July 21, 2019 | 92° F

RU?places third in Maryland quad meet

When the Rutgers gymnastics team traveled to Maryland on Saturday for a quad meet, it saw familiar faces in West Virginia and William & Mary.

The last time the Scarlet Knights met up with EAGL opponent West Virginia, they fell to the Mountaineers by a score of 193.425-191.650. William & Mary, on the other hand, lost to the Knights, 192.500-191.825, in a quad meet in Pittsburgh.

The results remained the same this weekend, as Rutgers placed third with a score of 191.700, behind host Maryland and West Virginia, coming out on top of only William & Mary.

“There were some individual highlights, for sure. There were some really good routines,” said head coach Louis Levine. “We just fell a little bit short when it came to putting it all together for a good team score. It is a little disappointing, but we are just going to keep pushing forward.”

The Knights did not earn their first conference win of the year thanks in large part to a disappointing evening on the uneven bars. Rutgers finished last in the event with a score of 47.775.

Sophomore Alexis Gunzelman, who also finished first for the Knights in the all-around, recorded the highest score for Rutgers on bars with a 9.725.

Levine said the worst aspect of the bar routines was not the mistakes, but the fact they were avoidable.

“Bars are definitely where we struggled the most,” Levine said. “We had to record some falls on bars, and some of them were just lapses in thinking.”

Junior Jenna Zito led the Knights with a 9.800 in their best event of the day, the floor exercise. Rutgers finished the event with a score of 48.50, aided by Zito and her classmate Nicole Romano, who notched a season-high 9.775.

While the lost in-conference opportunity disappointed Zito, she was proud of the effort an injury-plagued Rutgers put up in Maryland.

“We were hoping for everything to finally come together,” Zito said. “I’m proud of my teammates for pushing through, just fighting through all the injuries and the sicknesses we had. I think we were still able to pull out a good meet. Some of the scores didn’t go our way, but we hung tough.”

Levine cites a problem in the meet that has become consistent for the Knights in the past few weeks — inconsistency. The problem can only be fixed in the gym, Levine said.

“It is not rocket science. You just have to keep doing routines and building confidence, and it will all fall into place,” he said. “Every person needs to do their part.”

As the Knights enter the midpoint of their schedule with an even 7-7 record and no conference wins, they know they have to finally put a full meet together. To do so, Zito knows the team needs to land all of its events.

That includes the uneven bars.

“We have obvious mistakes that we are all aware of, so we’ll work on that,” Zito said. “The bar routines are coming, but they’re still inconsistent. We have to keep practicing in our lineup so we know every girl can make it in a row. When we do it in a meet, we’ll have the same result.”

By Vinnie Mancuso

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