Tigers finish third
With only five gymnasts to compete on vault, bars and beam due to injuries, the Tigers struggled in the tri-meet Saturday night in SECU Arena against William & Mary and the University of New Hampshire, placing third with an overall team score of 190.275.
“Having injuries on a team is always a hard thing to deal with, but it’s part of the sport,” junior Nicolette Vignola said. “When someone gets hurt it naturally puts some pressure on the girls who can still compete, but nothing really changes. As a team we remain focused on the things we can control.”
The New Hampshire Wildcats won the meet with an overall team score of 194.125.
Kelsey Aucoin, who finished first on vault with a 9.800 and floor with a 9.850, led the Wildcats to their victory after the team had a slow start on beam.
The William & Mary Tribe trailed behind the Wildcats, finishing second with a final team score of 192.300.
During its first rotation on vault, Towson posted an overall score of 47.325.
Contributing to the overall score was freshman Bailey Gallagher who placed fourth with a 9.775 and Vignola with a 9.600.
Gallagher finished behind Aucoin and Hannah Barile who tied for first with the Tribe’s Brittany Stover. Both Aucoin and Bartle scored a 9.800.
The Wildcats took over vault with the highest event score of the three teams with a 48.700, while the Tribe closed in with a 48.225.
In the second rotation, the Tigers posted their second highest event score of the meet on the uneven parallel bars with a 48.250.
The Tigers were led by junior Samantha Lutz who finished with a 9.775 score that put her in third place. New Hampshire’s Meghan Pflieger (9.825) and Erika Rudiger (9.800) took first and second in the event.
Surprisingly, the Tigers posted their lowest event score on beam with a 46.125.
Junior Lauren Ross tied for second with a 9.700 behind Stover who received a 9.775. The Tribe posted the highest event score with a 47.850.
“It was the first time we went into beam without feeling the pressure to hit because we had started off strong on vault and bars unlike prior meets,” Vignola said. “It seems like our beam lineup does better under
pressure like that. So, not it’s just a way of figuring out how to mentally approach beam when we’ve hit the events prior to it.”
After the meet, Lutz said that Towson can grow from its performance on the balance beam while moving forward.
“Beam has been one of our strongest events this season and I think we need to remember that going into next week and trust our training on beam as well as the other three events,” she said.
For the first time in weeks, the Tigers used a full lineup on the floor exercise, where they posted their highest event score of the meet with a 48.575.
Senior Alexa Davis tied for third with Barile, posting a 9.825. Tying for first was Aucoin and William & Mary’s Jessica Pritchard with a 9.850.
Also contributing to the Tigers overall score on floor was Gallagher with a 9.725, and Lutz and Vignola with a 9.700, respectively.
“It felt so great to finally have a full floor lineup again,” Vignola said. “It definitely takes some of the pressure off of the girls in lineup knowing we have an extra score to fall back on and I think it really let us
show off to the crowd and have fun out there.”
Stover won the all-round competition with an overall score of 39.025 while Pritchard took second with a 38.750.
Pflieger finished third with a 38.550 and Gallagher trailed behind to finish fourth with a 38.200.
Also finishing in the all-around competition was Lutz with a 37.975 and Ross with a 37.900.
The Tigers return to action Friday, Feb. 28, when they travel to Chapel Hill, N.C. for a tri-meet against North Carolina and William & Mary.
The competition is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.