February 10, 2009

Gymnastics Finish Second to Nationally-Ranked Host Team

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The gymnastics team traveled to State College, Penn. this past weekend to compete in a quadrangular with Penn State, Penn and William & Mary. Despite losing key contributors to injuries, the Red faired well and finished second with a team score of 189.675, behind only the nationally-ranked Nittany Lions. The Red held off ECAC foes Penn and William & Mary to help secure a third place standing in its conference.
“We’re very happy,” said sophomore Kerri Lavallee, who led the Red on vault with a 9.775. “We competed well against a big, nationally-ranked school, in addition to two ECAC opponents.”[img_assist|nid=34916|title=Catlike reflexes|desc=Freshman Maddie Standridge led the Red on beam with a 9.775 on Saturday.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
The Red was without two of its top contributors, Brittany Howse and Emily Santoro, who were unable to compete due to injuries. Still, the Red did not miss a beat as girls stepped into events that they were not accustomed to and posted great performances. Freshman Melanie Standridge led the way for the Red on beam with a 9.775, good for fourth place individually. Emily Lenk topped all Red performers on floor with a score of 9.775.
“Going in, we knew Penn State was going to be tough to compete against, as they’re one of the top teams in the nation,” said sophomore Maddie Pearsall, who led the team with a 9.500 on bar. “We just wanted to go in and have a good meet against some other ECAC teams. That’s what we did.”
Up next for the Red is a home date with ECAC rival Towson, who currently sits atop the ECAC.
Having just recently beaten two ECAC schools, combined with the record-breaking start to its season, the Red’s excitement and confidence is riding high.
“Performing well over the weekend gives us a lot of confidence moving forward,” said Lavallee. “We’re all really excited for Towson.”
The only subpar team performance over the weekend came on the bar event, thus the Red will be working extra hard in practice to improve. Although the anticipation for Saturday will likely be a bit higher than in weeks past, the Red’s outlook is essentially the same as always: keep focused and strive to improve in everything.
“We’re working on bar routines a lot,” Lavallee said. “But generally we just want to work on perfecting everything even more and work on making everything bigger and better, as always.”
“We want to keep the momentum going,” Pearsall added. “The level of excitement is extremely high, we’ve been following how [Towson] has been doing all year. We just want to focus in practice and keep the energy level up.”