8, and Knower led the way on beam with a 9.85. Due to counting the fall, UNC failed to break into the 195s for the third meet in a row.

For NC State, the team ended the night on a high note by posting a 49.275 on floor. Knight earned a 9.8, Zultevicz posted a 9.875 after her 2.5 to punch front, and sophomore Katya Edwards made her debut with a 9.85. Shepard took the floor title with a 9.9 after her double pike, front layout to front full, and double back. Negrete anchored the Wolfpack with a 9.85 to secure the win en route to a season-high team score of 196.725. Shepard also earned the all-around title with a 39.525.

Upcoming matchups: