It has been a rocky start for the women’s gymnastics team this season, but there is hope that things will turn around this weekend. UMass is hosting Cornell this Saturday at 4 p.m. in Amherst for the Red’s third meet of the season.
After losing to Penn and placing sixth at the George Washington Invitational, the team is looking for some consistency. As sophomore Abby Vedder says, “We’re hoping to get it all together.” The seven freshmen additions to the team may have had some trouble early on getting adjusted to the world of collegiate sports, but junior captain Andrea Park says that “they’re starting to come around.”
“They have a lot of potential,” says Vedder of the freshmen.
As for expectations for Saturday, head coach Paul Beckwith jokingly said to “win.”
“The score is the most important thing for us at each meet [in order for the team to qualify for the post-season],” he added.
With higher start values for the routines, the Red hopes to edge out the Minutewomen.
Coach Beckwith believes that new records may be set at the meet. Freshman Denise Hurd is expected to do well on vault, after being just half a tenth off the school record on the event at the first meet of the season.
Freshman Stephanie Daehler holds Cornell’s fifth highest all time score for the floor exercise, and is also in contention for setting a new record this weekend. Vedder, the only All-American on the team, might break her own school record for the balance beam.
Most of the team has minor injuries, but has still been competing. “We’re a little banged up,” says Coach Beckwith, “but we’re not going to let that stop us.”
Archived article by Tammy Fang