Gymnastics drops first meet of the year in Pittsburgh
Towson dropped its first meet of the competition season to the Pittsburgh Panthers 193.375-190.125 at the Fitzgerald Field House on Friday.
“I would have to say I was totally surprised by the performance that they gave,” Head Coach Vicki Chliszczyk said. “Overall, I think it was a very good start, especially considering some of the circles we’re going to have this year.”
Chliszczyk said the team’s biggest goal is to not have two falls in a row. Unfortunately for the Tigers, they struggled in the first event of the uneven bars.
“We had two falls yesterday in our overall score in the bars,” Chliszczyk said. “The fact the girls were able to come back strongly after that shows how resilient they can be.”
Freshman Bridget Steffen scored a 9.575 on bars and placed fourth for the Tigers.
For the first time in her career, junior Samantha Lutz competed as an all-around for the Tigers, scoring a 9.425 on vault, a career-best 9.525 on beam and a 9.625 on floor. She ended the competition with a total score of 38.10, which put her in first place for all-around.
“[Lutz] hit all of her routines,” Chliszczyk said. “ A really solid performer all around for us.”
Junior Lauren Ross took second place in the all-around competition with a total score of 37.95. She had a 9.55 on bars, 9.60 on vault and a 9.875 on floor.
Also placing in the all-around competition in her first collegiate meet was freshman Bailey Gallagher. Gallagher received the highest score for the Tigers on vault with a 9.70 and a 9.675 on beam, placing her fourth in the all-around competition.
“I think they [Bridget and Bailey] did a really good job,” Chliszczyk said. “I know it’s really nerve racking to go out as a freshman your first meet of your career. When you know your score counts for the whole team and you know your teammates are depending on you, it can be very stressful and I think they handled it very well.”
Senior Alexa Davis brought in a 9.675 on beam, the teams highest in the event, adding to Towson’s overall score.
With three of the team’s top performers out – sophomores Abby Griswold, Katie Sassa and Lydia Thompson – Chliszczyk is hopeful for strong performances from the remaining team members.
“Certainly having them out is definitely a hit for us.” Chliszczyk said. “But like anything, it gives others on the team the opportunity to compete in other events they may have no been able to. It will make our team stronger.”
Towson will travel to North Carolina in a double meet Friday, Jan. 17 at 7 p.m. The Tigers will compete against the North Carolina State Wolfpack, the North Carolina Tarheels and the Michigan Wolverines.